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"Bomb Threat" Tweet Conviction Overturned By UK Appeals Court 103

Posted by timothy
from the hope-he-sends-some-celebratory-tweets dept.
New submitter Kupfernigk writes "Paul Chambers was the man who was convicted (in England) of a terrorist offense based on a tweet threatening to 'blow up' Robin Hood Airport because they couldn't get snow cleared. Despite the fact that it was obviously a (feeble) joke, the Crown Prosecution Service actually went ahead with a prosecution and were able to convince a junior judge sitting with magistrates. The senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, said 'We have concluded that, on an objective assessment, the decision of the Crown Court that this 'tweet' constituted or included a message of a menacing character was not open to it. On this basis, the appeal against conviction must be allowed.' In effect, they have said that the original decision was not made objectively, which can be considered a severe slap for the Crown Prosecutor."
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"Bomb Threat" Tweet Conviction Overturned By UK Appeals Court

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  • BBC coverage (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:57AM (#40789169)
  • Re:Look (Score:4, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Friday July 27, 2012 @02:44PM (#40794025) Homepage

    I'm British. We don't *NEED* to specify freedom of speech in the same manner. It's an inherent privilege.

    We don't have, nor need, a right to bear arms. We haven't had in hundreds of years. We don't need a specification of religious freedom, we have it already.

    And nobody in the UK pays a tax to watch television. They pay a fee to own a television capable of live reception and display of TV signals - which funds the BBC directly, one of the world's most renowned broadcasters, let alone public service broadcasters. We also have hardly any toll roads, a free healthcare service, and a press which has only the other year fought the political and legal system to ensure freedom of speech was preserved above all else (see "super injunctions"). By comparison a minor "luxury tax" on owning a TV is a drop in the ocean. In the same way, I could distil your entire country into a bunch of people who don't care that the poor die of simple illnesses they can't afford to have treated. I know which I'd rather have.

    And this article is about that same British freedom of speech overriding the law WITHOUT THAT RIGHT NEEDING TO BE STATED - because it's so inherent in the legal system and culture that we don't need to. And it has also made news BECAUSE nobody believed it had got so far under UK law (because it was meritless from day one).

    And never, in the entire world, have I seen an entire country so scared of calling someone a dickhead live on TV as the American people. You can't, because they'll sue your arse off for doing so. Your libel laws actually do the opposite of what you claim. Like the stereotypical American, you have no concept of how "unfree" you actually are and wish to point fingers at other countries and say "that's wrong" when you suffer worse every day yourself.

    You have to pick your example from the 1800's, for someone that nobody has ever heard of, because all the more recent examples work against your theory and you an only state one-off. The guy you mention was himself sentenced to be horsewhipped a few years after - hardly a "modern" case.

    My country is far from perfect. Read my comment history, I'm the first to admit it. The difference is that I know it.

    P.S. How's that imprisoning-"suspected"-terrorists-for-10+-years-without-trial-or-appeal-in-lands-foreign-to-them-and-including-public-proof-of-torture-techniques coming along? You still have NO idea how to behave as a civilisation - those people could well be random innocent foreigners and neither your country nor your president give a shit. Don't lecture me on freedom.

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