This is, I think, how it is supposed to work, no?

A senior judge said on Wednesday that he was powerless to send the terrorist behind the Manchester Arena bombing to jail for the rest of his life because of laws passed by Parliament.
Hashem Abedi will escape a whole life sentence for the atrocity because he was aged 20, rather than 21, at the time of the attack. The law prevents criminals under 21 being handed a whole life term.

Where there is legislation – that expressed will of the Parliament we elect – then the courts are bound by that legislation. Further, anyone on trial or found guilty can only be processed by that law and punished only according to what the law was at the moment of the crime.

Hey, maybe even we the people might decide differently, elect people who change this specific point. But if we do that only applies to anyone caught and tried after the relevant law has been passed.

That’s just the way the system works and the reason it does so is to protect us, the citizenry, from the State. We just don’t do retroactive changes in that law. Because to do so puts all of us at risk of whatever 650 idiots might decide to chase us with.

28 thoughts on “This is, I think, how it is supposed to work, no?”

  1. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary who got the law passed, says he can’t remember why age 21 was selected, admitting that it made no sense once the age of majority was 18.

    Howsoever that may be I agree with Timmy – as few judge-made laws as possible please. We don’t want to end up like the US where nine bozos impose whatever whim takes them.

  2. Where were you when the State (in the form of the Labour government of the day) legislated to retrospectively alter legal agreements already agreed and signed between private individuals? Namely the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1976 which changed agricultural tenancies already in existence to ones with security of tenure for 3 generations. Thus depriving the owner of the farm of the freehold of their property for longer than their lifetime, and reduced the value of the property overnight as a result. I don’t remember anyone shedding any tears for the victims of the capricious nature of the State then. Or does such leniency only apply to murders?

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme August 20, 2020 at 10:27 am – “as few judge-made laws as possible please. We don’t want to end up like the US where nine bozos impose whatever whim takes them.”

    And yet that is where we ended up with Brexit when the “Supreme Court” changed the fundamental constitutional order so that they could attempt to derail independence.

    The real problem in Britain is that the ruling class just does not believe in the rule of law. Law is whatever they want it to be today. They can railroad Rolf Harris for crimes he did not commit. They can frame three thuggish young men accused of killing Stephen Lawrence. All without shame or any sort of second thought. Not to mention the treatment of Jimmy Saville.

    Last year the British government arrested almost as many “Far Right” extremists as Ialamists. I don’t remember any Tommy Robinson fans blowing up tween music concerts. But they do not want to lose the election.

  4. “Well, myself, I was just leaving prep school and trying to get used to long trousers…..”

    My point being that the ‘law’ didn’t protect individuals then from State retrospective legislation, so why should we care if a murdering arsehole were to get his comeuppance the same way?

  5. Dennis, A Septic To His Very Bones

    We don’t want to end up like the US where nine bozos impose whatever whim takes them.

    Whereas the Supreme Court of the UK has covered itself in glory. Yes, the British legal system is a shining beacon to us all.

  6. “Whereas the Supreme Court of the UK has covered itself in glory.” It is manifestly trying to copy its American namesake. That was presumably the point of Toni Blair setting it up.

    “Yes, the British legal system is a shining beacon to us all.” Hardly that, but for all its faults hugely superior to the American. By a country mile.

  7. Sentencing law is complex, and not something I am now terribly well-connected to. But earlier today I did find myself wondering if the solution to the problem was whether the sentencing judge had the power, if not to dish out a whole life tariff, then to dish out a specific tariff which would do much the same thing.

    And so, it seems, he does. The murderer will be nearly 80 when he is released.

    And therefore this wretch, this anti-human, now descends to The Pit. Subject, of course, to whatever the Court of Appeal then decides to do. I’ve never heard of a 55-year tariff. I suspect it is unique.

    And speaking as a fan of capital pun. precisely because it is a more humane dispatch then spending 55 years in chokey, I hope this … thing, this sulking organism, this cancer of a man … gets all the benefits of the political elite’s cruelty in denying us capital pun.

    Funny, innit? How the PE’s ‘kindness’ ends up making me crueller …

    Mind you, by 2075, who knows which, um, group will long since have been in charge. So perhaps he’ll be out by 2040 …

    Dennis, our Supreme Court, as you say, did not cover itself in glory. But/and one day, it will rival yours in the arrogance of its contempt for the people it serves. In the meantime, your SC has, at the very least, a near 50-year history of sodomising the American people in the name of a ‘penumbra’.

    Who lost Gorsuch?

    Flamethrowers. Lions. Dogs.

  8. I’m no fan of the death penalty, mainly because of the possibility of mistakes. However how about a variation on it. When someone has a very long sentence give them the choice – death now via euthanasia, or a lifetime in jail. And for these heinous crimes which have a life sentence, the conditions should just be enough to keep them alive, but no luxuries.

  9. I’d cut a small piece of this cvnt off each day by agonising day. And if hanging is brought back I’d want it to be the short drop version for cvnts like this

  10. Dennis, A Wog Or Not A Wog... That Is The Question

    Now you’re just trolling.

    Nope, just pointing out the uniquely wog tendency to identify a septic practice or institution that they find deplorable and then copy it.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ 55 years. Not exactly a whole life tariff, but close. But we have to pay for the fucker’s upkeep:(”

    Yeah, but now the human rights industry bandwagon comes rolling on to the scene and starts to claim his rights have been violated because hist cat’s lonely or, as m’Lud says, it’s a unique punishment or something that they’ve yet to make up.

    My bet, based on nothing but cynical observation of our legal elite, is it ends up nearer 30 years with an opportunity for parole. I wouldn’t be surprised to see home start to get support from the left.

  12. Retrospective laws? Blair and Brown introduced many. Cameron and May continued, albeit slower

    21? Why? 18 is voting age, 16 in SNPland


    You left prep & shorts (and cap?) in 1976? Born 1965 then?

  13. @SMFS August 20, 2020 at 11:26 am

    +1 and Cliff Richards, Gen Bramall, Tommy Robinson, Paul Gambaccini…

    @Dennis August 20, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    +1 Supreme Court of the UK – another Blair creature invention to make UK more European. Why the hell has none of this been undone by 10 years of Tories? Blair didn’t hesitate in rescinding ’79-’97 laws

    @Mr Lud August 20, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    My hope is fellow prisoners make the child killers life a painful hell. Sadly, more likely he’ll be put in ISIS wing with his mates and pandered to

  14. “My bet, based on nothing but cynical observation of our legal elite, is it ends up nearer 30 years with an opportunity for parole.”

    Compassionate release as part of the Good Eid Agreement 2049, where the English Government signs a peace deal with the Islamist Republican Army to end the civil conflict in London and the Midlands.

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