Friday, May 16, 2008

The Death Penalty for Insurrection?

In my most recent post, I made reference to the idea that the EU now allows the death penalty in cases of “rebellion”.

There was some question about the accuracy of this assertion, so I did some quick research to trace the story back to its source, which is the European Convention on Human Rights.

The word used is “insurrection”, not “rebellion”, and the text of the document does not explicitly state that the death penalty is allowed in cases involving insurrection.

Here’s what Section I, Article 2 of the ECHR actually says:
- - - - - - - - -
1. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
  (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
  (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent escape of a person unlawfully detained;
  (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

Some legal scholars are of the opinion that this last clause does not open the door to applying a death sentence in the case of insurrection, and that the bloggers and journalists who say it does are being hysterical. A cautious reading of the text supports the idea that 2(c) simply absolves the police or military personnel from blame if they are required by circumstances to shoot and kill rioters during an insurrection.

On the other hand, there does seem to be some wiggle room in this clause. The American tradition of skepticism assumes that governments will tend to act tyrannically unless specifically prevented from doing so, and a tyrant might well find ample flexibility in the ECHR that would allow him to bend it to his will.

Imagine the following statement, made by a future EU President whose powers have been greatly enhanced by the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty:

“I used no more force than was absolutely necessary against those rioters in Copenhagen who violently objected to the imprisonment of Kurt Westergaard for racist and xenophobic incitement.

“The EU police, acting lawfully under my instructions, were required to execute the leaders of the Vesterbro mob in order to quell an insurrection against the rightful authority of the European Union.

“This government will brook no acts of rebellion in any of the regions of Europe.”


Armance said...

I am not an expert, but from what I see it seems indeed that this is not a reference to death penalty, but to the circumstances to use the military or police force. (Yet, of course, we know that the EU is prepared to use any possible document, not only ECHR, to silence the opponents and use the force against them when time will come).
The problem with the EU is that it has built piles and piles of official documents, a bureaucratic jungle where even law experts are lost. These are the very circumstances where any abuse can take place.

Question: so, as far as I understood, there is a footnote in the Lisbon Treaty referring to that article from ECHR? Where is exactly that footnote placed? Then: I understand from this statement ("No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.") that death sentence is possible when provided by law. Is it correct? Does the footnote in the Lisbon Treaty refer only to 2., to 1. and 2. or to the whole section?

randian said...

Is 2(b) a typo? It doesn't seem right that you can kill somebody who has been unlawfully detained.

Decatur said...

randian, its a typo, it should read 'lawfully detained'

Henrik R Clausen said...

decatur, it is *not* a typo. Check the original at HRCR.

Weird. I'll take this to someone relevant.

Armance said...

Here you have a link with the correct (and logical) version: "lawfully detained".

Seems to be a typo.

And a link with translations in other languages (I checked French and Romanian: "lawfully detained").

Armance said...

The link with translations:

Félicie said...

Armance:"Then: I understand from this statement ("No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.") that death sentence is possible when provided by law."

That's how I understood it as well. And then the question is, of course, in which cases death sentence is going to be legal.

Henrik R Clausen said...

OK, I got the point about the typo. It is one, but not committed by Baron - it comes from the original.

As for death penalty, I don't think we'll see it in Europe anytime soon. Sure, the clause permits for its existence, but there's strong resistance to having it implemented.

Unless (argh!) a certain religion exploits this for its own purposes...

Damn. It needs to be fixed. Permanently.

Armance said...

I've searched on the Internet, trying to trace back to the sources of this story.

It seems that it has begun with a fragment from this interview:

"One last point: Professor Schachtschneider pointed out that it also reintroduces the death penalty in Europe, which I think is very important, in light of the fact that, especially Italy was trying to abandon the death penalty through the United Nations, forever. And this is not in the treaty, but in a footnote, because with the European Union reform treaty, we accept also the European Union Charter, which says that there is no death penalty, and then it has a footnote, which says, "except in the case of war, riots, upheaval"—then the death penalty is possible. Schachtschneider points to the fact that this is an outrage, because they put it in a footnote of a footnote, and you have to read it, like really like a super-expert to find out!"

There are many strange facts in this story:
- the European Convention on Human Rights (which is quoted above) was adopted in 1950. Question: wasn't it already mandatory for all the European countries?
- I cannot find quotations on these facts from Professor Schachtschneider himself, the man who supposedly said he had discovered the footnote in the Lisbon Treaty - he is just quoted by others, at least in English. It seems that the only links to this Professor's interviews and articles are German, maybe some German readers could tell more about it.
- where is the infamous footnote? The text of the Treaty is available on the Internet. Of course, it is unintelligible (footnote to footnote one billion times), but nobody can tell so far where the footnote exactly is, to get the whole picture. Is it secret? Is it not published on the variants existing on the web?

Afonso Henriques said...

Thank you very much Baron.

But I have to complain that this does not proove it all. Where is the FOOTNOTE IN THE LISBON TREATY?

I am not calling you, your site, or people over Brussels Journal liars but you know much better than I do how it damages the credibility of the blogs and persons in question.

Also, I am really all that curious to know if it is truth or not or if it is just a missunderstanding.

From this source (the footnote) I understandn that it will be possible to the European Union to kill its dissidents. All I am asking is the relation of THE FOOTNOTE to THE LISBON TREATY.


Hey Germans, where is it?

Please, please, answer me. I can not believe that GoV and Brussels Journal got wrong over that.

Where is the footnote IN THE LISBON TREATY?

I think this is of the maximum importance. Don't you?
I'll be waiting...

Henrik R Clausen said...

Afonso, you could do this research youself...

Anyway, I've browsed the Reader Friendly Lisbon Treaty without finding it, and I agree:

Where is the footnote?

Armance said...

Actually this has become funny: searching a footnote in a vortex of footnotes. Today I've read ECHR, the protocols to ECHR and I tried to read the Lisbon Treaty. I've got headaches. No wonder that all those Eurocrats seem mentally deranged.

Afonso Henriques said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Afonso Henriques said...

Henrik, I've searched for it (sources) since I read the article over Brussels Journal.

One long time ago... I tried to read the Lisbon Treaty, but it didn't make me smile.

It is too difficult to understand. And too boring to read.

I am working on a presentation about the European Union and the Human Rights. I must present it Tuesday in a local high school near Lisbon and I would be delighted if I could insert that insight in the presentation.

That's why I'm so desperate to find that information.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Hm. How about we share the task? I've listed one place I've looked, here comes another:

Concilium Europa

Didn't find any mention of death penalty whatsoever.

But it's majority through obscurity with these documents. Noone will admit that he hasn't read them before voting them in. Yet, it's technically impossible that any of our heads of state read the treaty before they signed it, and I doubt that a reasonable number of MP's did before ratification.

As for the posting of this damaging the reputation of GoV/BJ, I don't really thing this is the case. We're into research land here, and mistakes are made, then corrected. We're part of this.

In the Open Source world, there's a mantra "Release early, release often" to get all the kinks out. We're doing the same, and mistakes get corrected once a sufficient number of eyeballs have looked at the matter and found it flawed.

Anyway, I think it's better to be without reputation. If we get too much of that, we become targets.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Related, did you read my analysis of the democratic legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the Lisbon Treaty? It's about 15 pages and available at the Karl Martell Network.

Joanne said...

"Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:

(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection."

They used to use tear gas and water from fire hoses to quell a riot, now a sprinkling of bullets will be fine and dandy for those who rise up against the madness. One can be sure, Muslims will not find themselves in this category, whether they choose to burn down Brussels or several hundred cars in a neighbourhood or not.

What exactly does " more than absolutely necessary..." actually mean anyhow and who decides what this is in the first place.

Afonso Henriques said...

Henrik, sorry for not answer you in time but I got struck in the debate over Anti-Semitism and then I went to sleep.
I am yet to read all those comments...

I want to say that I am very pleased for your help, thank you very much Henrik.

I will "lie". I will state that in the part of the Lisbon Treaty concerning Civil Protection there is a note to the infamous death penalty.
It may not be a good action, but is a price for opening some eyes, I guess. And nobody will really check it out.

Also, I liked very much your analysis about the lack of democracy in the European Union. Thank you very much. I wonder where did you get all that information. Very well constructed article.

Thank you very much Henrik,
everytime you need, I'll try to help you back.


Zenster said...

Which means exactly Jack $h!t in light of how:

The EUMC diligently tracks the instances of “Islamophobia” all over the Old Continent, which it defines by eight red flags:

1. Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

2. Islam is seen as separate and “Other.”

3. Islam is seen as inferior to the West, barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

4. Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, linked to terrorism, engaged in a clash of civilizations.

5. Islam is seen as a political ideology.

6. Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.

7. Discriminatory practices and Muslims’ exclusion from mainstream society are advocated.

8. Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

The EU is so Hell bent upon stripping away any possible method of identifying Islam as the enemy that only a fool could imagine that the “insurrections” they envision will not be anti-Muslim demonstrations. This is Europe’s vulture elite setting the stage for an eventual coup by providing protected species status to their favorite Islamic mercenaries.

I doubt that in all Europe there exists a single castle with enough pikes to accomdate the heads that should roll for this crime against European humanity. Furthermore, it is not just Europe's indigenous population that is beset by this legislative horseradish. European Muslims—knowingly or not—are being thrust into the crosshairs of citizen ire by being given so many preferential accomdations. Of course, the Muslims do themselves no favors by continuously demanding such special treatment on their own.

Still, it remains a fact that the EU's vampire elite are knowingly empowering Muslims well beyond the fair boundaries of law. This makes these bureaucratic dilettantes directly culpable for the excesses that are sure to follow.

How severe those excesses will be depends entirely upon how much longer the EU can stage-manage this farcical travesty of justice. From all appearances, they will continue steering Europe straight towards civil chaos until the tiller is forcibly ripped from their blood-stained hands.

As I said, nowhere enough pikes.

. said...

Man in Trash Can: I'll take you to Dr. Harvey Satan.

Maxwell Smart: Harvey Satan? Wasn't he sent to prison for arson, armed robbery, insurrection, and mass murder?

Man in Trash Can: He got time off for good behavior.

Profitsbeard said...

If the EU states do not have the death penalty for terrorism, they are delusional, and simply inviting it to hit them harder and harder.

What would they do with a group of jihadists who killed fifty or a hundred thousand in an attack?

Give them "life", with free Korans, no-cost medical care, gratis lodging and food, and access to a modern gym, library and vocational training?

How many must die before a basic level of self-defensive reality returns to the Continent?

(This legal document on "Insurrection" is simply a guideline for the police, etc., to allow them to defend themselves, and use adequate- even lethal- force during an arrest, or chase, of a resisting. or escaping, criminal, if they reasonably feel threatened themselves. It is no "death penalty" provision of any kind.)