Tuesday 8 December 2009

Bryan Law wins Desly Boyle Appeal, remanded in custody

Cairns District Court Judge Griffin this morning remanded veteran activist Bryan Law in custody, following a successful appeal, where he argued against his August 14th sentence for damaging Cairns MP Desley Boyle’s election signs.

In the August case, Magistrate Joe Pinder ordered Bryan Law serve 150 hours of community service, equal to around $3,500, and pay $400 restitution.

"I argued that Magistrate Pinder failed to abide by procedural fairness in relation to sentencing, failed to hear submissions in relation to civil disobedience, and imposed a sentence which is manifestly excessive, amounting to a miscarriage of justice," Law told CairnsBlog this morning just before entering the courtroom.

Judge Griffin accepted that Law had not had an opportunity to hear his submission in relation to civil disobedience, and won the appeal over the previous sentence.

Judge Griffin imposed a community service penalty, but Law said he would refuse.

"I’ll be refusing to perform the community service, and will be asking for a term of imprisonment instead," Law said.

Law presented that it is no use putting additional penalties on for deterrents.

"You can't deter someone on the basis of conscience," Law told the court. "Look at my 30-year record, that shows such penalties are not a deterrent."

The judge immediately remanded Law in custody, adjourning the hearing, pending a judgement this afternoon.

In similar cases in the Northern Territory, Judge Thomas found that additional fines or penalties couldn't be used in cases of conscious, saying that an extra amount onto the sentence is not relevant, because it's not a deterrent.

Bryan Law cites the legal authority made by eminent British Law Lord, Hoffmann in R v Jones, 2006. Lord Hoffmann said in his judgement:
  • “Civil disobedience on conscientious grounds has a long and honourable history in this country. People who break the law to affirm their belief in the injustice of a law or government action are sometimes vindicated by history.

    The suffragettes are an example which comes immediately to mind. It is the mark of a civilised community that it can accommodate protests and demonstrations of this kind. But there are conventions which are generally accepted by the law-breakers on one side and the law-enforcers on the other.

    The protesters behave with a sense of proportion and do not cause excessive damage or inconvenience. And they vouch the sincerity of their beliefs by accepting the penalties imposed by the law.

    The police and prosecutors, on the other hand, behave with restraint and the magistrates impose sentences which take the conscientious motives of the protesters into account. The conditional discharges ordered by the magistrates in the cases which came before them exemplifies their sensitivity to these conventions”.

"I don’t have high expectations of the outcome, but am determined to have a go," Bryan Law said.

Judge Griffin will seek further advice before returning with a judgement this afternoon.

It is expected that the case will now be heard in the morning.


Bryan Outlaw the Voice of Cairns said...

How are "holiday accomodations" for Bryan Law any sort of punishment?

Air conditioned, satellite TV, three meals a day. It's much better than life at home for this cretin.

He should be sentenced to hard labor. Or even easy labor. The word "labor" clearly isn't in his vocabulary.

Anonymous said...
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Cairns resident said...

Bryan Law is a serial pest. He wastes tax payer money in the courts and with police stopping himperformaing his 'stunts' for his own ego.

Jones RM,Woree said...

Personaly, I disagree with some of Law's stances, however I genuinly admire his willingness to stand up and be counted on his principals...

Heck we need more of that these days with dishonest politicians around lying to us all the time.

Whilst I've never met you Mr Law, Good on ya

colin riddell ex labor not katter lover either said...

I too think bryan is a bit of a goose , but he does believe in what he does and to say jail me is a big call , I say at least you stick to what you believe in , not like the 4 labor gooses and jim "mumbles" turncoat , they are just bisbane mimes and canberra stooges.
As fot "parachute pitt" what happened to the coffee ?

Iqbal said...

Come on please Mike. This is a great blog but there is just too much of this guy on it. Give us a break, please.

Johnno Bannard, Yacht Club Champion said...

Good on you Bryan.

This debate is still about the way Desley Boyle failed this community about protecting our waterfront and retaining the historic Yacht Clubn there where we asked to keep it.

You are a real warrior mate.

mary said...

yep Jonno, Bryan argued that debate about the yacht club was stifled and excluded from the electoral discourse. The Labour freaks didn't want it mentioned even though they were happy to intervene proudly against the yacht club.

How then ordinary people raise the issues becomes a question.

Democracy relies on honest and open discussion of issues and putting issues before the people.

Bryan's action was about reminding people of that issue without debasing the Labour people.

The Labor people's response has been to organise a court process the result of which has seen him jailed.

I'd like to know the last time someone was jailed for any graffiti action. political or apolitical.

Labors goal is always to shut down dissent.

Wendy said...

It is obviously easily forgotten that Kevvie Byrne and Wazzah Entsch dirtied their hands in the Yacht Club debacle. While the sitting members of the time did little to save the venerable old building it's demise began with others making their contribution also. Do think back people.

beachman said...

May I remind you that LAW was convicted of Wilfully damaging property. Nothing to do with the former yacht club. He committed a crime and was convicted and punished. He appeals which is his right but keep to the point of his criminal activity not some building that is now history.