7 November, 2006

Saddam Hussain’s Trial

Filed under: Uncategorized — legaleasy @ 10:07 pm

Today we looked at the trial of Saddam Hussain and debated on the motion – “Saddam Hussain had a fair trial”. We looked at a variety of newspaper resources for our information.

The main reasons for the motion, that is Saddam Hussain had a fair trial, were:-

1. The trial was in an Iraqi court, with an Iraqi judge and followed Iraqi Law – there was procedural regularity. There is a now a rule of law in the new democracy of Iraq. Saddam was tried in a fair manner in spite of the many people who assumed his guilt.

2. The court looked in a reasoned manner at the evidence put before and decided upon it. There was a presumption of innocence. The court was not influenced by the events in Iraq or the media coverage surrounding the trial.

3. The judges and lawyers were protected from influence and harm (after initial problems).

4. Saddam Hussain had to held accountable for the crimes he committed and justice had to be seen to be done.
The main reasons against the motion, that is Saddam Hussain did not have a fair trial, were:-

1. There was a presumption of guilt. It was assumed that Saddam was guilty.

2. The media unduly influenced the trial.

3. For crimes as enormous of “crimes against humanity” – Saddam should have been tried in an independent UN court.

4. Victor’s justice – was the Iraqi court really free from influence of the American Government? Was it simply a question of revenge?

5. The trial was a circus – the changes in judge and defence team – there was no procedural regularity.
We discussed the importance of a fair trial and the need for correct legal procedure to be followed.
We then looked at exam techniques and planning for success. We looked at various ways of note taking, revising and the importance of starting early. We looked at planning an answer to a question. We all then considered our own targets to improve our writing.

Any outstanding essay questions to be in for Thursday 9 November 2006. Folders will be taken in on Thursday for assessment. Take this opportunity to sort them out!


14 September, 2006

The Main EU institutions – 14/09/06

Filed under: european law,Uncategorized — legaleasy @ 11:58 am

We began to look at the four main institutions of the EU: the European Council of Ministers; the European Commission; the European Parliament; and the European Court of Justice (which will be looked at in more detail in the next lesson).

The Council is attended by ministerial representatives of each Member State. Up to 4 times a year heads of state meet in special Council meetings called summits to discuss broad matters of policy.  The Council is the principal decision making body of the EU. Sensitive matters have to be agreed on unanimously otherwise decisions are taken on a qualified majority (62 out of 87 must agree).

The Commission is made up of Commissioners (at least one from every member state) who are independent of their home state and act in the Union’s best interest. The Commission proposes policy for the Council to consider. The Commission is the “guardian of the treaties” and ensures that member states are implementing EU law correctly. It can take a member state to the European Court of Justice if there has been a breach of EU law. It is responsible for the administration of the EU and the implementation of the EU’s budget.

We started to look at the European Parliament. There are 78 MEPs for the UK. They do not sit in national groups but rather in political groups. The present parliament, elected in June 2004, has 732 members from all 25 EU countries. Nearly one third of them (222) are women. The parliament can dismiss the Commission. We will continue with the role of the Parliament in the next lesson.

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