👨‍⚖️ 🐴 The law is an ass

We live in a society of law. Our politicians speak of following the rule of law and operating a rules-based system.

I’ll also say that having seen our jury system, I’m relatively confident I’d be acquitted if falsely tried for a crime. Law is also the basis of all our rights.

It’s not all good. Many a tyranny has done unspeakable things legally, because they get to make the laws of the land.

Our entire system of government is setup to reform the laws of the land, so it is constituionally implicit that our law is not perfect.

If you could change or repeal any law that you think is crap, which would it be?

My starter for ten is the legalisation of a lot of controlled substances. My rationale for that is that we’re paying a lot of money to enforce something that people are doing anyway, and if people are going to do those things, best that they do them with a degree of protection outside the criminal system.

If bits of the law are an ass, which shit would you flush first?

Agency workers Directive - poorly conceived and ending up disadvantaging the very people it purported to help

IR35 / gig working - way too much confusion - needs to be simplified so that it is easy to understand and implement

The tax code needs rewriting- completely

Legal contracts must be written in plain English - I have just piled through 35 pages of legal guff which one of our customers sent us - writing down a simple business arrangement shouldn’t be that complicated

That’s a good summary of my morning

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The maximum sentence for damaging a statue will now be 10 years. The minimum sentence for rape is 5 years…
The law in itself isn’t an ass but the way it can be interpreted and manipulated makes it so.
I don’t see anything wrong with a jury system in principle, the problem is with who is on the jury. As with everything, once people are involved things have the capacity to go pear shaped. Judicial systems will never be perfect because they rely on people and people are flawed.

I think they should just do a national umbrella company for anyone wanting to contract. It would be cognisant of the fact that the work would not be secure, potentially offering lower tax rates in recognition of the risk.

Limited companies were never ideal for one-man bands. They were just the most tax efficient means of doing it.

The big issue around sentencing is that it is subjective - there are guidelines but ultimately it comes down to the discretion of the judge

So unless you dictate a tariff eg burglary 3 years, rape 15 yr murder 25 yrs and allow no deviation from that then it will always be the case where some one says “how can rape only be worth x if gbh is worth y”

This is happening now - lots of clients can’t be arsed so are mandating agency PAYE or umbrella co PAYE

I would change the way time is taken off of a sentence for good behaviour. If the sentence is 10yrs then that is what should be served


Flip it - add time for misbehaving

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Yeah, but all the same, there are some dodgy operators out there and HMRC is already performing a similar function.

The only reason it hasn’t happened before is because they don’t want to give the impression that they approve of this kind of thing.

All of these firms are on an earner. There is no guarantee you’re getting the right advice or paying the right tax. Cut out the middleman.

Thing is its not time off for good behaviour… its often mostly practical to ease overcrowding

However, it also depends on whether you view prison as simply punishment or as an opportunity to rehabilitate?

I feel it should be both, but if so then earning a right to earlier release through demonstrating you have learned etc, should not be removed.

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100%. I have never understood the reasoning for giving time off for good behaviour. They have committed a crime and need to serve the sentence. The encouragement for them to behave properly whilst inside should be to increase their sentence if they misbehave. Alternately, if they feel that a carrot is better than a stick, give them longer sentences in the first place so that if their behaviour warrants an early release, they still serve a sentence commensurate with their crime.

They have tried to removed the subjectivity by giving minimum and maximum terms for crimes which allows “objectivity” depending on the seriousness of each particular offence which, of course, is where the problem often lies. I would argue that the minimum sentence for many serious crimes is too low to start with. We do have a system whereby a sentence can be appealed against if it is felt by the prosecution to be too lenient so there are checks and balances, but victims will often feel that a sentence is too low. Where do you start from? I would expect every one of us would have a difference of opinion about the minimum and maximum sentences for rape.

I agree there should be rehabilitation but when the stats show 75% reoffend within 9 yrs (almost 40% in the first year) I am not sure what the answer is. Should also add that I think rehabilitation should occur at the end of the sentence

The whole system needs a complete overhaul but I wouldn’t leave it in the hands of the likes of Johnson and Patel.

I know enough professional rascals that see “bird” as an occupational hazard, and will see the time halved as a bonus.

I think it’s fair enough first time out, but if you’re in and out of the nick I think longer sentences should be considered.

On the more serious crimes, agree. It’s not just about the offernder’s rehabiliation. It’s about giving those people who’ve had lives destroyed a small measure of safety and justice. If they’re let out early, they’re potentially not safe and I don’t feel justice had been done.

Sentencing guidelines are definitely wrong. Bunch of people I went to school with were doing B&Q’s over and had the book thrown at them. Non-violent. What they’d do is fill a trolley full of stuff up, take it out into the garden area and come back with bolt cutters later on at night, lifting the bounty. A couple of them got six years.

And yet a convicted nonce, well to do, same court, same month - 3 years.

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Aren’t there some states in the US that have a three strikes and out rule? After a third successful conviction you get a life sentence no matter what the offence? Seems harsh if it is just for littering but agree that persistent offenders should face longer sentences.

Yeah but that’s about locking black people up so they can legally do slave labour for a profit-making prison system.

Nothing to do with any semblance of a good law.


The Ayatollah used to work at B&Q hq - she couldn’t believe the stock loss levels - people lobbing power tools over the garden area fences into the waiting arms of their mates - or filling up a trolley and running straight out the front door with it

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I would recommend the Secret Barrister on twitter and his/her books.

Prison isn’t the answer to all of the crimes really. If people re-offend for low level crimes I’d be looking at the reasons why. Poverty maybe?

I’m with @pap on the decriminalisation of drugs. We’ve wasted enough money on trying to stop it all. It would resolve a lot of issues around smuggling, trafficking, prostitution, gang wars and other low level crime to fund habits. The amount of police work in stop and searching young people for a tiny amounts of cannabis and the paper work (and then me reading the damn report and doing nothing with it).

I think we had a thread on this didn’t we, weren’t most for decriminalisation?

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