mercredi 17 octobre 2012

IOU Respect - Par Pauline Pesnel

Pauline Pesnel est une lauréate de la promo 2012 de la Licence Bilingue de l'université du Havre. Elle a été sélectionnée pour participer en juillet 2012 aux échanges organisés par Hostelling International, regroupant des jeunes du monde entier, à Chicago (Etats-Unis). Retour sur une expérience extraordinaire.





« La paix, la tolérance, le respect mutuel, les droits de l’Homme […] ont tous souffert des actes terroristes ». Kofi ANNAN. C’est pour pallier à ce préjudice fait au monde et à toutes les générations qui le peuplent, qu’Hostelling International et différentes associations d’auberges de jeunesse en France, en Allemagne, aux USA, en Tunisie, au Maroc et en Egypte se sont réunis pour créer le programme « IOU RESPECT ». Il s’agit d’une rencontre internationale annuelle qui permet à 24 jeunes, filles et garçons (quatre de chaque pays) de reconstruire des ponts entre leurs cultures et d’abattre les préjugés autour du dialogue. 

J’ai eu la chance de participer à la quatrième édition d’IOU RESPECT durant deux semaines en juillet dernier à Chicago  et de faire la connaissance de 23 personnes formidables. Nous avons bénéficié d’un programme bien chargé avec des échanges et des réflexions (généralement le matin), des activités (excursions, visites, soirées interculturelles, projet social...) et des temps libres pendant lesquels nous restions en groupe pour arpenter la ville tout en continuant à débattre et discuter. C’est en tant que citoyenne du monde, et non plus simple française, que je souhaite en témoigner aujourd’hui.

Quand certains utilisent les armes pour communiquer, nous avons utilisé la force des mots. Au cours de tous les débats organisés, mais aussi informels, qui ont rythmé cette expérience, nous sommes tous restés vrais et honnêtes. Cela nous a permis de briser de nombreux sujets dits « tabous » entre nos cultures tels que la religion, la politique, la situation de la femme… Nous n’étions pas toujours du même point de vue mais c’est justement cette diversité des opinions qui faisait la richesse de nos discussions. Cela ne nous empêchait pas de garder à l’esprit les notions de RESPECT et de PARTAGE. Ces deux mots résument parfaitement ces deux semaines de débats, de visites, d’amitié, de rires et de pleures (de joie !). Nous avons appris que pour partager il faut être ouvert (« being open-minded ») ; ouvrir les yeux, ouvrir ses mains et ouvrir son cœur pour voir, donner, recevoir, accueillir et comprendre.

Dès lors, nous avons dû faire face à ce constat sans appel : seuls les préjugés, ces idées préconçues qui nous donnent une fausse image de la réalité, séparent nos cultures. Nous sommes tous Hommes et nous ressemblons tous. 

La chanson phare de cette aventure fut celle de Mickael Jackson « Heal the world ». En réalité, c’est ce que nous avons essayé de faire, à notre échelle, en prouvant que la paix, l’entente et l’amitié sont possibles entre nos nations. L’unité, la cohésion, la force et l’amour qui ressortait du groupe que nous formions en est la preuve. C’est pour avoir plus d’impact que nous (anciens participants d’IOU), voulons aller plus loin aujourd’hui en fondant une association dans le but de faire d’IOU un modèle dans le monde. « Alumni Association » est donc née d’un désir de continuer à apprendre, à partager et à s’enrichir intellectuellement en maintenant et en renforçant les liens que nous avons créés (« A clear desire to continue along the path of self-growth and learning was expressed after the 2012 Chicago IOU summit. The following is a proposal for creating an IOU alumni group, which will maintain the established bonds, as well as strengthen them during the coming years” A. Ponton, leader du projet Alumni Association).

Pour plus d’informations, n’hésitez pas à consulter les pages et vidéos suivantes qui traduisent mieux que des mots la force de cette expérience : 

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TG1hXwrVMg&feature=plcp
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVFkA8mRUP0&feature=share
-https://www.facebook.com/#!/IouRespect2012

mardi 9 octobre 2012

Evénement ; Soirée Droit le 11 octobre 2012


LE JEUDI 11 OCTOBRE 2012
AU COYOTE CAFE






Ce sera l'occasion pour les « anciens » de se retrouver
& pour les nouveaux, de s'intégrer !
Quand on est étudiant en Droit ou en Droit Bilingue,
il n'est pas toujours facile de s'accorder une petite pause.
Mais ce soir-là, c'est permis !
CETTE SOIREE EST POUR VOUS
Faites des blagues de juristes & dissertez sur la portée de l'arrêt Perruche au son du DanceFloor !
Retrouvez ceux des années précédentes,
rencontrez les petits jeunes.
La Soirée Droit au Coyote, un moment GAJANTUESQUE !
(oui cette blague-ci était particulièrement nulle)








mardi 2 octobre 2012

Breakfast News Report 1 : Extradition case by Camille Dupuy

Study of the Guardian's article:

Abu Hamza extradition halted by judge

High court judge issues interim injunction to prevent cleric being sent to US for trial after last-minute appeal, by Alan Travis - The Guardian, 26th of September, 2012

"The decision follows last-minute representations from Hamza's lawyers of new material to prevent his being sent to the United States to stand trial on terror charges dating back to 1998.
A Judicial Office spokesman confirmed that both Hamza and a second terror suspect facing extradition to the US, Khaled al-Fawwaz, had sought injunctions to prevent their removal from Britain.
"A high court judge has considered the applications on the papers and adjourned the cases to a hearing in open court. The judge has issued interim injunctions preventing their removal prior to those hearings. The judge has directed the hearings be fixed urgently," said a spokesman.
Fawwaz has been detained in Britain since 1998 when he was accused of being involved in the bombing of American embassies in three east African capitals."

The entire article may be read on the Guardian's website: click here.

***

Article explanation

By Camille Dupuy, 3e année, Licence Droit Bilingue, Université du Havre


Abu Hamza is accused by the UK of solliciting murder, and racial hatred, and is accused by the US of hostage taking in Yemen, conspiring to establish a training camp in Oregon.
Summary of proceedings:

- May 2004 : arrested in London under an US warrant based on UK-US extradition treaty (2003).
- 2007 : British courts ordered extradition.
- 2010: Interim order by the ECHR
- 2012 : ECHR decides that the extradition will not constitute a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Abu Hamza and his lawyers made a appeal, rejected on 24th of September. 
He is now trying a last way to block the extradition : he is seeking for an injunction from the British court. His arguments are that his mental and physical healt are bad and he is not strong enough to face terror charges.

The decision of the ECHR court could create a huge precedent. Their argument are that prisonners will not face inhuman and degrading treatment in the US, and that the US jails don't breach Human Rights. Contrarily to its previous cases, the Court seems to infer that prisonners who based their defense on the Human Right argument could now be extradited to the US, which used not to be the case.

It also arises the critism of the US-UK treaty, signed in 2003, in order to apply the Terrorism Act. British claim that the treaty is imbalanced against UK. 
***

Pour aller plus loin (notes of the teacher):

  • UK extradition law: key cases
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15334015
  •  European Court of Human Rights relevant cases :
ECHR, 4th of April 2012 http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/fra/pages/search.aspx?i=001-110267 
ECHR, 18th January 2011
http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/eu/cases/ECHR/2011/211.html&query=title+%28+abu+%29+and+title+%28+hamza+%29&method=boolean
ECHR, interim decision, 6th July 2010
http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/eu/cases/ECHR/2010/1067.html&query=title+%28+abu+%29+and+title+%28+hamza+%29&method=boolean


Breakfast News report 1: First Squatter Jailed by Anais Ouin



First squatter jailed under new law


People protest for squatters' rights

"A 21-year-old man arrested at a flat in Pimlico, central London, has become the first person to be jailed under the government's anti-squatting legislation.

Alex Haigh, originally from Plymouth, has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to occupying a housing association flat without permission.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Haigh was the first person to be given a custodial sentence under section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, which came into force on the first day of September.

West London magistrates heard that police officers had gone to the flat in Cumberland Street on 2 September in search of another man. They arrested three people, one of whom was Haigh, on suspicion of squatting and all three have been convicted; the other two are awaiting sentence.

The law criminalises squatting in residential premises. Housing charities have warned that it may trigger a surge in homelessness as squatters are forced on to the streets in order to avoid a criminal record. (...)"



***

Article Analysis 

By Anaïs Ouin, 3e année, Licence Droit Bilingue, Université du Havre


Alex Haigh, 21 years old, is an apprentice bricklayer. He comes from Plymouth, a city and unitary authority area on the south coast of Devon.  In July 2012, he settled in Pimlico (Central London) to seek work. 

With two other people, Alex was arrested by police officers in Cumberland Street on September 2nd, 2012, because they occupied a housing association flat without permission. All three have been convicted. Alex pleaded “guilty” because the building that they were occupying was empty for more than a year. The two other persons are still waiting sentence but Alex was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison under section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of offenders Act. 

This section came into force on September 1st, 2012 and it criminalises squatting in residential premises.

According to this section, “a person commits an offence if:
(a)the person is in a residential building as a trespasser having entered it as a trespasser,
(b)the person knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser, and
(c)the person is living in the building or intends to live there for any period”.

The section also defines what is a residential building and it deals with sentences.
Indeed, Alex was the first man to be given a custodial sentence simply for trying to keep a roof over his head.

Some people were against the law and supported Alex Haigh:

-His father, Hugh Haigh, said “To put him in that prison environment, I don't understand it. If he broke the law, he should be dealt with, but it is like putting someone who has not paid their taxes into Dartmoor prison “. He doesn’t understand the law. He doesn’t consider that what his son did was a crime or something wrong.
-The Squatters’ rights groups Squash (originally set up in the early 90’s to resist to the Tory’s government attempt to criminalise squatting as part of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) supported Alex. They considered that the situation as “deeply disproportionate and unfair”. They said that 930,000 properties are empty across the UK. It should not be a crime to bring back these buildings into use…

The article also underlines the financial aspect of the law. In fact, under section 144, squatting in England and Wales is punishable by jail and fines of up to £ 5,000. So the Squash group claims that the cost of criminalising squatting will as high as £ 790 million over the next five years. It reveals that there are many squatters, many people who may seek work and who are homelessness. It is a dreadful record.

Is the law a positive solution? Is jail a good sentence? Are there any other solutions to deal with squatting?  How squatters could be helped? How could the squatters be “useful” to renovate the empty buildings in habitable houses? 

Breakfast News Report 1 - Miscarriages of Justice by Aurélie Poupard



The Guardian

Miscarriages of justice may be out of fashion, but they haven't gone away

By Jon Robins

Another breakthrough in the Susan May case last week, one of a small number of alleged wrongful convictions that seemingly unravel and attract greater disquiet as the years pass. Last week the Guardian revealed how Greater Manchester police failed to follow up a "good suspect" (in their words)- a heroin addict with convictions for burgling the homes of elderly people. May served 12 years for the murder of her 89-year old aunt, a crime she has always insisted she never committed.
May addressed the recent Innocence Network UK (INUK) symposium which called for urgent reform of the reform of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). The CCRC was established some 15 years ago in the wake of judicial scandals such as Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. "I thought it was a beacon of light which would ensure those wrongly convicted got justice," May told delegates.

When the CCRC was set up, May was in Durham prison where she spent seven years of a 12 year sentence She is thought to have been the first lifer to protest their innocence throughout a sentence to be released on her tariff date. May claims to have been told repeatedly by parole officers, psychologists and prison staff that unless she admitted her guilt, she would never leave. "Even though I may be free from the confines of jail I am not free," she said at the event. "I still feel locked up because my conviction still stands." (...)

The entire article may be read on the Guardian's website

***


Presentation of the article


By Aurélie Poupard, 3e année, Licence Droit BIngue, Université du Havre


Miscarriages of justice are conviction and punishment of a person for a crime he didn't commit. Generally, these persons claim their innocence and are jailed for years. A few of them see their innocence recognized by a court of appeal.


The journalist gives 2 examples :

                    Susan May : 12-year sentence for the murder of her 89-year old aunt
                    Sam Hallam : jailed for life in 2005 for murder

It is a difficult situation to stand because :

Not only a question of being freed from jail but to be publicly recognized as innocent
Susan May : “Even though I may be free from the confines of jail I am not free. I still feel locked up because my conviction still stands.”


It is a rare phenomena, “small number of alleged wrongful convictions” but still exists, and there is still a lot of debate about it, despite the evolution of the law and the increasing protection of human rights especially the rights of defence and the right to a fair trial.

Some institutions have been created to review these cases :

                    Criminal Cases Review Commission :
It was established in 1997 to investigate possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If the commission considers that the case is a possible miscarriage of justice, it refers the case in front of the Court of Appeal. The goal is to find new evidences, new clues, new suspects that can be hidden voluntary or not by the police during the investigation

                    Innocence Network UK :
This is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing free professional legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.

Call for reform :
The Innocence Network UK calls to reform the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which is criticized for its length to examine the cases, so a few cases were examined finally. On 1, 000 requests each year, the commission rejects 96% of them.

Innocence Network UK proposed to replace the “real possibility” test, but it was rejected by the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice. Indeed, the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 states that only cases with the “real possibility” of the conviction being overturned can be referred to the court of appeal. The Act of Parliament in itself reduces the power of the commission and thus the number of cases which could reviewed.

It is an international phenomena :
It does not exist only in UK, there are cases in US, like the example of  Troy Davis, sentenced to death despite the fact that there were no material proofs and only testimonies
 
I think this is a great thing that a commission exists to review this kind of cases. But the big problem is the number of cases which are examined, it is necessary to find a means in order to examine more cases et make procedure shorter.

--

Pour aller plus loin (note from the teacher):