The Socialist Unity Network
back
 

Socialist Unity

wants to hear from you.

Got a comment?

Why not email us with your thoughts?

Peace Tax Seven Court Hearing 25th July

Robin Brookes


Dear friends,

We are a group of seven war tax resisters who are seeking a change in the law to allow us and other conscientious objectors to divert their taxes spent on war to finance peaceful activities. We call ourselves the Peace Tax Seven - detailed information about our campaign can be found on our website:  www.peacetaxseven.com

We have reached a critical stage in our case as we are about to present arguments at the Royal Courts of Justice, London on Monday 25th July. We need to rally all the supporters we can to come to this hearing in order to impress on the judge that there is considerable public interest in this case.

The group applied for permission for a full judicial review hearing on the right to conscientious objection to taxes going towards military spending.  The challenge is based on the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief under Article 9 of the European convention on Human Rights.  Although Judge Wilson refused permission, he has allowed the group to renew their application and argue that this is a case which merits a full hearing. A 2 hour hearing has been allowed as opposed to the conventional 30 minutes for such an application.  The hearing will take place on 25 July any time after 10.45 am and will most likely be in the afternoon.  If the groupís arguments are accepted, permission will be granted for a full judicial review hearing.

In his observations, Judge Wilson stated that our case was 'unarguable,' quoting decisions of the European Commission of Human Rights from the 1980s to support the view that our circumstances do not engage Article 9 of the European Convention.  This decision ignores our legal arguments based on more recent developments in human rights law and that the Convention is a "living instrument" - that is, its interpretation is subject to change and development over time.

The Peace Tax Seven come from Quaker, Anglican and Buddhist faiths, and include a retired teacher, an accountant, a toy designer, a psychiatrist, a writer, a university lecturer and a single parent. All are supporters of Conscience, the Peace Tax Campaign. They are being
represented by Phil Shiner and Nusrat Chagtai of Public Interest Lawyers, Birmingham. Phil Shiner was Libertyís human rights lawyer of the year for 2004.

We are asking for your support in the following ways:

a) To send representatives to the Royal Courts of Justice in support of our case on the 25th.

b) To put an article on your website about us and linking to our online petition (see below)

c) To send a message of support

This is our only chance to get our case heard.   If it fails, that avenue will close for a long time.

 

PETITION


We also have a petition now to collect as many signatures in support of our case as we can before the 18th July for the court hearing and
continuing after that.  It is printable from our website:


www.peacetaxseven.com/petition   or directly online: www.petitiononline.com/PT7UK


 

July 2005

back

For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism