Jump to content
LOTROCommunity
Sign in to follow this  
Almagnus1

UK Perspective on UK Contempt of Court

Recommended Posts

So, as an American, this entire situation makes zero sense to me.  I'm looking at what this Canadian is doing with respect to the trial, and from an American perspective, this would be normal as a case like this would be trial by jury (as most everything in the US is when it goes to trial).  The other thing that makes zero sense is the concept of a press blackout for non-classified trials (ie: not US government stuff classified as Secret or Top Secret).

For context, this is after a day's session in the Tommy Robinson v Cambridgshire Police trial - which is based around an incident that really reminds me of something out of the USSR, and not something that should be in the UK (or the US for that matter).  The clip of the incident starts in the second video at 1:40 btw.

Can someone from the UK help make sense of this?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this is the same situation I'm thinking of, it's a pretty long story with Tommy Robinson (which isn't his real name, but understandably he needed a pseudonym considering who he was advocating against: militant Islamists). I can't watch the videos you've linked right now, so I'm just putting what I know of.

Basically, he was once the leader of the EDL (English Defence League), a group of people who were sick of the ever-increasing Muslim presence in England, especially in Luton, Tommy's home town. By it's very nature, it attracted a lot of louts and was basically portrayed as an entirely racist group by the media, which missed the whole point. Tommy ended up leaving it because association with it became toxic, and it doesn't matter what legitimate points you raise if people immediately dismiss you as "racist" out of their own ignorance. He got involved with other groups that were less well-known (Rebel Media, for one), and started reporting on Muslim crimes, like the infamous rape gangs. Basically, if it was being ignored by the UK media and it was about poisonous elements of Islam, he was on it.

By this point, he was already on the police radar as a nuisance, and they would harass and arrest him for whatever they could, real or imagined. If he was walking down a street and getting abuse tossed at him by the more violent Muslims, it was him that would get arrested "to keep the peace". There's one video where he's told he isn't allowed to walk down a specific street with his family or he'd get arrested for it. They struck a gold-mine with some tax fraud he'd apparently been involved with. Now this is where it gets murky in what I can remember. From what I recall, he was arrested and given a suspended sentence for it? Or the case was thrown out? Basically, whatever happened, if he fucked up again he would get imprisoned. So, clever bollocks he is, he goes and films people as they walk into a trial.

Here in the UK, you're innocent until proven guilty. You can't go filming people to put online as criminals outside court until they're actually found guilty, otherwise you can start a witch-hunt against people who are actually innocent (though these weren't in the end) and risk the victim being identified. Celebrities seem to be a different kettle of fish because they deem it of public interest. The whole thing is hit and miss, but it's fairly well known here that you don't risk that shit until the sentence is given. What he should've done is quietly filmed them from across the road without drawing attention, waited for the guilty verdict, and THEN stood outside court and did his bit. But he filmed them before and right in front of them, and they kicked off. Effectively, it was breach of the peace by the defendants at that point, but the police being the police they arrested Tommy over it, not the violent Muslims making the threats (who were also later found guilty of rape). It was later changed to contempt of court against him because he was filming outside a court while the trials were ongoing.

So yeah, he shouldn't have live-streamed defendants in an ongoing trial, however there's definitely a concerted effort by authorities and the media against him, because he's considered an agitator. He got ahead of a BBC Panorama programme about him and released his own video on YouTube showing the sort of dirty tactics "journalists" are using against him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's more or less what those videos are, as I've been tracking this for a while.  Some of the nuances with the trials are just... weird... to me.

5 hours ago, Doro said:

I can't watch the videos you've linked right now, so I'm just putting what I know of.

Wait... what?

That's like China levels of censorship.... FOR THE UK.

Quote

Here in the UK, you're innocent until proven guilty. You can't go filming people to put online as criminals outside court until they're actually found guilty, otherwise you can start a witch-hunt against people who are actually innocent (though these weren't in the end) and risk the victim being identified. Celebrities seem to be a different kettle of fish because they deem it of public interest. The whole thing is hit and miss, but it's fairly well known here that you don't risk that shit until the sentence is given. What he should've done is quietly filmed them from across the road without drawing attention, waited for the guilty verdict, and THEN stood outside court and did his bit. But he filmed them before and right in front of them, and they kicked off. Effectively, it was breach of the peace by the defendants at that point, but the police being the police they arrested Tommy over it, not the violent Muslims making the threats (who were also later found guilty of rape). It was later changed to contempt of court against him because he was filming outside a court while the trials were ongoing.

That's different from how it works in the US, as we have the same basic concept of innocent until proven guilty, but with the way our trials work, once a judge has determined that a case should goto trial, then it's always trial by jury (with the jury being more or less random people selected from that area and then filtered by both lawyers prior to the start of the trial).  The other thing to keep in mind is that the writ of habeas corpus is written into our constitution (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus_in_the_United_States ), so what happenned with Tommy Robinson getting imprisoned is basically unheard of over here.  As the juries for high profile cases are usually given accommodations to be kept separate from the public, once a court session starts, it doesn't matter what's reported as you will (more than likely) not affect the jury.

From what I understand of how the Canadian system of government works, it's similar to the US one, which is why Ezra Levant got in trouble.

Also, police doing stuff like what was shown with the Cambridgeshire police would not stand in the US once the public found out about it, especially since our media tends to be anti-police.

Quote

So yeah, he shouldn't have live-streamed defendants in an ongoing trial, however there's definitely a concerted effort by authorities and the media against him, because he's considered an agitator. He got ahead of a BBC Panorama programme about him and released his own video on YouTube showing the sort of dirty tactics "journalists" are using against him.

Yeah, I saw that as well, and I'm honestly not surprised.  It's one of the reasons why I generally distrust the mainstream media as I think the entire corruption/foul play is endemic to the entire industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The case was trial by jury.  However the judge had place reporting restrictions on the case, a common occurrence in the UK, to ensure that the defendants got a fair trail and that the case was not prejudge against them.  Also in this case is was part of multiple cases that were all linked and a mistrial at one could cause the others to collapse.

Robinson know this and also know about the reporting restrictions but when ahead and broadcast anyway.

He was already on a suspended sentence for another content of court charge for attempting to film defendants in Canterbury court in another rape case even though there were signs all over the building informing people it was illegal to film defendants in the court.

Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, has been jailed at least 3 times including for assault, travelling under false documents and mortgage fraud.  This is likely the reason he doesn't use his real name.  The travelling under false documents was him trying to use someone else passport to get into the USA as he would not be allowed because of his conviction for assault.

He likes to say he is fighting to protect children from pedophiles, but when one of his friends in the EDL was charged with being a pedophile he was nowhere to be seen.  He also refuse to answer question about this.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cossieuk said:

The case was trial by jury.  However the judge had place reporting restrictions on the case, a common occurrence in the UK, to ensure that the defendants got a fair trail and that the case was not prejudge against them.  Also in this case is was part of multiple cases that were all linked and a mistrial at one could cause the others to collapse.

Robinson know this and also know about the reporting restrictions but when ahead and broadcast anyway.

I don't blame him, the law around your media court restrictions is bullshit.  A judge should never be able to declare a media blackout unless there's secret or top secret information being discussed in the trial.

6 hours ago, cossieuk said:

He was already on a suspended sentence for another content of court charge for attempting to film defendants in Canterbury court in another rape case even though there were signs all over the building informing people it was illegal to film defendants in the court.

I wasn't aware of that, can you provide a source?

6 hours ago, cossieuk said:

Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, has been jailed at least 3 times including for assault, travelling under false documents and mortgage fraud.  This is likely the reason he doesn't use his real name.  The travelling under false documents was him trying to use someone else passport to get into the USA as he would not be allowed because of his conviction for assault.

Already knew that, as what Tommy has said is that it was done to protect his family.  I've seen enough weird stuff around what's going on that I'm wondering if there's the "official" narrative and then reality, as I'm seeing the exact same thing play out in the US (like the entire Russian Collusion thing which turns out to be a giant waste of taxpayer money because it's really the FBI having beef with Trump cause he fired their friend).

That said, I'm on the outside looking in, and the entire thing just looks wrong from many angles.

6 hours ago, cossieuk said:

He likes to say he is fighting to protect children from pedophiles, but when one of his friends in the EDL was charged with being a pedophile he was nowhere to be seen.  He also refuse to answer question about this.   

Source?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

I don't blame him, the law around your media court restrictions is bullshit.  A judge should never be able to declare a media blackout unless there's secret or top secret information being discussed in the trial.

I wasn't aware of that, can you provide a source?

Already knew that, as what Tommy has said is that it was done to protect his family.  I've seen enough weird stuff around what's going on that I'm wondering if there's the "official" narrative and then reality, as I'm seeing the exact same thing play out in the US (like the entire Russian Collusion thing which turns out to be a giant waste of taxpayer money because it's really the FBI having beef with Trump cause he fired their friend).

That said, I'm on the outside looking in, and the entire thing just looks wrong from many angles.

Source?

I disagree about the law.  The blackout is only during the trial, and the press can report that the trial is ongoing.  What information they can say depends on each case, and also what is already in deemed as public knowledge.  This ensures that people get  a fair trial.  Also it can stop a lawyer trying to get a mistrial saying that the press have influenced the jury.

Source for original contempt https://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/news/far-right-activist-jailed-for-contempt-183736/

Second source https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/edl-english-defence-league-leigh-mcmillan-jailed-paedophile-old-bailey-a8231231.html 

It should also be noted that Tommy Robinson's case was also initially covered by a media blackout.  Journalists had to appeal to the court to cover the story.  Their reasoning being that his arrest was broadcast live on his Facebook account and that his assistants had reported his arrest meaning the information was now in the public domain, the judge agreed and lifted the restrictions - https://pressgazette.co.uk/independent-and-leeds-live-win-legal-challenge-to-report-edl-founder-tommy-robinsons-jailing-for-contempt-after-video-live-stream/4/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cossieuk said:

I disagree about the law.  The blackout is only during the trial, and the press can report that the trial is ongoing.  What information they can say depends on each case, and also what is already in deemed as public knowledge.  This ensures that people get  a fair trial.  Also it can stop a lawyer trying to get a mistrial saying that the press have influenced the jury.

I doubt we're going to agree on this point, as seeing how things work in the US show that such laws are completely unnecessary, yet you are unlikely to change your stance, so we're probably going to go in circles.

1 hour ago, cossieuk said:

I'll have to take a look into those later.

1 hour ago, cossieuk said:

It should also be noted that Tommy Robinson's case was also initially covered by a media blackout.  Journalists had to appeal to the court to cover the story.  Their reasoning being that his arrest was broadcast live on his Facebook account and that his assistants had reported his arrest meaning the information was now in the public domain, the judge agreed and lifted the restrictions - https://pressgazette.co.uk/independent-and-leeds-live-win-legal-challenge-to-report-edl-founder-tommy-robinsons-jailing-for-contempt-after-video-live-stream/4/

And yet, Tommy Robinson was jailed in solitary confinement for the entire duration without trial and looked rather gaunt once he was released.  From my perspective, the entire thing was a human rights violation perpetrated by the UK government against one of their citizens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

And yet, Tommy Robinson was jailed in solitary confinement for the entire duration without trial and looked rather gaunt once he was released.  From my perspective, the entire thing was a human rights violation perpetrated by the UK government against one of their citizens.

Something that I need to clear up about this, the courts are complete independent of the Government in the UK.  The UK Government has no say in the operation of the court.  Even the appointment of Judges is done by an independent body. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Appointments_Commission This case has nothing to do with the UK Government 

Also he was not in solitary confinement the whole time.  He was in the Care & Separation Unit for the first 2 days while an assessment was made regarding his safety, his own lawyer said he feared other inmates would put a price on his head.   He was deemed a high risk prisoner but was put into the general population, with some restrictions, ie no working in the prison, or going to the gym with the other inmates.  https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/tommy-robinson-i-lost-40lb-1857867

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cossieuk said:

Something that I need to clear up about this, the courts are complete independent of the Government in the UK.  The UK Government has no say in the operation of the court.  Even the appointment of Judges is done by an independent body. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Appointments_Commission This case has nothing to do with the UK Government 

That's structurally different from how the US does things, which is where part of the WTF comes from.

4 hours ago, cossieuk said:

Also he was not in solitary confinement the whole time.  He was in the Care & Separation Unit for the first 2 days while an assessment was made regarding his safety, his own lawyer said he feared other inmates would put a price on his head.   He was deemed a high risk prisoner but was put into the general population, with some restrictions, ie no working in the prison, or going to the gym with the other inmates.  https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/tommy-robinson-i-lost-40lb-1857867

What I find interesting in that article is that it's referencing the same source like 2-3 times to make it seem like there's been more research than a simple phone call.

I'm also not going to pretend that I can persuade you, as half of the YouTube videos that go into this stuff is also being censored in the UK - so there's no way for you to really get an alternative point of view.  Which means there's little point of posting the YouTube video that is Tommy's take on what's going on - which is what the world is seeing.

8 hours ago, cossieuk said:

I'm guessing this is part of how juries work differently in the UK than in the US - and in a high profile case like that, the jury would (in the US) be kept under armed guard and put up in a local hotel so they can stay segregated from the populace until the trial was completed (most stuff that goes to trial isn't anywhere near as serious as this).  So there's two ways to interpret this, if Tommy's telling a truth that the mainstream media doesn't want to hear, then it makes sense that they'd try to gag him.  Alternatively, if he's just trying to make stuff up and stir a pot for no point other than to be divisive, then he got what he deserved.  Personally, I think it's the former, not the latter.

Especially since at least one of the convicted was able to get back to Pakistan and essentially evade their sentence - or so the rumor goes.

8 hours ago, cossieuk said:

First I'm hearing of that, and it's not good.  From what I know of Tommy and the EDL though, while he started it, it was taken over by the far right while Tommy was in prison the first time.

Second off, that's got Hope not Hate involved, which is know to be colluding with the BBC to do hatchet jobs on people that are "problematic" to the mainstream narrative - which is what Tommy Robinson exposed when he got the scoop on BBC and exposed their BS.

Again, no point in showing this as YouTube will censor any videos in the UK - and I really don't want to spend the effort to find you links if your government will render the effort moot.  It's also all the more reason why the UK really needs a law that says something to the effect of:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, Almagnus1 said:

Wait... what?

That's like China levels of censorship.... FOR THE UK.

4 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

I'm also not going to pretend that I can persuade you, as half of the YouTube videos that go into this stuff is also being censored in the UK - so there's no way for you to really get an alternative point of view.

...

Again, no point in showing this as YouTube will censor any videos in the UK - and I really don't want to spend the effort to find you links if your government will render the effort moot.

Sorry, I should just clarify that I couldn't watch those videos at the time because I was in the office and had forgotten my headphones. Neither video is blocked here in the UK.

Edit: Okay, I've watched the first video and I'd already seen the second.

On 3/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, Almagnus1 said:

That's different from how it works in the US, as we have the same basic concept of innocent until proven guilty, but with the way our trials work, once a judge has determined that a case should goto trial, then it's always trial by jury (with the jury being more or less random people selected from that area and then filtered by both lawyers prior to the start of the trial).

I'm not an expert on UK laws/legalities, but I think this is how it goes. Basically, we have two different systems here: one known as "civil", and one as "criminal". Civil matters are dealt with by courts alone usually, with bench trials making up how most of them go down so no juries. Criminal matters involve police and trial by juries. As far as I know, the US 6th Amendment makes juries a requirement for all criminal matters, but you guys still have hearings which suggest a civil court exists, as well as a traffic court, and neither of those require juries.

Tommy's was a civil matter, so wouldn't require a jury. You just make your arguments to the judge, and they then decide on it. Still, people can't exactly sit there and broadcast what's going on inside court willy-nilly. It looks like this Ezra Levant (possibly one of the most Jewish names I've ever heard) was doing exactly that with live-tweeting court proceedings. Here, you can't even take a camera into a court, which is why we have those funny court artist sketches instead, and any reporting on the matter takes place afterwards and can't contain any sort of personal view on the situation until the sentence is passed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Doro said:

I'm not an expert on UK laws/legalities, but I think this is how it goes. Basically, we have two different systems here: one known as "civil", and one as "criminal". Civil matters are dealt with by courts alone usually, with bench trials making up how most of them go down so no juries. Criminal matters involve police and trial by juries. As far as I know, the US 6th Amendment makes juries a requirement for all criminal matters, but you guys still have hearings which suggest a civil court exists, as well as a traffic court, and neither of those require juries.

From what I know of the judicial branch, most cases receive an initial hearing to determine if the case will be tried or not (which the case can be dismissed as not worth everyone's time).  Clearly that rarely happens in the criminal cases, but it can happen with civil cases.  I'd imagine you can probably do the same thing with traffic court, but there the costs of paying for your lawyer are going to outweigh whatever you'd think you'd gain so I'd highly doubt it would ever go to trial.  Both civil and criminal courts use the exact same court system.

6 hours ago, Doro said:

Tommy's was a civil matter, so wouldn't require a jury.

That's why almost everything that actually goes to trial is trial by jury in the US, as it greatly prevents an activist judge from imposing their will on the population, with the jury usually being drawn from the local population and the jury members compensated by by the US government and (by law) by their company that they work for.  While it's not as much as you normally work, your company also cannot fire you over jury duty.  That said, we've had some judges go bonkers with some of the sentencing, as the jury will determine guilt or innocence, and then the judge will sentence based upon a guilty determination (like the McDonald's coffee case).

6 hours ago, Doro said:

You just make your arguments to the judge, and they then decide on it. Still, people can't exactly sit there and broadcast what's going on inside court willy-nilly. It looks like this Ezra Levant (possibly one of the most Jewish names I've ever heard) was doing exactly that with live-tweeting court proceedings.

To be fair, he's a Canadian, and from what I understand, the Canadian court system is fairly close to the US one.

6 hours ago, Doro said:

Here, you can't even take a camera into a court, which is why we have those funny court artist sketches instead, and any reporting on the matter takes place afterwards and can't contain any sort of personal view on the situation until the sentence is passed.

While they won't prevent tweets and what not, a fair number of courts in the US already have cameras inside, and it is possible for any person to go observe any trial in progress - which is why it's coming across as the US court system is generally more open than the UK one is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Almagnus1 said:

While they won't prevent tweets and what not, a fair number of courts in the US already have cameras inside, and it is possible for any person to go observe any trial in progress - which is why it's coming across as the US court system is generally more open than the UK one is.

People can go an observe most cases here in the UK, there may be some cases that are not open to the public, normally due to national security.  You just can't film it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cossieuk said:

People can go an observe most cases here in the UK, there may be some cases that are not open to the public, normally due to national security.  You just can't film it

That's a stark contrast to the US, where the press tend to report on most of the high profile cases.  What's also shocking to me is that case of Tommy vs the Cambridgeshire Police wasn't a criminal case (as that would be considered as such in the US) and it wasn't a trial by jury (as it would be in the US).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2019 at 1:21 AM, Doro said:

It looks like this Ezra Levant (possibly one of

oh the Onion....

 

On 3/16/2019 at 7:49 AM, Almagnus1 said:

To be fair, he's a Canadian...

image.png.2c40738fb665d6b3f4e487b1cdcb3c00.png

Ezra is not my kind of conservative & imho he undermines, more than he contributes.


RE: Tommy...  could have drawn attention to the issue (Child Grooming Gangs) without filming outside the Courtroom.  the fight needs to happen, but milking a controversy that you created...  sorry, no good.  Tommy should not have filmed outside courthouse.

reminds me of when Cernovich crew got some resist protesters to hold up a NAMBLA flag...  (for 10 seconds until they realized what it was...)  just bad (even dishonest) tactics.

there is absolutely an honest fight to be had, but if you are gonna slide into "Grifter Territory" count me out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The campaign continues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47786252

We're increasingly moving towards a post-government totalitarian system, where dissent of any kind is silenced by social media companies, banks and payment services can monopolise and then refuse based on ideology, and mainstream media promotes its own version of the "truth" whenever it wants. Not following the sanctioned agenda? Your life will be made very difficult for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FundinStrongarm said:

What the hell is going on over there?

- Concerned Canadian

Holy fuck that is insane. I've never seen anything like it. "He tried to hide his face from our ridiculous 1984 machine so we're stopping him, searching him, taking his picture for our records, then fining him for it". I'd do the same as him if I saw that sort of bollocks, so it looks like I'm liable for half a dozen "officers" to stop me for it.

OI, YOU GOT A LICENSE FOR THAT FACE?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Doro said:

Holy fuck that is insane. I've never seen anything like it. "He tried to hide his face from our ridiculous 1984 machine so we're stopping him, searching him, taking his picture for our records, then fining him for it". I'd do the same as him if I saw that sort of bollocks, so it looks like I'm liable for half a dozen "officers" to stop me for it.

OI, YOU GOT A LICENSE FOR THAT FACE?!

And I'm looking at this insanity going "Why not cover your face and flip off the camera as you walk by?"

There is nothing that should ever be used for, not even the stupidity that is an airport checkpoint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this video by Tim Pool probably does the best to help illustrate why an American looking at the UK is doing a WTF while the Brits are going "everything's fine"

Because it looks like the police decided to raid someone's kitchen.

To put it in perspective, here's the pocket knife that I carry with me on a daily basis: https://www.leatherman.com/wingman-11.html (although it stays home when I fly cause I don't want to give TSA my multitool because they're a bunch of morons).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, there is probably 1 person in the world who would like to use a spoon to hurt somebody, so we better forbid them, shouldn't we...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×