Sunday, 8 November 2009

Litigious Britain?

They say we are becoming a litigious society.

Perhaps the scandal of MP Expenses and daft Government policies would suggest we are not litigious enough. Between the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where it is clear we are sending troops into dangerous situations without adequate numbers, armour and transport, a few hundred have lost their lives while we do not even get a sense of how many have been maimed, badly injured, wounded and psychologically affected by the wars. Already it is legally dubious under UN rules that we ever should have invaded Iraq while our participation in abetting torture of those captured has put our leadership into the spotlight but no one seems to have the guts to challenge them legally.

On top of this we hear that slack immigration rules as reported in the Sunday Times has meant that we have almost certainly allowed in potentially dangerous people into Britain without proper checks. It could be a ticking clock as to the next homeland atrocity but would the Immigration Service and the Government be legally culpable for negligence?

This week we also learned that last year over 39,000 serious assault offences which would normally carry up to 5 years in prison for the offenders, if found guilty, have been allowed to go by with mere cautions - no wonder the crime figures seem so low. What if the next victim of one of those cautions is not so lucky to be seriously injured or even killed by lapse rules and target-led policing?

I am not one for a litigious society but some policies are just barmy and are asking for trouble. Perhaps ministers should be exposed to the power of the law for their most stupid of mistakes that leave people in direct danger?

No comments: