Undermining the Judicial system

by Larry Sweeney

8:52 AM, 16th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Undermining the Judicial system

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Undermining the Judicial system

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.

Larry

Comments

Michael Barnes

14:39 PM, 19th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Larry Sweeney at 18/03/2018 - 12:12
Once again, you seem to be expressing your dissatisfaction with the system rather than addressing the inaccuracies in your original article.

It is the general principle in disputes that the parties should attempt to resolve the issue before getting involved with the judiciary. That means giving the other party to opportunity to reconsider their actions. The law sates that this is to be done in the areas under consideration by the landlord appealing to the council.
The reconsideration will usually be done by someone independent of the original decision, and probably more senior/more experienced than them.
This avoids expensive legal proceedings when a minion has made a mistake.

"Councils all over the country are inserting illegal conditions in to their schemes, as Liverpool did. Yet instead of acknowledging the facts you defend these bodies time and again and accuse me of prejudice."
Once again you are being inaccurate. They are not illegal because they do not result in criminal prosecution of the council; they may be unlawful, and that would be determined in the courts if neither side backed down.
Again, I have not defended councils, I have stated what the process is in the Act that you have chosen as the subject for your article (again, your inaccuracy: a Bill does nothing to the law, it is an Act that does that).

You continue with your assertion without evidence that all councils are not to be trusted; that appears to be an example of prejudice (go look it up).

You seem to be saying that the landlord cannot attend the Tribunal hearing. That is wrong; see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/357067/property-chamber-tribunal-procedure-rules.pdf

"It is a flagrant breach of ECHR article 6.
You state this again, but have not actually given any argument as to why it is so. Please explain how it is being breached (other than your apparent (and incorrect) belief that landlord cannot attend the hearing).

You tell a good story, but unfortunately it is lacking in relevance and accuracy, just like Donald Trump does.

Michael Barnes

14:57 PM, 19th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 18/03/2018 - 21:27"Where was the financial ombudsman and the FCA when the B of I and West Brom were sticking it up us ? Both lackies of the banks."
I fail to see the relevance to this article.
This appears to be introducing a case where landlords were hard done by, but under a different system.
In both those cases, the first avenue was to go through the BS's complaints procedure, to give them the opportunity to reassess the issue. The fact that the organisations got it wrong has no bearing on the proceedings of, and trustworthiness of the members of, a First Tier Tribunal.
"Put it this way, would you trust the accounts of a company produced by an accountant that gets paid by that very company ?
Again, what relevance has this to the article?
But, it would depend on the accountant and the company.
Accounts generally have to be audited by an independent organisation to provide confidence in them. (To a certain extent, that is the job that the Tribunal is doing for these penalty cases).

Larry Sweeney

14:58 PM, 19th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Michael, I don't think readers wish to log on to this Landlord forum to witness a spat between a landlord and a supporter of councils/Apologist for Local authorities. I have outlined the position. You agree with fining landlords up to 30k without due process. You believe their appeals system is great, I think it is rubbish. You are fine with Local authorities imposing these fines on a whim and trust Councils where as I do not trust them at all and I do not agree with this so called garbage "civil penalty regime" to punish landlords " without due process. That's about it Michael, unless off course you wish to return on mature reflection and agree that these local authorities should not have the excessive powers I have referred to. That about sums it up. As regards Trump he won the election partly because he engaged in straight talk while Crooked Hillary the establishment Lackey was routed.

Michael Barnes

15:25 PM, 19th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Larry Sweeney at 19/03/2018 - 14:58"I don't think readers wish to log on to this Landlord forum to witness a spat between a landlord and a supporter of councils/Apologist for Local authorities. "
I quite agree. Are you saying that you are "a supporter of councils/Apologist for Local authorities"?
What is important is that information presented to landlords is accurate; unfortunately yours is not and you have repeatedly failed to provide any evidence to support your statements.
Yes, you tell a good story and that will resonate with an uncritical reader that is feeling hard done by, but it does not actually move our cause forward.
"You agree with fining landlords up to 30k without due process. You believe their appeals system is great".
I have not said this; you are putting words in my mouth to deflect from the inaccuracies of your position and lack of reasoned argument to support your position.
"As regards Trump he won the election partly because he engaged in straight talk"
I once heard him express two totally contradictory ideas in the same sentence. Straight talking?
Perhaps you would like to come back when you can discuss the issue, rather than introducing emotional irrelevancies.

AA

19:40 PM, 19th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Larry Sweeney at 19/03/2018 - 14:58
Michael - I was trying to illustrate the point that there has to be a "Chinese wall" between a regulator and adjudicator. This point seems lost on you. The proper, just and fair process must be the accuser and the accused going to an adjudicator. NOT the accuser punishing you and then you having to approach the tribunal. Departing from this fundamental, blurring the lines is a dangerous business.

And accountants are not independent. This
" independent accountant " you allude to gets paid by the company. To keep the client you almost always have upbeat accounts until the s*** hits the fan. Does Enron ring a bell?

Michael Barnes

9:58 AM, 20th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 19/03/2018 - 19:40" I was trying to illustrate the point that there has to be a "Chinese wall" between a regulator and adjudicator. "
Then you did not do it very well.
Are you saying that the first tier tribunal is "in the pocket" of the councils?
"The proper, just and fair process must be the accuser and the accused going to an adjudicator. "
That may be so, but it would not get rid of the need to give the council the opportunity to reconsider first.
Are you suggesting that every case should automatically go to an adjudicator?
What about where the landlord agrees that they are guilty and accept the penalty?
And how would going to an adjudicator differ from going to the FTT?

John Walker

10:13 AM, 26th March 2018
About 3 years ago

I have forwarded a copy to my MP, (Conservative), asking for his comments

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