Date: March 7, 2011
Author: Adam Wagner
Legislation introduced in this country, such as POCA, undermines the judicial process and removes the presumption of innocence before guilt is established or proven.
It is only right therefore that the media should not prejudice a case through negligent or emotive reporting that serves no purpose other than the sale of newspapers through sensationalism and could pervert the course of justice to the point that a guilty person might be freed and more importantly an innocent person might be found guilty.
Another aspect of fair-play however is the contempt the courts and officers of the courts (as well as government departments who feel they are protected from prosecution) that occurs in the execution of the law or in upholding legislation which is poorly understood and for which no controls are in place.
An example of this lies with our pet hate POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act), which allows management receivers (officers of the court) to be assigned to “manage assets” and who then proceed to liquidate those assets and pocket the proceeds themselves.
This piece of legislation provides for such companies to benefit to the tune of £17million (2007 figures) and there are no checks on balances of their activities; there is no one to oversee the results of their work; no one is held to account when errors are found and there is no one with whom responsibility for the actions of these officers of the court lay.
The course of justice is perverted and there is no one paying attention to this travesty – so much for transparency when the whole process is so glass-like that no one can see what is going on and more importantly, no one really seems to care.