The good news and the bad news
The Australian state of NSW has introduced a provision for previously given evidence to be used in rape trials should a retrial be required (which usually occurs for technical legal reasons). This followed a case in which a rape victim, understandably, declined to go through the ordeal of giving evidence a second time. That's the good news.
The bad news is that this is such a low priority for officials that nothing has been done to install cameras to tape evidence in case it should be required (which in these days of cheap electronics should surely be a pretty simple, and not very expensive, task.)
So courts are having to rely on transcript evidence, surely second-best for justice.
Then definitely the bad news, at a school in Britain pupils are to be subjected to THREE DAYS of religious nutter creationist propaganda.
As its supporters have become more vocal, creationism has become an increasingly contentious subject in the UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently warned that creationism should not be taught in schools, and the National Union of Teachers last week demanded new laws to prevent the teaching of creationism in science lessons.
Organisers of the trip declined to reveal the name and exact location of the Lancashire school on Mr Mackay's speaking tour, citing the need to protect staff and pupils from unwelcome attention.
...Mr Mackay, who has a geology degree, has conducted digs around the world where he has excavated fossils which he claims prove that the Bible was literal truth.
His website argues that the theory of evolution was introduced by Satan and that the idea has already undermined Western society and must not be allowed to spread to the Third World.
Then a well-done to Tim Worstall, the "Britblog roundup blogger", who has a comment piece in The Times today on the cuts to compensation for miscarriages of justice.
The proffered reason, to save £5 million a year, is simply beyond satire. The Government, in its infinite wisdom, annually disposes of about £500 billion of the nation’s production: denying those innocents unjustly banged up will save some 0.001 per cent of public expenditure. Just to provide some context, the £5 million saving is less than the £5.7 million spent in 2003 on subsidising the swill bins at the Houses of Parliament. No, it can’t be about the money.
The mark of a liberal society is that more care and attention is paid to those innocents wrongly found guilty, than to the guilty who escape justice. Any criminal justice system designed and run by fallible human beings will make mistakes. The important thing is how we react when a miscarriage of justice occurs. Shamefully, under the Home Secretary’s proposals those who find their guilty verdict overturned at their first appeal will have no right to compensation. For others compensation will be capped at £500,000.
Tim and I disagree on many things, but on this I entirely agree with him.