Old 21st May 2003, 10:57   #1
fwgx
Rudolf the Red.
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the land of free speach? a-hahahahahaha

Guardian claims right to free speech

The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, is taking the Guardian to Britain's highest court today to try to stop the newspaper's challenge to a 155- year-old law which still makes it a criminal offence, punishable by life imprisonment, to advocate abolition of the monarchy in print.

Lord Goldsmith is appealing to the House of Lords against a ruling by three appeal court judges last year that the paper should be allowed to argue its case in the high court for a reinterpretation of the Treason Felony Act 1848 in the light of human rights law.

The act, passed amid concern over the spread of republican sentiment after the French and American revolutions, made it a serious offence, punishable by transportation, to call for the establishment of a republic in print or writing, even by peaceful means. It remains in force, though last used in 1883, with life imprisonment as the maximum penalty.

The Guardian's challenge followed the launch of its campaign in December 2000 for the establishment of a republic by peaceful means in the UK. Before publishing a series of articles on the subject, the editor, Alan Rusbridger, asked the then attorney general, Lord Williams of Mostyn, to confirm that the paper and its staff would not face prosecution under the act. He wrote back: "It is not for any attorney general to disapply an act of parliament; that is a matter for parliament itself."

The paper argues that section 3 of the act, which makes it an offence to call for an end to the monarchy, can no longer stand since the Human Rights Act, which came into force in December 2000, incorporates into English law article 10 of the European convention on human rights, guaranteeing freedom of expression.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/s...960436,00.html

I can't see the Guardian losing but even so that's a complete joke, I especially like the ending:

"Last week the government was protesting about Robert Mugabe deporting journalists. This week it is fighting to keep a similar law on the books in Britain. It's ridiculous and, in the example it sets, dangerous."

"We think science is interesting and if you disagree, you can fuck off."
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