The Home Secretary and the Law

  morddwyd 08:02 17 Oct 2012

Without going into the rights and wrongs of the McKinnon case itself, or the extradition laws in general, is not a decision by a politician to overturn a lawful decision by the judiciary a dangerous one?

I know it’s been done before, but that makes it more dangerous, it could become a habit.

The Government of the day has always had the right to do this, but normally by asking HM to exercise Royal Prerogative, and I don’t think it is for politicians to stand up in Parliament and blithely overturn decisions of the judiciary. If the Home Secretary, of all people, thinks the law is wrong then she should change it.

Perhaps she already feels this herself, because there are suggestions that she may change the law in this area

  Kevscar1 08:33 17 Oct 2012

I think you answered your own question in the last line of your poat

  Forum Editor 10:03 17 Oct 2012

"is not a decision by a politician to overturn a lawful decision by the judiciary a dangerous one?"

Well first of all, let's get the facts right. The original decision to extradite McKinnon was taken by a Home Secretary, not by the judiciary. John Reid signed the extradition order when he was Home Secretary, in 2006. The courts have certainly been involved in the case, but only by way of hearing appeals - no court has overruled the original extradition order.

The Home Secretary has always had discretion over extradition orders, it's nothing new, but it will come to an end. Theresa May has announced that in future individual extraditions will become a matter for the courts to decide.

  Strawballs 11:30 17 Oct 2012

I heard an American blogger complaining on the radio yesterday that she was bowing to a populas view rather than a rule of law! No American politician has ever done this of cause!!!

  wee eddie 14:19 17 Oct 2012

fourm member: I'm 67 and about 6 years ago, was told that, were I at Primary School, I would have been be diagnosed as having an Autism Spectrum Condition e.g. Aspergers Syndrome.

In the conversation that followed, I asked my Doctor if there would be any advantage for me to formalise that opinion with a Specialist Diagnosis. He reckoned that it was far too late in life to do much about it and that there would be little benefit to me.

However he did point me in the direction of wealth of information about coping methods, which has proved very useful and lowered my stress levels in any number of situations.

Your friend may have information that I, who live in Scotland, do not and I would be most interested to make contact.

  morddwyd 19:57 17 Oct 2012


Thanks for the coreection.

I wasn't aware of that.

In fact I wasn't aware that a British citizen could be removed from the country without judicial process.

Isn't "habeas corpus" specifically to prevent that sort of thing?

  Aitchbee 20:32 17 Oct 2012

morddwyd ...

your opening sentence precludes a coherent/comprehensive response from anyone who might be interested, namely :-

"Without going into the rights and wrongs of the McKinnon case itself, or the extradition laws in general ..."...

  WhiteTruckMan 21:33 17 Oct 2012

I still believe that what he (McKinnon) did was wrong, and that he should still stand trial for doing something that he has never denied.

I have to say though that very recently my position on some mental illnesses has softened somewhat. The reason for this is an interview I heard on womans hour on radio 4. At first I thought I had turned into some sort of comedy programme, not hearing it from the beginning. I spent a minute or two trying and failing to see some sort of funny punchline. Then I became just plain annoyed. But I was doing something else which required most of my attention, and only mentally tuned in again at the end when I realised it was a serious piece. I strongly recommend listening to it

Radio 4 Interview

It's about 13 minutes long, and I find myself surprised that I am moved so much. Some might find it slightly offensive, and normally I would ask FE beforehand, but this time I'm going to risk censure by posting the link anyhow.


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