8:52 AM, 16th March 2018, About 5 years ago 27
The onslaught against the PRS knows no Bounds. Sect 24 , Restrictions on the use of section 21, and of course the Flawed revenue raising Licensing schemes being implemented on the back of sham consultations. I now wish to draw Readers attention to the 2016 planning bill.
This ill thought piece of legislation allows for so called civil penalties to be imposed on landlords by the useless local authorities. In effect rather than a prosecution where the defendant is innocent until proven guilty, the local authority decides that one has committed an offence and a fine is issued. The recipient then may appeal to the issuing authority and on to the first tier tribunal for final adjudication.
This sham piece of legislation undermines the idea that we live in a democracy governed by the rule of law. I shall expand. The civil penalty is supposed to be issued on a criminal standard of proof, ie that the landlord is guilty of the offence beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore it may be called a “civil penalty” but in reality it is a criminal sanction.
Now let us for one minute imagine we visited a country where one could be arrested and fined for a criminal offence without a trial, without the opportunity to plead and the appeal process was such that the defendant had to appeal the fine to the prosecuting authority which originally issued the fine. Who in their right mind would visit such a land. Yet that is exactly what the government of the united Kingdom has inflicted upon its citizens.
Clearly this is a serious and blatant breach of article 6 of the ECHR. The right to a fair trial. This is punishment without trial. What makes it even more disgusting is that it is dressed as a civil fine, but this argument is undermined by the standard of proof. Having said that Local Authorities will not adhere to this standard of proof, in their haste and greed to fill the empty coffers. This piece of legislation is far more than an attack on the PRS. It makes an utter mockery of the legal process, is a blatant attack on civil liberties and a clear breach of ECHR article 6. It is the “Gitmo” bay of legislation , the No mans land where the Authorities can impose criminal sanctions dressed as fines, but in fact amount to criminal sanctions without the safe guards normally afforded to defendants accused of offences in serious accountable jurisdictions.
The Uk just stepped away from the norms with this draconian ac , criminalising the public without due process.
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