Tag Archives: High Court

Two items

Yes, there are two items that are on the mind of may people. One is directly on the mind of many and as I stated in ‘Utter insanity’ on October 4th a lot of impact will be seen and the poor will get the brunt of that impact. As I see it, there is a lot that will be going wrong and even as the US Democrats are hiding behind the media slogans like ‘Biden: Republicans playing ‘Russian roulette’ with US economy over debt ceiling’, we better catch on quick. This issue is not now, it has been going on for over a decade, too much spending, no exit strategy and upping the debt every time and this has been going on since the Presidents George W Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and President Joe Biden were in office. From 2001 the debt want from $6 trillion until now as it is $28 trillion. I will agree that President Biden got a really bad hand and he inherited the debt, but so did Obama and Trump. George W Bush had Afghanistan and Iraq in consequence to what happened in New York which was not on him, but ALL these presidents had the option to overhaul the Tax system and NONE of them did so, this pox is on BOTH the Republican and the Democrat houses. A budget that was there to enable big business and media but none acted over well over 20 years, so this is on more. In this Bill Clinton was the one who left the budget was in surplus so his inaction has a decent acceptable excuse. And now the Republicans say enough is enough, I cannot fault them for that. As I showed the Defence department wasted $30-$45 billion on TWO PROJECTS, two projects that does not meet the bare minimum but we go on paying those wasting the funds. Why is that? And the lack of adjusting Tax laws, not to tax the rich, but the setting of justly tax ALL. An optional setting that as offered to them in 1998, but they were eager to state that it was too hard. Now consider the Google Ads system that properly (and decently) charges the advertiser and not greedy grab the advertiser like the advertisement  agencies did for decades. So it was not that hard, was it?

And as we now see the need to ‘overhaul’ the Senate rules to end the amendment of the ‘filibuster’, a stage that has been there for a long time is now regarded by the Democrats as too hard to handle. I am not the voice for against that decision, yet consider that THEY TOO would not overhaul the tax system when it was in their administration, so is it fair? And in all this Wall Street is giving whatever ‘free’ advice the media is willing to listen to, they are so scared now. 

What was issue two?
It cones from a different corner. When the BBC gave us ‘Princess Haya: Dubai ruler had ex-wife’s phone hacked – UK court’ 8 hours ago (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-58814978) I saw “The High Court has found that the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, interfered with British justice by ordering the hacking of the phone of his ex-wife, Princess Haya of Jordan. The phones of her solicitors, Baroness Fiona Shackleton QC and Nick Manners, were also targeted during their divorce custody case, according to the court”, it took a few second (approximately 7.1) and my mind raced. You see the media is a nice source to use given information against them. You see, The Verge gave us on July 23rd (at https://www.theverge.com/22589942/nso-group-pegasus-project-amnesty-investigation-journalists-activists-targeted) ‘NSO’s Pegasus spyware: here’s what we know. In that article we get “NSO Group’s CEO and co-founder Shalev Hulio broadly denied the allegations, claiming that the list of numbers had nothing to do with Pegasus or NSO. He argued that a list of phone numbers targeted by Pegasus (which NSO says it doesn’t keep, as it has “no insight” into what investigations are being carried out by its clients) would be much shorter”, It is the setting of “has “no insight” into what investigations are being carried out by its clients” against the setting that the BBC gives us which is “referred to the hacking as “serial breaches of (UK) domestic criminal law”, “in violation of fundamental common law and ECHR rights”, “interference with the process of this court and the mother’s access to justice” and “abuse of power” by a head of government”, we can agree with the point of view, but where is the evidence? The NSO stated that it does not keep any, so what is the source and the foundation of the evidence? The link the BBC gives us the judgment (at https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/al-maktoum-judgments/) yet there I see in the reference for the Hacking fact finding part:

i. The mobile phones of the mother, two of her solicitors (Baroness Shackleton and Nicholas Manners), her Personal Assistant and two members of her security staff have been the subject of unlawful surveillance during the course of the present proceedings and at a time of significant events in those proceedings.

ii. The surveillance has been carried out by using software licensed to the Emirate of Dubai or the UAE by the NSO Group.

iit. The surveillance has been carried out by servants or agents of the father, the Emirate of Dubai or the UAE.

iv. The software used for this surveillance included the capacity to track the target’s location, the reading of SMS and email messages and other messaging apps, listening to telephone calls and accessing the target’s contact lists, passwords, calendars and photographs. It would also allow recording of live activity and taking of screenshots and pictures.

Yet in all this, how was this evidence obtained? The findings rely on the setting stated by Baroness Hale, which is fair enough and she stated “In this country we do not require documentary proof. We rely heavily on oral evidence, especially from those who were present when the alleged events took place. Day after day, up and down the country, on issues large and small, judges are making up their minds whom to believe. They are guided by many things, including the inherent probabilities, any contemporaneous documentation or records, any circumstantial evidence tending to support one account rather than the other, and their overall impression of the characters and motivations of the witnesses.” Here I have a problem. Not the setting that Baroness Hale states, it applies for many cases and I would support this, yet in this technology the problem is that even those deep into this technology do not completely understand what they face. When we look at sources all over, we see a former intelligence officer from Germany who cannot state that Huawei is a danger, because their technology people do not comprehend it. We see source after source flaming the NSO group issues but they are flaming and even those sources are debated as it refers to sources from 2016, long before the Pegasus group had the software it deploys now. If we accept the words by Baroness Hale “We rely heavily on oral evidence, especially from those who were present when the alleged events took place” yet what happens when that witness the average normal person, how can that person give credibility to neural surgery? It is the same, a stage where the media relied on flaming and keeping people off balance, how can a person who does not comprehend technology be given the credibility that this court has? And should the court disregard the influence the media has, they merely need to see connected contributory manslaughter Martin Bashir was a part of, as I personally see it, his actions resulted in the path that led to the death of Lady Diana Spencer. 

In this I support “the court’s findings were based on evidence that was not disclosed to him, and that they were “made in a manner which was unfair””, I will take it one step further, if the submitted evidence is held to the cold light of day, its value will be debatable on a few levels. So when we consider “Dr William Marczak, who is based in California and is a senior research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which researches digital surveillance. He told the court he had no doubt the phones were hacked using NSO’s Pegasus software. He also concluded “with high confidence” that the phones were hacked by a single operator in a nation state. He concluded with medium confidence that it was most unlikely to be any state other than the UAE.” In this we saw the CIA with their “with high confidence” and I wonder hat it is based on. I am not attacking Dr William Marczak, there is no reason to, but when you consider “with medium confidence that it was most unlikely to be any state other than the UAE”, so he is not completely certain, he is decently certain that someone did it, but there is no evidence (aka he cannot swear) that it was the UAE, feel free to read the settings and the statements, it could have been anyone, if the evidence holds up to scrutiny and that pert is also a part I am not certain of. You see when we see “A senior member of NSO’s management team called Mrs Blair from Israel on 5 August 2020 to inform her that “it had come to their attention that their software may have been misused to monitor the mobile phones of Baroness Shackleton and HRH Princess Haya” and we hold it up to the interview in The Verge on July 23rd with Shalev Hulio we see conflicts, conflicts of optional evidence by the same source, why is that?

These are the two Items that were bugging me to some extent and as my mind is racing towards another TV series stage (it will be the third my mind designs) I wonder what the eager bored mind is able to contemplate. So as we wonder what drove the judgement (no negativity implied), I see too many strings going from one place to another and they might be just in my mind (the place between ones ears) but too much evidence does not make sense, in both stages offered and the media took centre stage to both, and the media is the weakest link of credibility, that has been personally proven a few times over.

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Consent, a complex simplicity

There is an article in the Guardian, some will think it to be a decent piece, but I have an issue with it. There are all kinds of issues in the article, I cannot tell whether it was real, it did not feel as real. Whether it is or not is not really the issue. Yet there is an issue with it. Perhaps it is just me, but that issue is important, because the story touches on several issues, one that is close to my heart, as I was a witness for over a decade, unable to stop what had happened. Only to know, that he fled in fear, because one day, that one day that he saw me, the real me , it scared him all the way to South Africa, where he died of a Pneumonia, what a shame they likely got his prescribed anti-biotic dosage wrong, it must have made it worse. I had a great party celebrating his demise (seriously!).

The story by Monica Tan starts with a title ‘My boyfriend ‘sort-of’ raped me. But I didn’t break up with him‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/05/my-boyfriend-sort-of-raped-me-and-i-didnt-even-break-up-with-him). My very first objection, there is no ‘sort-of’ it either was or it was not. The story as it is written is a mere introduction to a case that is not mentioned here. The case was ‘R (on the application of F) v The DPP [2013] EWHC 945 (Admin)‘, Here we see a review of the CPS as it has decided initially not to prosecute the husband. There was a realistic prospect of this case not resulting in conviction, the High Court took steps to order the CPS to look into the decision in this case. The issue before the High Court was whether ejaculation without consent could transform an incident of consensual intercourse into rape.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 gives us in Section 1:

(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person
(B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents

Yet when we look at the definitions of consent we see at S75(3)

Reference to the time immediately before the relevant act began is, in the case of an act which is one of a continuous series of sexual activities, a reference to the time immediately before the first sexual activity began“, the crux is that ejaculation comes after the consent of the act. Which explains the actions of the CPS, yet I was not alone looking at this. This is not a new case and Olivia Stiles, a trainee solicitor (in those days) at Kingsley Napley wrote this: “Penetration is a continuing act and so consent can be withdrawn even after penetration has begun and this will transform an act that begins as consensual intercourse into rape. Levitt was troubled by the facts of this case insofar as it was not clear at what point the intervener should have ceased to have intercourse with the applicant. Levitt’s view was that if the intervener embarked upon the act knowing he would ejaculate inside her against her wishes then it was arguable that he knew she did not consent. However, Levitt felt that as a matter of evidence it would be impossible to prove that it had not been a spontaneous decision made at the point of ejaculation“, Olivia’s article is good to keep next to the actual case, as for me, My issue is (as I see it) stated in S76. Here we see:

76 Conclusive presumptions about consent
(1) If in proceedings for an offence to which this section applies it is proved that the defendant did the relevant act and that any of the circumstances specified in subsection (2) existed, it is to be conclusively presumed—
(a) that the complainant did not consent to the relevant act, and
(b) that the defendant did not believe that the complainant consented to the relevant act

(2) The circumstances are that—
(a) the defendant intentionally deceived the complainant as to the nature or purpose of the relevant act;

So, she objected to the relevant act, she did NOT consent!

Even though it would be very hard to prove that the situation as such existed, there is a criminal event in play.

The article then continues with a reference to the Julian Assange sex issue of 2010, which is exactly what happened in ‘R (on the application of F) v The DPP [2013] EWHC 945 (Admin)‘. Yet here her story goes south in a bad way, she writes: “It was not rape, but my reaction was too involuntary, and its intensity too high, to say that nothing bad happened. Something happened. And it had the whiff of rape”. No! It either is, or it is not and the events as prescribed add up to non-consensual sex, making it rape, assault by penetration or causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. The last one could land you in prison for life!

This all blends with the issue I have here. The quote “There is nothing more dangerous than shutting down public debate around sexual assault and domestic violence with a dismissive “lock the perpetrators up and throw away the key”. Such violence is rife in our society“. You see, some harsh changes are needed in the legislative sphere, it needed to be done yesterday and so far the law has been too soft as I see it. Domestic violence is more than a killer. When we look at the LWA (at http://www.lwa.org.uk/), we see that it accounts for 16% of all violent crimes and that it costs the public £23 billion per annum. These numbers might sound nice (or horrible), but that is not what this is about.

There needs to be much stronger legislation in regards to domestic violence. As I see it (and as I wrote before, in my article ‘Cleaning house!‘ on July 1st 2014). It is my firm believe that Article 3 of the ECHR should state:

ARTICLE 3, Prohibition of torture
1. No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. Domestic violence will be regarded as inhuman and degrading treatment of a person and is as such subject to local criminal law

Until a larger operation makes clear case in a legal way attacking domestic violence, making it a capital crime, a massive portion of the population remains at risk. So in my view, the article by Monica Tan is an issue on several fronts.

The quotes “Now that I’ve taken a small sip at the cup of rape” and “This is not my story of rape. But it is a story with rape-ish qualities” makes me object loudly. As I see it, she never took a sip of anything. Either she was subjected to rape or she was not. It is not to be trivialised in any way. Monica found a case that was an issue in legal terms. Even though the law tries to be protective, it was flawed. The CPS states “Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs“, I am all for that however, WHY does the Sexual Offences Act 2003 not clearly states this? The issues in the caser as mentioned earlier, the writing by Olivia Stiles showed this and above all, the fact that the article ‘CPS and police focus on consent at first joint National Rape Conference‘, written on the 28th of January 2015 discusses this (at http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/cps_and_police_focus_on_consent_at_first_joint_national_rape_conference/), should be sustenance for discussion.

Monica Tan has now mixed two issues, issues that are clearly linked, but remain separate. The law is so bend on the sexual crime issues, making it all murkier, and again more powerful legislation needed to deal with domestic abuse falls behind again. I personally feel that if we can effectively lower domestic violence, it would also impact sexual offences as a whole. I personally witnessed as a kid for many years how my mother was beaten to near death again and again. I was too young and too late to protect her, but in the end I danced on my father’s grave (I did it to the Shaggy song ‘it wasn’t me’) in 2002.

As I personally see it, Monica Tan found an interesting case, added a picture of a woman looking distressed in bed added emotions and got a story out there. The legal ramifications on consent are interesting, but that is all, interesting! The issue of consent stays, and is still debated largely. I personally feel that taking the CPS event as a centre piece, illuminating that consent remains an issue would have been a lot better. You see, the heart of the matter was a clearly stated in the CPS article in 70 words: “Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “For too long society has blamed rape victims for confusing the issue of consent – by drinking or dressing provocatively for example – but it is not they who are confused, it is society itself and we must challenge that. Consent to sexual activity is not a grey area – in law it is clearly defined and must be given fully and freely” and guess what, domestic violence is NEVER EVER done with consent. There is always a transgressor and a victim!

That part must be dealt with, it should have been done so decades ago. If that had been done, than perhaps my mother might have been around to share in the pride, when I was added to the roll of attorneys, it was not meant to be!

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