criminal Justice Laws must be Proportionate

Suggested clause:

'All criminal justice laws and measures must be proportionate'.

Idea behind the draft clause:

Aristotle's principle that 'the just is the proportional, the unjust is what violates the proportional' should be enshrined in modern words. 

This would for example permit longer pre-charge detention for suspected murderers and terrorists than for shoplifters and drug users. 

edited on Apr 10, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear All,

Before I draft a suggested clause for the constitution, I should be very grateful if you would let me have any further thoughts on this idea and in particular the form of a constitutional clause.

Kind regards,


Tom Austin Apr 8, 2015

Ian, the only way around my original objection: The likelihood of over-charging, may be to have the evidence against someone in custody formally and independently assessed, prior to the limits on their detention being set.

Ian Smith Apr 8, 2015

Tom, my recollection of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is that it was brought in to and does provide a number of checks and balances to safeguard the interests of individuals detained by the Police And which by and large ensure that deprivations are proportionate to the seriousness of crimes and situations which the Police are dealing with. Kind regards, ian