Today, accordingto the United Nations is Human Righst Day.
Forgive us for not having noticed any recent general improvement in Human Rights issues worldwide, and for our fears that our Human Rights (and yours) are being eroded bit by bit here in the United Kingdom.
There seems to be a lot of blog and media noise and confusion about "torture" together with words like "evidence"., especially following the Judgement of the Law Lords(.pdf) published on Thursday 8th December 2005.
Be clear when the Home Secretary states that the UK does not condone torture and does not now and has not in the past made use of
However, such wesel words attempt to hide the truth.
"Evidence" is something that you are allowed to present in court for it to be tested forensically and cross examined or challenged in court. Presenting a physically or psytortured victim in Court went out of fashion, even amonst dictatorships after Stalin's show trials during the purges and pogroms before World War 2.
One area which the comentators on the recent Law Lords ruling against the use of evidence obtained through torture which does not seem to have been explored is the concept of a tainted chain of evidence.
In the USA, under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, against illegal searches, if the authorities conduct an illgeal search of a person or vehicle or premises, then any "evidence" which is found becomes "tainted" and inadmissable in court.
In theory similar rules apply in the United Kingdom under the Police and Criminal Evidence statutory codes of practice
What are the rules of acceptable behavior by our intelligence agencies, our police forces, our politicians and civil servants and our legal system ?
Is every "intellifence" tip off from a country which practices torture automatically suspect and tainted ?
What if you only "officially" discover that an intelligence source or tip off inolved "torture" after you have already acted onthe information ?