Diplock trials made for a fair whack of dodgy justice over here over the years. They also spread a fair bit beyond their initial propose of dealing only with the worst terrorist offences, and they definitely lasted beyond their initial “emergency” concept, or the “temporary” status that they were given for the quarter century that they were (officially) about for.
In short, they were not really a good thing.
None the less, the rest of the UK as led by NuLabour decided that they were a good thing, that they should be spread nationwide, and that they should be occasionally used for things that had nothing to do with terrorism.
Lo and behold, it hath been begun.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a criminal trial can take place at Crown Court without a jury for the first time in England and Wales.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, made legal history by agreeing to allow the trial to be heard by a judge alone.
It’s all coached in terms of protecting the poor jurors and ensuring justice. And you never know, in this single case that may make sense. But for all the other cases that will follow this precedent, will that hold? I’ll wager not. And lots of people will be denied the right not to be taken, imprisoned or deseized without first facing a jury of his peers.
Mark yesterday on your calendar folks; it’s the day another ancient freedom disappeared.