Whimsicality of the European Council’s European Court for Human Rights
DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms
by Eric Zuesse
Craig Murray is a progressive Scottish blogger who had been reporting daily from the London Court on the UK Government’s case against Alex Salmond, the leader of Scotland’s independence movement, whom the UK Government had framed on charges of “sexual harassment” that were based on witnesses the UK Government had induced to accuse him, but this was a jury trial (not a judge trial), and the jury’s verdict was “not guilty” on all counts. The UK Government was outraged, and then imprisoned the best reporter from that courtroom, the blogger Craig Murray, alleging that his reports had revealed too much, and sentenced him to 8 months in prison but released him after 4 months. Craig Murray appealed his conviction to the Council of Europe’s European Court for Human Rights. On 20 November 2022, he headlined “Strasbourg Cul de Sac” and reported that his application for his case to be heard by that body was turned down.
Here are highlights:
“Strasbourg Cul de Sac”
20 November 2022
Here is the detailed argument we submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg:
IN THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: CRAIG MURRAY, Applicant, v. THE UNITED KINGDOM, Respondent Government
Application no. 36703/22 … 19 July 2022
[Key statements from the petition for Craig Murray:]
3. …Section 11 gives the courts the power to prohibit the publication of information that has been withheld from the public in court proceedings. … 40. … In preventing the applicant from reporting even the relatively oblique details referred to above, the High Court rendered it effectively impossible to report on this matter in a manner which would be intelligible to the general public. … 43. Accordingly, the s. 11 order, as excessively broadly applied in this case, violated the substance of Article 10. … 45. … Case-law makes clear that just as internet bloggers and other popular users of social media have the same duties that the established press has, they also enjoy the same protections under Article 10. … 46. Notwithstanding this clear jurisprudence, the High Court of Justiciary [against which Murray was petitioning] held that the applicant was not entitled to the same protections as “mainstream” journalists (whatever that may mean in the contemporary media landscape). … The petitioner attempts to portray himself as a journalist “in new media”, thereby securing what may be thought to be the added protections afforded to the press where a contempt of court has occurred. This is unconvincing. A journalist is a person who writes for or edits a newspaper or periodical; whether in hard copy or on-line. The petitioner is not such a person [according to the UK]. … 47. … As citizen journalists are by nature more isolated, they are more vulnerable to attack than professional journalists. However, citizen journalists enjoy less protection than their counterparts in traditional media, as they do not have the support of media organizations and networks, in particular the organizational resources, including lawyers and financial resources, which can help shield them from harassment. … 55. … (ii) The second additional marker of the disproportionality of the sentence is that the applicant is in poor physical health. The medical report obtained in the course of the domestic proceedings from Professor Kopelman is included with this application. It sets out the applicant’s various medical conditions and that the applicant suffers from recurrent pulmonary hypertension, an ultimately fatal condition which gives rise to sudden losses of consciousness. He also suffers from bipolar disorder and depression. The effect of imprisonment on this particular applicant was thus greater than it would have been for another journalist in sound physical health. …
“Application no. 36703/22 Murray v. the United Kingdom”
The European Court of Human Rights, sitting in a single-judge formation, decided to declare the application referred to above inadmissible.
Please find enclosed the decision reached by the Court.
This decision is final and is not subject to appeal, whether this be to a Committee, a Chamber or the Grand Chamber. Consequently, no further correspondence will be sent by the Court in connection with this case. In accordance with the Court’s archiving practice, the file will be kept no longer than one year after the date of the decision.
[The ruling, by that one judge, fell under the European Court of Human Rights, its Convention ARTICLE 27: Competence of single judges:
1. A single judge may declare inadmissible or strike out of the
Court’s list of cases an application submitted under Article 34,
where such a decision can be taken without further examination.
2. The decision shall be final.
3. If the single judge does not declare an application inadmissible
or strike it out, that judge shall forward it to a committee or to a
Chamber for further examination:]
The ruling by that judge was:
“In the light of all the material … the Court declares the application inadmissable.” No reason was given.
Murray concluded that “It is now set in law that ‘journalists’ are only those who work for the state and corporate media (there are resonances to the Assange case here), and that those in new media cannot expect the protection from long jail sentences.”
His imprisonment by the UK, and the European Court for Human Right’s’s refusal to review it, is now a legal precedent within the European Union, irrespective of UK’s no longer being in the EU. However: one reason, for this judge’s refusal to allow Murray’s case to be considered, might be in order to enable his court to retain its applicability within the UK despite Brexit. After Brexit, UK’s continued membership in that court relies upon continuing the UK Government’s wish to continue that Court’s ‘jurisdiction’ within the UK — which the UK might cancel at any time. Brexit did not itself remove UK from the Council of Europe, which predated the EU itself; and, so, UK’s relationship to the Council of Europe is now merely a political ball that’s still in the air, notwithstanding Brexit. The Council of Europe was established by Winston Churchill working in collaboration with America’s CIA — like the later EU, it was/is a Rhodesist operation to keep Europe under UK/U.S. control: U.S. and UK on top, Europe down, and the Soviet Union out. The European Court for Human Rights functions under that — the Council of Europe. Craig Murray’s case was being presented to this political body that has only a tenuous — if any — actual legal mandate, but only a very messy political one, which is always a political ball that’s in the air and controlled by the billionaires of U.S. and UK (the people who control America’s and UK’s international corporations). The money controls the politics; and this controls the laws and their enforcement (or not). They don’t like Craig Murray.
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