Tuesday, 17 December 2013
TOTALITARIANISM ADVANCES IN THE UK
The U.K exemplifies the new kind of totalitarianism taking hold in the West. New Labour brought in the widely reviled ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) but the Conservative-Liberal coalition have done them one better with IPNA. IPNA stands for Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance. Believe it or not, in the U.K, it is possible to obtain an injunction against nuisance and annoyance.
AN IPNA is worse than the ASBO in four different ways: a broader definition; a lower standard of proof; increased sanctions; and increased durations.
Anti-Social Behavior under the new Act is defined as “an engagement or the threat of engaging in "conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person" This compares to “behaviour that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the offender" for a Criminal Behaviour Order. Underline that it is not just behavior that causes a nuisance or annoyance but also behavior merely capable of causing a nuisance or annoyance.
Is it humanly possible to avoid being the subject of an IPNA? Is there a person alive who has not caused annoyance to another person? What about the hyper-sensitive individuals who believe that they are being bombarded by various types of “rays”, who demand absolute silence from those around them; who will not broker any disagreement or the slightest disparagement from others? It has been pointed out that trick-or-treaters on Hallowe’en could certainly be subject to an IPNA and that “even carol singers could be deemed “capable” of causing a nuisance or annoyance to some people. Many curmudgeonly adults find children very annoying and appropriately IPNA’s can be issued against a kid over the age of ten. It is obvious that IPNAs will invariably be directed at everyday activities of children such as skateboarding or ball games or street soccer.
Before a court can grant an ASBO it has to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has behaved antisocially and that it is necessary to protect others from further antisocial acts. Under the new legislation the court will have to believe only that "on the balance of probabilities" a person has behaved antisocially and to conclude that it is "just and convenient" to grant an injunction to stop their antisocial behaviour. The IPNA grants judicial discretion to either prohibit a person from "doing anything" contained in the injunction, or to require a person to "do anything" contained in the injunction. Thusly, if the police or local council decide "on the balance of probabilities" that a weekly pickup soccer game at a community field is capable of annoying residents, they could stop it by asking the Court to issue an injunction against the players. The Court would be almost unlimited in setting the terms of the order including forbidding any of the players to ever be present on that field or even to appear in public with a soccer ball. If subsequently a player over 14and disobeys the minutae of the injunction, he or she could be imprisoned for up to three months.
The police will also have the power to make a dispersal order where there is a presence or behaviour in a locality that has contributed to or is likely to contribute to harassment, alarm or distress or the occurrence of crime or disorder. These orders can be made merely if there is reasonable grounds for suspicion.
The IPNA can result in even harsher punishment than an ASBO including up to 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine in a contempt of court proceeding.
While there are some limits on the duration of an ASBO, the duration of IPNA will be unlimited. Thus a 16 year old could be ordered not to be on a certain street in a town and ten years later the prohibition would still be in place.
It was noted that “Each time successive Governments have amended the ASB regime, the definition of anti-social behaviour has grown wider, the standard of proof has fallen lower and the punishment for breach has toughened. This arms race must end.”
Posted by Juricana at 19:53