Not a phrase you often hear, but good for Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who last night told the Criminal Bar Association that
“London is not a battlefield. Those innocents who were murdered on July 7 2005 were not victims of war. And the men who killed them were not, as in their vanity they claimed on their ludicrous videos, ‘soldiers’. They were deluded, narcissistic inadequates. They were criminals. They were fantasists. We need to be very clear about this. On the streets of London, there is no such thing as a ‘war on terror’, just as there can be no such thing as a ‘war on drugs’.
“The fight against terrorism on the streets of Britain is not a war. It is the prevention of crime, the enforcement of our laws and the winning of justice for those damaged by their infringement.”
and explained that
it should be an article of faith that crimes of terrorism are dealt with by criminal justice and that a culture of legislative restraint in the area of terrorist crime is central to the existence of an efficient and human rights compatible process”.
He said: “We wouldn’t get far in promoting a civilising culture of respect for rights amongst and between citizens if we set about undermining fair trials in the simple pursuit of greater numbers of inevitably less safe convictions. On the contrary, it is obvious that the process of winning convictions ought to be in keeping with a consensual rule of law and not detached from it. Otherwise we sacrifice fundamental values critical to the maintenance of the rule of law – upon which everything else depends.”
I’m trying to get hold of a copy of the whole lecture.
It’s come to something, has it not, when the Director of Public Prosecutions is issuing this sort of warning to the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister?