Peace Tax Seven Court Hearing 25th July
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:
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
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.
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:
or directly online: