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SOCPA - judge trashes human rights "because she can"

rikki | 11.09.2006 19:34 | SOCPA | Repression | London

judge wright, when asked by barbara tucker's barrister why she was setting bail conditions that were unprecedented and 'unheard of', replied 'because i can'. today, the simple action of standing alone with a banner decrying blair's war-crimes has been criminalised not just in the designated zone, but even elsewhere, on penalty of imprisonment. this is way beyond even the original contentious socpa powers and marks a further sinister attack on protest.

barbara tucker appeared in front of judge wright this morning at horseferry road, to appeal against bail conditions set on friday that banned her from parliament square and downing street.

the conditions meant that if barbara had worn her banner near downing street or parliament square over the weekend, she would have faced imprisonment pending a trial which at present is set for no earlier than the 30th november.

her barrister argued that the serious organised crime and police act would only give the sanction of a fine against barbara tucker if her repeated attempts to publicise the crimes of our government were found to be unlawful, whereas the magistrate's condition further criminalised barbara and threatened imprisonment should she break it. when asked why she set this condition, judge wright replied 'because i can'.

the judge argued that the conditions were in so that barbara would be prevented from committing a public order offence, but since she has never been reported or charged with any public order offences this was far-fetched. eventually after legal arguments back and forth, the judge relented slightly and allowed that barbara could enter parliament square but only to take part in brian haw's protest and under conditions set by superintendent terry or the most senior officer on the ground. effectively this means that a policeman can tell barbara her banner is 'too pink' or some such rubbish, and then have her imprisoned for breach of bail. if you think that's ridiculous, check out what happened to her last monday when police attempted to have her put on remand without legal representation for nothing more than a highly dubious 'obstruction of the highway' offence. (

in a further departure from all natural justice, the judge then imposed an additional unprecedented condition in connection with brian haw's court case set to proceed tomorrow. she banned barbara from attending! the barrister kicked up an unholy stink and evntually managed to get this retracted, but only on the undertaking that barbara would not wear her banner in the vicinity of the court. at the time, everyone believed that brian's trial was at marylebone magistrates court at 10am tomorrow, this court is well outside the designated socpa zone.

late news tonight is that the hearing has been switched to horseferry road, which is of course inside the zone, but not covered by the judge's condition by name, so who knows where barbara stands? more news tomorrow.

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Display the following 3 comments

  1. judge wright — jsl
  2. Judge Wright- another 'Rose West' of Blair's New Reich Party — twilight
  3. Perspective — Neil