I agree with you that the certainty of detection combined with the severity of the sentence should deter even the most vicious criminal. Deterrence certainly worked in the international relations during the Cold War. When Silverman’s bill to outlaw capital punishment was passed by Parliament in 1965 there was overwhelming disgust on the part of the general public. Despite this in a free vote the MPs voted for the measure. However the Government promised that the life sentence that was the replacement would mean life without remission. Subsequent Governments soon went back on their word.
You are right. The the death penalty remained for some time for anyone murdering a policeman who was on duty and the sentence was repealed in 1998 for treason.
Treason is at the head of all crime. Natural allegiance is due from all British subjects to Her Majesty, who is our Sovereign, at all times, wherever they may be and local allegiance is owed by an alien under the protection of the Crown as long as he, or she, is resident within the realm or by a resident alien who goes abroad leaving his, or her, family or effects within the realm or goes abroad in possession of a British passport. The essence of the offence of treason lies in the violation of the allegiance thus owed by all of us, who enjoy the safety and protection of the Queen’s Peace, to the Sovereign, our Queen. Therefore to remove the Sovereign, our Queen, from her position of sovereign supremacy and pre-eminence is an act of treason, as is any attempt to destroy the constitution.
The Laws of Treason, and the earliest statute was placed on the Statute Book in 1351, are therefore the foundation of all of our constitutional law. They uphold our system of elective democracy while protecting the Sovereign. It may come as something of a surprise for you and your readers to know that these laws are no longer required knowledge for undergraduates studying law, certainly at Oxford, Cambridge and London Metropolitan Universities and have not been required knowledge since at least 1983 and I suspect much earlier. Nor is treason within the ambit of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Parliament consists of the Queen, who is the only one sovereign in Parliament, and the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Neither of the Houses is in any way sovereign. The Queen, when she gives the Royal Assent to any Bill passed by the two Houses, has the final say on whether such bill shall become the law of the land. In making that decision she is constrained by the terms of her Coronation Oath to us, which is an explicit contract between her and each of us on how she will govern us, and the maxims of the common law to observe and obey the law.
It may, therefore, come as an even bigger surprise that Parliament is no longer sovereign. Do not take my word for it but that of the then Lord Mayor of London, Alderman the Rt.Hon. Sir Gavyn Arthur. On 29th. September 2003 he gave the “Denning Lecture” in Gray’s Inn before an audience of erudite and learned lawyers. He said “The summarised description of the common law that I have just provided is in a certain sense out of date, for there are of course not one but two systems of law operating in the UK today. The enactment of the European Communities Act 1972 (This was the Act, given the Royal Assent by the Queen, which ratified the signing of the Treaty of Rome when the UK joined the then European Economic Community) brought about a quiet revolution in our legal system, which was perhaps not fully appreciated until the House of Lords handed down its judgement in the “Factortame” case. Parliament is no longer sovereign, and where English law and the law of the EC conflict it is the European rule that prevails. Apparently there was no dissent from the audience with his statement. I wrote asking Sir Gavyn to explain, if Parliament was no longer sovereign and Her Majesty was the only person in Parliament who was sovereign, where was Her Majesty sovereign if she was no longer sovereign in Parliament? He replied that as a non-political office holder he would have to leave it to others, which now includes you and your readers to draw their own conclusions from his words. Given the Law on Treason if the Queen is no longer sovereign when and by whom was the treason done that deposed her from her position of Sovereign Supremacy and pre-eminence?
As a corollary to that exchange it will hardly come as a surprise that the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2004) gives this definition of England as: “Outside the British Isles, England is often erroneously considered synonymous with the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), and even the entire United Kingdom. Despite the political, economic and cultural legacy that has secured the perpetuation of its name, England no longer officially exists as a governmental or political unit, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Irealand, which all have varying degrees of self-government in domestic affairs.”. On the maps that are published by the EU, the EU is divided into States, Regions and Administrative Units. England is neither a State, Region nor an Administrative Unit and, therefore, has no status within the EU. We have recently marked Remembrance Sunday and the sacrifices that were made in two World Wars to pass down to us the greatest legacy, by those who sacrificed their lives, that we should remain a Sovereign, independent and self governing nation. Can we still consider ourselves, locally or nationally, to be sovereign, independent and self-governing? We should also remember that the military dictum that drove those who sought to subjugate us in those wars is as follows: “He who would conquer Europe must first subdue the French; then isolate and neutralise the British but in particular the English; only then may he advance towards the east”. That dictum is alive and well today; and remember that it is not our law that is preventing the lights to go up in Rye this Christmas. Mr.D.R.Bourne, Winchelsea
“Rye’s Own” January 2006
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