UK Constitutional Law Association

conorOmar Othman is a resident of this country – guilty of no crime and up to now facing no charges – whose home country wants to put him on trial in a case where the key evidence against him will in all likelihood have been procured by torture. The only reason he probably won’t be tortured is because the state concerned has reluctantly promised (as an inducement to get him back) not to follow its usual routine.

If this person’s name were MacKinnon or Giles or Gary and the country Syria or Sudan, we’d have outraged Daily Mail editorials and a civil libertarian Home Secretary.  But it is Abu Qatada and the state is Jordan.

In politics universal values (the rule of law; the protection of human rights; the prohibition on torture) are fine – but only so long as they don’t get in the way of our diplomatic or…

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Tunisia: 1000 pack Popular Front rally against ‘dictatorship of debt’

MENA Solidarity Network

pop_front_debtmtg240313_tunis_cheBy Anna Livingstone

Around 1000 people filled the conference hall for a rally organised by the Tunisian Popular Front against the ‘Dictatorship of Debt’. Speakers from Arab countries joined representatives of left parties from Europe and Latin America. The meeting began with a video tribute to murdered leftist leader Chokri Beleid, who was shot dead a few weeks ago. Beleid was a key figure in the Popular Front. We heard the songs sung at his huge funeral demonstration, images of  men and women waving Tunisian flags and chanting – lots of red scarves.

This is a small selection from the speeches on the night – unfortunately the Arabic speeches were not translated.

Miguel Urban from Spanish group Izquierda Anticapitalista said: “We are united to get popular libertyand liberation from debt and capitalism, north and south of the Mediterranean. We travel the same path today, not just in Tunis, not just…

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Homo economicus' Weblog

Ansar has stated the Council of Ex Muslims Britain (CEMB) had taken out of context a tweet he made regarding slavery. I asked if he would take a tweet pic of the twitter conversation to put it in context. He declined saying it was searchable.

Which indeed it is here.

His tweet was:

MoAnsar Mohammed Ansar
@holland_tom If slaves are treated justly, with full rights, and no oppression whatsoever… why would anyone object, Tom? July 15, 2012 10 retweets #


The link he quotes on slavery and Islam can be found here. In a nutshell though denied their freedom (though they could work towards it) slaves were not to be starved, killed or even introduced by their master as being their slave to others. This is placed in contrast to the colonial conquest and slave trade.

However, the article neglects that slaves under Islam were still the property…

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the void

Iain-Duncan-Smith-workfareIn a shocking abuse of state power – which could have a chilling impact on the independence of the courts – Iain Duncan Smith is attempting to reverse the impact of a recent Appeal Court judgement by re-writing history.

In the recent workfare case brought by Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson, the DWP were found to have unlawfully sanctioned thousands of benefit claims.  The court ruled that the legislation upon which forced unpaid work was based was not legal and the information given to claimants did not fully inform them of what would happen it they failed to attend workfare.  Which was that benefits could be stopped, for up to six months.

In other words, the DWP’s bodged information meant many claimants lost significant sums of money through no fault of their own.  The Court of Appeal  ruling meant that unemployed people who had benefit claims stopped or reduced illegally…

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the void

cash-backhanderA key component of the Government’s initiative to help more young people into work is riddled with abuse by both employers and welfare-to-work companies a report quietly released this week has revealed.

The Wage Incentive is the only one of the flagship youth employment measures within the Youth Contract which isn’t workfare, although participants are only paid minimum wage.  The scheme pays out £2,275 (or  £1,137.50  for part time positions) to employers who employ someone on the Work Programme between the ages of 18 to 24 for a minimum of six months.  160,000 places are to be funded over the next three years.

The scheme, which even the DWP admit may be illegal under age discrimination laws, will cost up to £350 million in total.  If the current shambles continues then a third of that, over £100 million pounds, could be handed out to companies claiming for jobs which…

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From the London protest against the sexual terrorism inflicted on the women of Egypt

Petra's Pen Quill

When I asked her if she had ever experienced “sexual terrorism”,  

I thought ” no way she has, she must have been abroad long enough”.

But she said “yes”.

We weren’t at the Tahrir Square, we were just at South Street, London, in front of the Egyptian Embassy. At the Global Protest Against Sexual Terrorism Practice.

Rana’s story is one of many, depicting the shaking Egypt, two years after the revolution.

Monizr Eliwa, April 6th Movement UK based coordinator, talks about dreams revolution brought, the role movement has in the UK today and his hopes for the future, commenting on current issues Egyptians are facing in their home country and abroad.

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