Well of course: Even nonces have human rights

Parents could have a harder time finding out if any paedophiles live nearby after a High Court ruling that sex offenders’ human rights to privacy should be considered.

In a judgement that lawyers say risks “watering down” what is known as Sarah’s Law, the court ruled that offenders should be given a say before their presence is disclosed.

Their human right to a family life should also be taken into account, the judges said.


We can go further
. Everyone\’s human rights must always be considered. Whose rights prevail is a slightly different matter, but no one at all ever gives up the right to have those rights considered.

Take as an extreme capital punishment. Not that we do it any more (thankfully) but back when. A crime sufficient to merit the loss of the perpetrators life. So they\’re going to get topped. But they still have rights even then. They cannot be tortured. Starved, beaten up, insulted even. A good deal of care and attention is taken in ensuring that the death is as painless as it is possible for a death to be.

Even the dead man walking has rights that are respected.

So yes, nonces do have rights and they must be considered.

14 comments on “Well of course: Even nonces have human rights

  1. Actually contributing …

    It is entirely analogous to the “free speech” argument. Supporting “human rights” for people you like is irrelevant. As is freedom to say things you either agree with or otherwise approve of.

    Human rights are important for scumbags, free speech is important for things that you (violently) disagree with. If you can’t accept that, for example, paedos have the human rights as your sainted granny, or that holocaust denial should be as legal as the weekend sports results, then you’re actually opposed to the principles themselves.

    Now, a rational opposition to those principles would be entirely fine. It’s the hypocrisy that stinks.

  2. And of course bearing in mind that “sex offender” includes some poor bastard having a few drinks and saying “nice arse darlin'” to a girl who turns out to be fifteen and half.

  3. And sex offender can also include someone who kidnaps a 9 month old baby and rapes it until it bleeds to death. He’s still entitled to basic human rights.

  4. Unfortunately Matthew L, yes. If ‘human rights’ are to mean anything, then they have to be universal. Once you cross the line of ‘Well this person is so heinous that we don’t have to give them any rights’ then its just a matter of deciding where the line is, and thats where it gets difficult, no?

    I mean there are lots of people (of a certain religion) who don’t like homosexuals, perhaps in some countries they might decide gays have no human rights. After all its not a principle any more, just a case of deciding who gets the rights and who is so abhorrent that they get nothing. And they all had a vote and decided ‘Gay people are so disgusting, they shall have no rights’. So thats all OK then?

  5. With respect, Tim, ‘nonce’ is an inflammatory and offensive term, best avoided.

    It is also, in this context, incorrect, as it is a prison colloquialism.

    TY
    The OSC

  6. ‘nonce’ is an inflammatory and offensive term, best avoided

    And people who rape or molest children and young adults are unpleasant and offensive criminals, who are best avoided. Especially if you in the company of kids. And, frankly (see free speech argument at #2), I don’t care what they, or you, think of Tim using the term.

  7. Of course nonces have human rights. But the fact that they have human rights does not mean they should have *this* human right. Human rights need to be approached on a case-by-case basis. There is not some tablet written in stone that says what human rights we should have and what we cannot. We pass laws giving the rights we deem appropriate.

    And I don’t think this one is appropriate. I don’t see why anyone’s anonymity is preserved. The legal system should be entirely open and everyone should know.

  8. Jim – “If ‘human rights’ are to mean anything, then they have to be universal. Once you cross the line of ‘Well this person is so heinous that we don’t have to give them any rights’ then its just a matter of deciding where the line is, and thats where it gets difficult, no?”

    Let’s see, I have a right not to be put into a concrete cell, fed horrible food and only allowed out for an hour a day. Criminals, on the other hand, do not. That particular human right is not exactly universal is it? Or do you mean everyone should have the same human rights until a Court, working on the basis of a known pre-existing law, says so? It would be a novel change. But then that’s the point isn’t it? The law says people convicted by the Courts shouldn’t be allowed to remain anonymous.

    “I mean there are lots of people (of a certain religion) who don’t like homosexuals, perhaps in some countries they might decide gays have no human rights. After all its not a principle any more, just a case of deciding who gets the rights and who is so abhorrent that they get nothing.”

    Which is precisely what a human right is. They have no objective existence. They are defined at a given time by a society. And interpreted, alas, by the Courts of that time. They cannot be universal as you mean it.

    7 Surreptitious Evil – “So you can have “human rights” for those you approve of and “sub-human rights” (but not many) for those you are happy seeing persecuted.”

    Define “you”. If you mean we as a whole do precisely that, well then, yes, we as a society do precisely that. If you mean any one individual, then no, they should not do that.

  9. We pass laws giving the rights we deem appropriate.

    And, currently, the legal system says that all laws must be interpreted in accordance with HRA98. And “Sarah’s Law” isn’t even a law. It is merely the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme. If it were a law, then the judge would need to declare an incompatibility – at which point it would return to parliament to decide.

    The legal system should be entirely open and everyone should know.

    Yet this isn’t about closed trials or secret evidence, is it? It is about the rights of post-release offenders. Who have served their lawfully imposed sentence.

  10. Surreptitious Evil – “And, currently, the legal system says that all laws must be interpreted in accordance with HRA98.”

    So it does. No one is claiming this is not being done legally. Just that the law has moved beyond being an ass to be a positive danger. As I said, they are not on our side.

    “Yet this isn’t about closed trials or secret evidence, is it? It is about the rights of post-release offenders. Who have served their lawfully imposed sentence.”

    It is about secret post-trial information. Which I tend to think ought to be open. All of it. They have served their sentence but that does not mean their sentences should be a secret.

  11. Ironically, the less accurate the list, the more harmful it is. If it was of paroled Huntleys, then that would be a no-brainer.

    But it’s of Huntleys, and dudes who pissed in the street, and 17yos who were really disliked by their 15yo girlfriend’s parents, and sad sacks who wanked off to photographs of all of the above.

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