Alright, I feel it, the home stretch!! (and insert multiple other sports related metaphors here) I’m gonna gloss over Article 11, because I feel that if you’ve seen ANY crime drama on TV or in the movies you get it. Article 11 is the whole “You are presumed innocent until you have been proven guilty” one. Not that tricky, basically even if the person is standing over the victim dripping with the victim’s blood holding a large knife, they still deserve the right to a fair trial.
It does seem like a no-brainer, but really it hardly ever happens. Human nature is just that, we make assumptions because it is easier than going through the whole thought process, our entire make up is built that way. That is why we have juries of many people and why there is the “beyond reasonable doubt” clause. Then again, I’m not a criminal lawyer, so I’m probably explaining it all wrong!
Just in case you don’t know though, Article 11 is:
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
Yea, it’s a big un and a double hitter! Article 12 is one that I’ve blogged about a bit! Especially in recent days with the GCSB and other privacy matters, the right to Privacy has been largely ignored by the powers that be. Article 12 says:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
The problem here is, of course, the most recent attacks on privacy (and yes, in fact, attack on the honour and reputation of the persons involved) were done by the Law. Or rather the spy agencies… so if everyone has the right to protection against such attacks, and the very people that are meant to protect you from those attacks are the ones doing the attacking… where do we have to turn?! Of course, the recent passing of the GCSB legislation (here in Aotearoa) is what i’m referring to. See links below for my blog on it (linked through to Amnesty NZ’s Human Writes Blog) or, my boss’ thoughts, which as he is my boss is rather more articulate than mine!
- The full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- My previous thoughts on the GCSB – Oceania as Orwell conceived, on HumanWrites!
- My boss (@grantbayldon)’s thoughts on the GCSB – Nothing to hide but a lot to fear
- Follow my boss on twitter! @grantbayldon is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa NZ
- Follow @amnestynz on twitter and engage with a cutting edge human rights team here in Aotearoa! (yea of course i’d say that @jeankite who mostly does the tweets is my friend! haha)