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Licence to kill?

(30 Posts)
MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 10:02:20

It is reported that Priti Patel is seeking to give indemnity to Border Force staff who may commit a criminal act when dealing with migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.

This clause is reported to be in the draft bill:

‘A relevant officer is not liable in any criminal or civil proceedings for anything done in the purported performance of functions under this part of this schedule if the court is satisfied that (a) the act was done in good faith, and (b) there were reasonable grounds for doing it.’

It is hard to envisage what criminal or civil offence Border Staff might commit apart from causing the death of a refugee, directly or indirectly.

If they did cause the death of a refugee this would be a breach of international law.

To indemnify them against prosecution for this would be, in effect, the state condoning murder.

www.thejusticegap.com/priti-patel-to-give-immunity-to-border-force-officials-turning-back-migrant-boats/

shock

MaizieD Sat 30-Oct-21 11:27:00

For those who pooh poohed the implications of this Bill, David Allen Green, a former government lawyer, writes in Prospect magazine:

The government of the United Kingdom does not say that it wants to kill people, but it does want to be as free as possible from any legal consequences when its agents cause death. Statute by statute, the trend is for the British state to remove any relevant criminal or civil liability from those who make life or death decisions in its name.

********

Ministers do not believe the practical immunity afforded by our political-media culture is enough. The nods and winks to the prosecution service do not provide sufficient cover. Ministers want there to be a formalisation of official protection. Not only must injustice be done, but injustice must be seen to be done, with full legal protection.

If the legislative trend continues, any agent of the state who makes life or death decisions will not face legal liability. There are always calls for police to be safe from prosecution when they kill people. And one day we will end up in a situation where, even if the state becomes reckless about the lives of its citizens, there will be no legal incentive for it to behave otherwise. The UK state may not want its officials and operatives to kill people, but soon there may be no legal consequences if they do.

Now read the bits in between these extracts..

www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/up-front/licence-to-kill-and-the-british-state

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 22:54:36

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

From the Guardian article I didn't link to.

Pardon me for finding this worrying.

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/13/uk-border-force-could-be-given-immunity-over-refugee-deaths?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 20:01:04

This is about a clause in a draft Bill. I’m a retired lawyer. I have given an opinion. If you don’t like what I say specifically about the draft clause feel free to seek a second opinion. I don’t deal in hypotheses. Frankly some posters sound on the verge of hysteria. That’s my final word on this ridiculous thread.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 18:41:48

growstuff

Germanshepherdsmum

There is nothing here which suggests BF will flout international law, only posters’ imaginations. The draft Bill does not seek to amend international law.

But it does.

How so, growstuff? The draft Bill only grants certain defences to BF officials in respect of prosecution for the consequences of their lawful actions.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:39:22

Whitewavemark2

growstuff

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I genuinely don't know the answers.

Do people need paperwork to be in British waters?

If not, are they permitted to sail/row/swim around and, if intercepted by Border Force, claim they had no intention of landing but are just out for the day?

Not if they are refugees. But I can see where you are coming from.

My point is that Border Force doesn't know if a boat in transit is full of refugees or day trippers. If wannabe asylum seekers started using better boats and learnt a few words of French, how would Border Force know what they intended to do?

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:36:42

Whitewavemark2

Would any interference with a boat by BF outside of U.K. waters be deemed to be illegal?

I'm pretty sure it would be.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 18:28:04

Would any interference with a boat by BF outside of U.K. waters be deemed to be illegal?

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 18:26:34

growstuff

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I genuinely don't know the answers.

Do people need paperwork to be in British waters?

If not, are they permitted to sail/row/swim around and, if intercepted by Border Force, claim they had no intention of landing but are just out for the day?

Not if they are refugees. But I can see where you are coming from.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:18:08

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I genuinely don't know the answers.

Do people need paperwork to be in British waters?

If not, are they permitted to sail/row/swim around and, if intercepted by Border Force, claim they had no intention of landing but are just out for the day?

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:15:19

Germanshepherdsmum

There is nothing here which suggests BF will flout international law, only posters’ imaginations. The draft Bill does not seek to amend international law.

But it does.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:14:45

I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from. If people in transit don't need paperwork, what right has anybody to turn any boat round?

I realise that once the passengers have landed on British soil, they need paperwork, but they could immediately claim asylum according to international law and be absolutely legal. It's then up to the UK whether it accepts any application for asylum.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 18:11:23

MerylStreep

growstuff
In answer, yes, all papers and passports have to be shown to customs. That applies to either crossing.

I get that, but what about during the crossing? Do people in transit need to have paperwork?

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 17:02:46

Germanshepherdsmum

There is nothing here which suggests BF will flout international law, only posters’ imaginations. The draft Bill does not seek to amend international law.

Have you read the U.N law regarding refugees.

How does that square with the BF instructions to turn the boats back?

lemongrove Thu 14-Oct-21 17:00:04

Good posts Gsm a sensible balance to heated dramatics.👏🏻

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 16:40:57

There is nothing here which suggests BF will flout international law, only posters’ imaginations. The draft Bill does not seek to amend international law.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 16:35:47

Well I think that BF will be in direct contradiction to the UN instructions regarding refugees at sea.

Not quite sure how that will work.

But of course the U.K. doesn’t follow international law any more so I guess it doesn’t matter.

MerylStreep Thu 14-Oct-21 16:23:05

growstuff
In answer, yes, all papers and passports have to be shown to customs. That applies to either crossing.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 14:12:08

MaizieD

I think quite a few sailing enthusiasts do it all the time. Need papers, of course. MerylStreep would be the one to ask.

Do you need papers to sail or row (or swim) across the Channel? I realise you need them when you land. Is Border Force going to check the paperwork (if needed) before they turn boats back?

Genuine questions because I don't know.

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 14:04:00

I think quite a few sailing enthusiasts do it all the time. Need papers, of course. MerylStreep would be the one to ask.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 13:20:38

A question to people who know more about these things than I do:

Is it illegal for somebody with a small boat to travel from France to the UK and land at a UK port?

MerylStreep Thu 14-Oct-21 13:19:31

But there again, the term un- seaworthy is subjective. Anyone here could say we are sinking and I could reply no, we are not, we are ok, we can make it
It’s a minefield of litigation.

25Avalon Thu 14-Oct-21 13:07:45

MaizieD

So, Gsm, it's perfectly reasonable to leave a refugee to die if their boat is in difficulties? Using the defence that it was done in good faith?

They have to have reasonable grounds so turning back an unseaworthy craft would presumably be unreasonable?

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 12:57:44

I haven’t said that Maizie. I’m not speaking about any specific hypothetical actions which BF may or may not take, nor will I, I’m simply emphasising what the draft clause says and the burden of proof.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:26:53

Frankly they will be leaving themselves wide open to prosecution if it was obvious that the boat would sink, and many of them are in very poor condition.

Cloud funding will almost certainly come into action, and I would support it.

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 11:19:14

So, Gsm, it's perfectly reasonable to leave a refugee to die if their boat is in difficulties? Using the defence that it was done in good faith?