Amnesty International has blasted Malta and Italy for “criminalising” migrant rescue NGOs which, it says, is the result of increased hostility by authorities towards non-governmental rescue ships patrolling the Mediterranean for calls for distress. “The increasingly hostile treatment by Italian and Maltese authorities of non-governmental organisations dedicated to saving lives at sea is depleting the central Mediterranean of vital rescue assets. Instead of being applauded, NGOs, which in 2017 and until May 2018 had carried out about 40% of rescues, now face slander, intimidation and court cases,” the organisation said, in a 28-page report titled ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.’ “Longstanding, unresolved tensions in coordinating rescues at sea between Italy and Malta, which had been set aside in recent years as Italy was accepting nearly all disembarkations, have re-emerged, adding to the unpredictability of the rescue system.” … [Read more...] about Stop misusing criminal law against rescue NGOs, Amnesty International tells Malta, Italy
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The Government's working on a public relations strategy to manage fallout should there be a serious crime while it's trying to radically reform our justice and prison system. Heavily redacted documents released to Newshub Nation under the Official Information Act (OIA) discuss a package of changes needed to meet the Government's goal of lowering the prison population by 30 percent in fifteen years. Govt advised to take 'urgent action' to avoid prison failure Justice Minister Andrew Little: 'What I saw in Waikeria Prison horrified me' Under a section titled "Levers for Change", the advice says large gains are possible from changes to the Bail, Sentencing and Parole Acts, but notes these could meet with "significant resistance". The bundle of documents reveals strategies to manage public perception and media coverage of the potential changes. A February briefing paper to Justice Minister Andrew Little says "making changes in the short term would alleviate many of … [Read more...] about Revealed: Govt’s PR strategy for criminal law reform
Planned changes to justice and criminal laws would fall foul of European standards, says Council of Europe body. The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body has warned Romania that several planned changes to judicial laws and the criminal code would violate European anti-corruption standards. The Romanian parliament’s plan to create a new special prosecutor function to investigate offenses committed by magistrates could easily be misused, the body said in a report released Wednesday. The Group of State against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO) also criticized a plan to introduce a new offense for “abuse of judicial powers” with penalties of up to seven years in jail. “Not only does this convey the wrong message about Romania’s current priorities, but it could have an excessively intimidating effect on the work of judges and prosecutors,” it said in its report. The changes, which include amendments to three justice laws, … [Read more...] about Anti-corruption body slams Romania’s justice and criminal law reforms
The Group of State against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO) expresses serious concern about certain aspects of the laws on the status of judges and prosecutors, on the judicial organisation and on the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) recently adopted by Parliament as well as on draft amendments to the criminal legislation, in a report on Romania published on Wednesday. The group warned Romania that Criminal Procedure Code amendments could affect mutual legal assistance with other countries and justice system’s capacity to deal with serious forms of crime, including corruption. “The intended amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code discussed by the special parliamentary joint committee in relation to the EU Directive on the presumption of innocence, reportedly go beyond the purposes of the said Directive. These proposed amendments are raising serious concerns both domestically and among other countries for their potential negative impact on mutual legal … [Read more...] about GRECO warns Romania that Criminal Code amendments could affect mutual legal assistance with other countries and justice system’s capacity to deal with serious crimes
The case of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, who was arrested on suspicion of murder after the death of a suspected burglar, has again focused attention on what you can and can’t do if an intruder comes into your home. Am I entitled to kill a burglar?Yes, but only under certain circumstances. And you would almost certainly face detailed police questions about your actions. The police and courts would have to be satisfied that when the burglar died, you were engaging in what the law regards as legitimate self-defence. The legitimacy of that self-defence relies in part on the long-established common law right of honest citizens to use “reasonable force” to protect themselves. The Criminal Law Act 1967 also encoded a similar “reasonable force” defence for actions taken to prevent crime. But what does the law mean by 'reasonable' force?The law has said that “reasonable” should be assessed in the context of the danger that you … [Read more...] about Does the law allow you to kill a burglar who has broken into your home?