Idris Francis and our right not to incriminate ourselves
News of the battle of Idris Francis has reached the Washington Times.
As usual Idris' efforts are mainly portrayed as an effort to remove speed cameras, which have been proved not to reduce the speed of drivers and to increase accidents.
But Idris is far more concerned with creeping efforts to ignore and suspend the freedoms of all Brits. As we explain in Liberty! the Timeline,
A British citizen has the fundamental right not to be forced to accuse himself at trial, but to remain silent. This right was won by 16th and 17th century heroes such as John Lambert and John Lilburne who defied torture and death. It is a right that protects us from torture, that has been sacrosanct in criminal law for well over 300 years in Britain. It became part of the American Bill of Rights.
Idris Francis asserts that the right to silence has been removed for driving offences, and he is fighting to defend this fundamental right against any infringement, no matter how small. He has brought suit in British court, arguing that he has a right to be free from threats and intimidation that force him to accuse himself. In the case of drivers, the Government accuses them by virtue of their ownership of a car caught on a speed camera and insists they are guilty and must pay a fine. Idris argues that the Government has no factual basis for assuming he was the driver of the car. Further it cannot compel him to admit guilt, infringing on a fundamental British freedom merely because it finds it convenient to do so.
Idris recently took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, which has agreed to hear his argument.