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Thread: Another crazy idea?

  1. #1
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    It's snowing today. Weather is too miserable to tempt me out of doors much, despite the protestations of my mutts.

    So, I've been working on another crazy idea. A Bill of Rights for the UK in the 21st Century.

    In part, it is modelled on yours, with a bit of European stuff chucked in.

    If I can draft it into a reasonable document, I'll try to e-petition the Government. Now, these e-petitions do no good, in terms of altering policy, but they are a bit viral and can expose many people to radical ideas.

    Anyway, here's my first draft. Take a look and be critical. The "cut and paste" job leaves the layout a bit scrappy; you'll have to forgive me that.



    British Bill of Rights 2009



    1…Parliament shall make no law which limits the Citizens’ exercise of free speech.

    2…Parliament shall make no law which limits the rights of Citizens to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government.


    3… The right of the Citizens to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    4… The Citizens’ right to life shall be protected by law.No person or Citizenshall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by Law.



    5…Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of thisBill when it results from the use of appropriate force;


    a in defence of any person from unlawful violence;;


    6…The right of the Citizens to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against searches and seizures, shall not be violated No Warrants shall be issued, except upon probable cause supported by Oath or affirmation

    7…No Citizen shall be held to answer for a capital crime, unless indicted by a Jury. Nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for any offence.

    8…Private property shall not be taken for public use.

    9…No person shall be compelled to bear witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

    10…In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the County and district wherein the crime was committed. The accused shall have the assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    11…In civil suits, the right to trial by jury shall be preserved, upon the request and peril of either party.


    12…Excessive bail shall not be required of Citizens, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


    13…The enumeration in this document, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the Citizens.


    14…The powers not delegated to the Government, are reserved to the Citizens.



    15…Any person, whose rights according to this Bill, are infringed, shall have recourse to effective remedy.



    16…Parliament shall be dissolved after a period not exceeding 4 years; at which time a General Election shall be held.



    17…A Citizen is held to be any British person of sound mind who has reached the age of majority, as defined by Law.



    18…A militia is necessary to the preservation of the Citizens’ liberties. Every Citizen shall be affiliated to that militia, as defined by Law.



    20…The standing army and military forces, shall be of the minimum size whichisnecessary.




  2. #2
    Regular Member CrossFire's Avatar
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    David, what part of the UK are you in?

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    The problems I see are few. Some of the changes I have made were taken from our Bill of Rights and #5 was modified slightly at the end.

    re-written I see it as:

    1. Parliament shall make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of speech, or of the press, or of religion and neither shall the Parliament prohibit or limit the right of the people to peaceably assemble to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

    2. The people of the United Kingdom shall have the right to both keep and bear arms for their protection, and that such citizens shall enjoy the right to bear arms openly or concealed upon their person, and neither Parliament nor any city or private entity other than a homeowner shall enact any law or ordnance or rule which infringes upon this right.

    3. In any criminal trial, the accused shall enjoy the presumption of innocence, and the burden of proof shall at all times rest solely with the state.

    4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use.

    6. Neither Parliament nor any other government make any law abridging the right of the people to use force in their defense when and to the extent that such force was reasonably necessary for the protection of their live, or the life of another.

    7. The people of the United Kingdom shall have enjoy the presumption of having an imminent fear of severe bodily injury or death when a criminal attacks a citizen in the citizens home, place of business or conveyance, and the people shall at all times have the ability to use force to repel any attack in these places up to and including the use of lethal force in their defense when in these places.

    8. No soldier shall be quartered in a private home in time of peace except without the consent of the homeowner or in time of war except in a manner prescribed by law and in both cases just compensation shall be rendered to the owner.

    9. At all times citizens shall have access to bail except in cases of capital or otherwise infamous crimes, and at no time shall excessive bail be imposed upon any citizen.

    10. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted upon any individual nor excessive fines imposed.

    11. The governments shall at all times be answerable to the people, and the people shall have the ability by law to recall their elected representatives in a manner to be prescribed by law in cases where the official is not acting in the best interest of the constituents.

    12. In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    13. The powers not delegated to the Government, are reserved to the Citizens.

    14. Any person, whose rights according to this Bill, are infringed, shall have immediate legal recourse to effective remedy.

    15. Parliament shall be dissolved after a period not exceeding 4 years; at which time a General Election shall be held.

    16. A Citizen is held to be any British person of sound mind who has reached the age of majority, as defined by Law.

    17. A militia is necessary to the preservation of the Citizens’ liberties. Every Citizen shall be affiliated to that militia, as defined by Law. However, no person shall be held to milita or military service when such service would violate the religious beliefs of the citizen.

    18. The standing army and military forces, shall be of the minimum size whichisnecessary.

    19. No citizen having exercised a justified use of non-lethal or lethal force shall be held to answer for any crime, neither shall the citizen be held civilly liable for such legitimate use of force in any court.

    20. Any citizen having served in the armed forces of the United Kingdom shall upon honorable discharge be granted four years of college education in a major course of study of his/her choosing and to be paid for in full by the government.

    21. No citizen serving in any reserve or active duty component of the armed forces of the United Kingdom shall be liable for any taxes on wages received as a result of such service.

    22. The enumeration in this document, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the Citizens.





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    Crossfire, I live in North Newbald, East Yorkshire.

    Not much of a place. Don't even have a shop or Post Office any longer. We lost them about 18 months ago.

    Post Office was deemed to be too expensive for the Royal Mail to support...and since the Post Office also doubled as the village shop, when its funding was withdrawn, the shop folded, too.

    Now, you have to get into your car and drive a minimum of 8-10 miles just to get a bottle of milk, or to post a parcel. Very "green", that is. And, of course, the Post Office was the hub of all "gossip".

    Tragically, just a couple of weeks before it closed, it was held up at gunpoint, by a fellow who had that very day been let out of prison for armed robbery. The guy's girlfriend picked him up from jail and drove him to our little Post Office. Big so-and-so, too. Anyway, our PostMaster punched him on the nose and then took a bit of a beating, while his wife watched from the back room. The guy was caught half-an-hour later and locked up again.

    http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/cr...6331-21820474/

    We do have a bus service, Monday and Wednesday. Leaves Newbald around 9am and returns around 4pm. Very handy that is, too. Not!

    So, if you are a pensioner and have no car, you are in trouble. Luckily, most of the older folk manage to scrounge lifts to the shops, and so on.

    Suntzu, thanks for your input. It'll take me a little while to work through it all.

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    Regular Member CrossFire's Avatar
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    One last off topic post and let everything go back on topic. The reason I asked was a) you mentioned snow and b) I go to Wath Upon Dearne in South Yorkshire every March for a couple of weeks. Maybe if your town is still big enough to have a pub and I manage one more trip across the pond we can meet for a pint and to talk some treason.

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    Crossfire, Wath -upon-Dearne is near to Rotherham, isn't it?

    That'll be about 50 or 60 miles from my place.

    I'm sure that we could meet for a pint.

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    Suntzu,

    I was rather hoping to keep in this bit, (below), because it provides for Capital Punishment where that is felt to be necessary.

    And, it takes care of the "self-defence" issues. I nicked this bit from the European Declaration of Human Rights, by the way.



    Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.


    Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of thisBill when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:


    a in defence of any person from unlawful violence;






    We definitely need the bit about being able to recall our elected representatives when we feel that they are being duffers. I should have put that in, myself. We have an oldpolitician, Tony Benn. He's a lefty, but very principled. He always says that the most important question to ask of your politicians is , "How do we get rid of you?"

    Whilst we are on the subject, I have a question about the "double-jeopardy" thing. I was talking to someone, today, who challenged it. And, tbh, I couldn't say why the Founding Fathers had included it. What was their reasoning?

  8. #8
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    David Turner wrote:
    Suntzu,

    I was rather hoping to keep in this bit, (below), because it provides for Capital Punishment where that is felt to be necessary.

    And, it takes care of the "self-defence" issues. I nicked this bit from the European Declaration of Human Rights, by the way.



    Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.


    Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of thisBill when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:


    a in defence of any person from unlawful violence;






    We definitely need the bit about being able to recall our elected representatives when we feel that they are being duffers. I should have put that in, myself. We have an oldpolitician, Tony Benn. He's a lefty, but very principled. He always says that the most important question to ask of your politicians is , "How do we get rid of you?"

    Whilst we are on the subject, I have a question about the "double-jeopardy" thing. I was talking to someone, today, who challenged it. And, tbh, I couldn't say why the Founding Fathers had included it. What was their reasoning?
    David,
    The idea about execution would be good to keep in with a new British Bill of Rights, I deleted it due to the fact that execution has not been a penalty under British law in 40 years--but then again neither has been the right to both keep and bear arms...So I do agree that capital punishment for the most heinous of crimes should be included.

    As for the "Double Jeopardy" provision of the Constitution--IMO the founders placed it in so as to prevent a vengeful government or prosecutor from being able to come back and retry you indefinitely for the same crime over and over again until they got the decision from the jury that they wanted--otherwise the prosecutor could simply lock the juries in the jury room and simply tell them "no one goes home, eats or sleeps until you convict the defendant". The founders knew what an out of control government is capable of--and that is why IMO that they placed the 2nd Amendment in, as well as the 4th, 5th 6th and 8th Amendments...

    That is the short answer--others may have something else to add to it.

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