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News Round-Up Week Ending 22.8.14

By Geir Madland on 20/08/14

News Round-Up Week Ending 22.8.14

Remember the Dingoes

Michael Chamberlain has handed over the family’s car to the Australian National Museum in Canberra to serve as a reminder of the nation’s greatest miscarriage of justice, in which his wife Lindy was jailed for the murder of their baby Azaria on false evidence of blood in the car. The yellow 1977 V8 Torana hatchback was used by the young family on their holiday in central Australia in August 1980. Azaria was taken by a dingo. Lindy spent three years in prison and waited four more before her conviction was quashed. Michael changed the vehicle’s registration to 4ENSIC. 

Death for Ukip

50 years after its abolition, Ukip MEP and health spokesperson Louise Bours wants to bring back the death penalty. “We do seem let down by our justice system in a massive way and I think this would readdress the balance (sic).” On the Historic Cases section of this site we feature around 200 convictions eventually acknowledged as miscarriage of justice cases by the courts.  More than three quarters would have been executed if the likes of Miss Bours had prevailed. Three were.

Out of Order

The NSPCC’s latest campaign ‘Order in Court’ to make it easier for children to give court evidence remotely, refers to two cases where alleged abusers were acquitted. Barbara Hewson on Spiked website fears this is “an attempt to smear the legal profession which undertakes defence work” and states “the cornerstone of our justice system is the principle that it is better that 10 guilty men should go free than that one innocent person should be convicted”.

Up in Arms

Is the UK Government’s sale of military hardware to Israel illegal?

In a letter to business secretary, Vince Cable, law firm Leigh Day, representing the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), is urging the government to suspend export licences, as military components may have been used in Gaza. 

A New High

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) says deaths due to legal highs, such as ‘Clockwork Orange’, ‘Bliss’ and ‘Mary Jane’, could soon overtake those from heroin. The CSJ wants the UK to adopt a scheme like that in Ireland to make it easier for police and courts to close down ‘head shops’.

Government scientists will be at the V Festival in Chelmsford this weekend to analyse samples of legal highs, banned from the event for the last seven years, as part of a Home Office campaign to highlight the risks of party drugs. More than 350 substances previously classed as legal have been banned.