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Geeklawyer’s temporary chambers

Thought policing nailed by the Court of Appeal

There are a lot of nutjobs out there: Simple Sam, BlairSupporter and any number of Islamic loonies. Many of them are undeniably potentially dangerous but the Court of Appeal’s decision to remove the criminalisation thought and ‘mere preparatory’ acts from the Terrorism Act 2000 has to be applauded.

From now on there has to be a need to show an intent to do something. Just downloading or sharing something nasty or silly from the Internet isn’t enough. The law was presaged on the intent of the police to criminalize documents that might radicalise Muslim youth. Like most knee jerk legislation it wasn’t really thought through: it as never going to ‘nip in the bud’ any supposed radicalization process but it did criminalise curiosity and research. As is usual it was picking at symptoms rather than dealing effectively with the real but hard issues.

February 14, 2008 - Posted by | crime, terrorbollocks | , ,


  1. Splendid news! Nice to see the judiciary coming through.

    Comment by Harry | February 14, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Geeklawyer picked up the excellent news that Court of Appeal has overturned the convictions of several young men who downloaded extremist material from the internet. […]

    Pingback by The Musings of Harry » Blog Archive » Down with thoughtcrime! | February 14, 2008 | Reply

  3. They are talking of an appeal to the House of Lords which is much more executive minded than the CA. Common sense is not yet assured.

    Comment by geeklawyer | February 14, 2008 | Reply

  4. It was a pretty robust view… I have only read press reports, however, not the judgment….

    Comment by charonqc | February 14, 2008 | Reply

  5. That’s a worry to be sure, but I shall take heart, nonetheless, at a step in the right direction.

    IANAL: when/where would the judgment be published? I’d be interested to cast my eyes over it.

    Comment by Harry | February 14, 2008 | Reply

  6. Bailii is the first stop if you don’t have professional law reports available

    Comment by geeklawyer | February 15, 2008 | Reply

  7. […] course he applauds wholeheartedly the release this week by Appeal Court judges of five young men who downloaded literature from the […]

    Pingback by The Sorry Tale of the Archbishop, the Lawyer, and the Blair supporter « Tony Blair | February 16, 2008 | Reply

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