The Rule of Law

an unspoken but fundamental bargain between the individual and the state, the governed and the governor, by which both sacrifice a measure of freedom and power which they would otherwise enjoy.

Lord Bingham’s eight principles of the rule of law:

  1. The law has to be accessible – intelligible, clear and predictable
  2. Legal rights and liabilities should ordinarily be resolved by law and not discretion
  3. The law should apply equally to all except to the extent that objective differences justify otherwise
  4. The law must afford adequate protection of fundamental human rights
  5. There must be means to resolve, without prohibitive cost or inordinate delay, bona fide civil disputes which the parties are unable to resolve
  6. Ministers and public officers at all levels must exercise their powers reasonably, in good faith, for the purpose for which the powers were conferred and without exceeding the limits of such powers
  7. Adjudicative procedures should be fair
  8. The state must comply with its obligations under international law.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill 1933 – 2010

Obituaries of note can be found in the Guardian & UK Supreme Court blog.

al-Quds Day Protesters March in London

Around 1000 protesters joined the Quds day march through London
Around 1000 protesters took part in the annual al-Quds march in London. The day was created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a day of protest against Zionism and in solidarity with Muslims across the world.

English Defence League members held a small counter-demonstration alongside the ‘March for England’ group. Counter-protesters shouted “Scum”, “You’re not English anymore” and “Who the f*ck is Allah?” as the Quds day march passed them.

Photos: al-Quds Day March & Rally

Police clash with anti-fascists in Brighton

English Defence League protesters are escorted through Brighton with heavy police protection
Around 30 protesters, mainly English Defence League supporters, joined a march organised by the English Nationalist Alliance through Brighton. They were given a heavy police escort as they marched through the town and were heckled by locals and anti-fascist counter-protesters. Police arrested several anti-fascist protesters as they attempted to stop the march through Brighton.

Photos: English Nationalists Alliance March in Brighton

EDL clash with police in Bradford

An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite
An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite

Several hundred English Defence League protesters held a static protest in Bradford, after the Home Secretary banned any marches from taking place. Police made over a dozen arrests after the EDL clashed with police as they tried to break out of the protest area.

Rocks, bottles and smoke grenades were thrown at police by protesters, one of which hit an EDL protester, who received treatment from police medics.

Photos: EDL clash with police in Bradford

Climate Camp 2010: Swoop or Swindle?

Climate Camp Swoop 2009
Hundreds of climate change protesters gather on Blackheath in South London to take part in Climate Camp 2009

100 climate activists have swooped on the grounds of RBS headquarters at Gogarburn. The swoop happened a day early at 9.15pm in order to outfox authorities who were keen to prevent the camp from happening.

Secret Climate Camp Location RevealedClimate Camp Press Release

Indeed the authorities were so keen to prevent the camp from happening they offered them a spot on the campus:

The Royal Bank said it had allowed the protesters to establish their camp on part of the site and were willing to meet the protesters.

A Royal Bank source said 80-100 protesters had arrived soon after 9pm yesterday and attempted to cut through security padlocks on bollards at the back entrance to the complex.

“Our security people ushered them to a point in the campus which we had designated as a place they could camp,” he said.

Two arrests made as climate change protest targets RBSThe Scotsman

The camp also claims that 400 activists are on site, which sounds very high considering the lower turnout at the start of previous camps. I’ll believe that when I see it.

It has also been reported that yesterday’s swoop only attracted 40 campers (although others have said there were more), compared to the hundreds that took part in last years swoop. This years camp certainly has received a lot less media coverage than in the run up to previous camps. Jamie Potter has speculated a few reasons why this might be and I’m inclined to agree with most of them.

Looking through the program for this years camp there are only a fraction of the workshops and activities that have been planned at previous camps. Which may indicate what some of activists have suspected for some time – that the Climate Camp movement is in decline. For the last two years activists I have spoken to have been unsure as to whether there would be a camp the next year.

In any case, I’ll be heading up to Edinburgh later today to see whats happening, document camp life and cover the mass action on Monday.