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Licence to kill?

(28 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

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 10:45:04

I saw that😲.

What happens if there are children on board and they know that if they turn the boat back it is likely to sink?

That would be manslaughter.

Patel is not above the law neither are the border force.

They cannot be given indemnity for such deliberate acts and if I was a member of the border force I would be consulting my union pdq.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 11:02:47

Please read and consider what the court has to be satisfied about. I don’t believe that the wording is unreasonable. Remember that in a criminal case the prosecution has to prove its case, including that neither (a) nor (b) in the draft clause applies, beyond all reasonable doubt. If you were a member of the border force Whitewavemark I imagine you would be pleased to have this protection in the event of your being prosecuted for the results of something you did in good faith and with reasonable grounds.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:18:22

If as a member of the border force I was satisfied that the boat I was turning back was seaworthy and likely to survive a return journey, then yes.

But NOT if I thought otherwise. No one would make me behave in such an inhuman manner.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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?

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 18:15:19

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 18:18:08

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?

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.

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?

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.

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?