Kafka 2016 229

To my astonishment, the FCO Official Spokesman has just confirmed to me that the FCO stands by Phillip Hammond’s statement that the members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are lay persons, and not lawyers. Even though every single one of them is an extremely distinguished lawyer.

I confess I am utterly astonished. I know there is nothing more dull than an old buffer like me droning on about falling standards in public life. But when I was in the FCO, the vast majority of colleagues would have refused to advance what is a total and outright lie, about which it cannot be argued there is an area of interpretation, doubt or nuance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office officially states that the members of the UN Working Group are all lay people, and not lawyers. Given a chance to retract, they confirm to me that this is their official position.

I repeat again the cvs of all the Working Group.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

I honestly don’t know what to say, or to think, any more. When you have a government which believes it does not even have to pretend that its words and actions have even the remotest relationship to truth, I cannot conceive how society can continue to function in any direction other than fascist.

229 thoughts on “Kafka 2016

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  • Arbed


    I’m re-posting this because I think it may be relevant to the question Craig wanted researched. Can you see he gets it somehow, before it’s buried again?


    Perhaps this merits the “strong hint to research” you were given. Here’s the selection process:


    And here’s the nominations committee membership list:


    I see that Peter Gooderham, UK, was part of the nominations cycle 2011-12 so it would be interesting to find out if any of the current UNWGAD panel members – Benin, South Korea, Mexico, Australia and, especially, Ukraine – were selected in that year.

    Here’s Peter Gooderham’s wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gooderham

    Does that help?

  • lysias

    Meaning that what the person whom I have just been asked not to call an odious troll (without naming him, mind) calls me with impunity does not amount to taunting?

  • Clark

    Arbed, I’ll get it to Craig. I’ll also repost it in the Contact Form (link at top of page) – Contact Form submissions are e-mailed to Craig, in case you need to and I’m not about.

  • fedup

    The odious troll has repeated on this very thread his call for Craig to terminate this forum. He obviously has no desire to make any real contributions to the discussion here.

    That would the mission accomplished state, and probably rewarded by a ticket for the zionist federation dinner in the US all expense paid of course (US/UK tax payers funding the whole adventure of course). As you have rightly pointed out, this is continuation of the same tactics as in the old days. It used to be the hall locks that were super glued, the seats and the tables were stolen or misdirected, the hall was triple booked, literature was stolen or mis posted, failing all that the “hagana” goons used to hit the meeting and disrupt it with heckling and starting fights.

    These days it is profile management software providing fake persona with fake geolocation, and fake email etc, that in turn can be used to disrupt and stop any debate about the shitty strip of land and the barbarous conduct of the zionist supremacists.

    Having dealt with these parasitic entities over the years on various boards and witnessing first hand their swamping and destruction of the threads and or stopping the sites and shutting them down, through various subterfuge including legal shenanigans and threats of fire and brimstone. It is patently evident that some of those pontificating accommodation are perhaps not all that well versed in the modus operandi of the keyboard warriors.

  • Clark

    Lysais, disengage emotionally; “If I can make you angry, I have passed your guard”, and “let the opposition be seen for who they are”. If he’s doing insults but you aren’t, you come off looking better than him, right?

  • lysias

    If I don’t name whom I am calling an odious troll, doesn’t that leave it up to the reader to decide who he thinks fits that description?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The option for Hammond was to have the government’s insistence that Assange be extradited to Sweden demolished or to lie through his teeth. I’m less than sanguine about the UK media’s interest in this, too. It seems to have been squared, en masse, by HMG.

    The FCO statement is probably intended to elide the issue of the basic right to have a public examination of the case by an independent body, stated by the UN. And our apparent intention to follow the US in marginalising the UN when its decisions run counter to our prejudices. So a bit of a dead cat, then.

  • Why be ordinary

    I pointed out the method on the previous page.

    Members with dates of appointment are here http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/Members.aspx

    None were appointed while Gooderham was on the panel. They are chosen to provide geographical balance (one Asian, one African, one Latin American, one Eastern European and one “Westerner” – the Australian)

    Panel members are proposed to the HRC by the President (currently South Korea). The U.K. Is a member of the HRC so panel members might not want to pick a fight unnecessarily.

    Incidentally, the South Korean Chair who clearly found in favou of Assange, has worked for ICSID, the investment arbitration court tha many people believe is actually a Trojan horse for corporate world domination.

  • Why be ordinary

    Someone who wants the comments section closed down clearly is not being paid to post

  • bevin

    “… It is within the power of each of us not to respond to the odious troll. If all of us were to do that, I wonder how long he would continue posting.”

    Lysias is quite right. Tempting as it often is to refute the bilge that the Troll reposts from Propaganda Central, it is a mistake.
    Clark is wrong to say that the Troll’s political arguments are worth dealing with, they aren’t, they are totally unoriginal and often repeat notorious falsehoods, especially when occupied Palestine is the subject.
    The Troll came to this site specifically to torment and trouble Mary. In doing so he behaved like an animal, delighting in every indication that his bullying was frustrating her. We are clearly dealing with the sort of person who has devoted his entire life to bullying and teasing those he discovers to be vulnerable.
    The one positive aspect of the matter is that it confirms-what the history of the Third Reich showed- that really nasty people, who behave in really nasty ways are invariably enemies of freedom and cooperation. They are, like Franco’s followers, in love with death, and delighted by suffering.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The odious troll has repeated on this very thread his call for Craig to terminate this forum. He obviously has no desire to make any real contributions to the discussion here.

    ‘He only does it to annoy,
    Because he knows it teases…’

  • Mark Golding

    I may well sent to Mary – appreciate cooperation.

    Dear Mary,

    I hope you are well. I am troubled by your absence from CM and trust you will consider returning. I undertake to bring into being a happy path back, free from narrow mindedness and torment as a prerequisite to your coming.



  • Clark

    Bevin, these discussions are not all about us. For each of us that comment, thousands read. If falsehoods are posted, they must be refuted with facts. The purpose of the threads is not to give us personal gratification. These arguments exist; we cannot suppress them, therefore they should be refuted for all to see.

    I know it’s tedious, but so what? The fact that anyone wants to personally have a go is what is being exploited.

    Even if moderators stopped it here, the same arguments would continue in comment sections in the corporate media where they get a far wider audience.

    And in any case, it’s Craig’s blog and therefore Craig’s rules.

  • BrianFujisan

    Amazing Batch of posts…The Fkn Lies.. it’s Like…Like Words fail me.

    Why Be Ordinary
    6 Feb, 2016 – 10:54 pm –

    or retirement funds secured

    Mark Golding
    5 Feb, 2016 – 10:31 pm

    thanks for the Katherine Gun Link

    Macky cheers for Lifeboat Mary…. Bad idea to fuck up registering for that site… Time and Time again..Hopless

    Cheers for the posts Craig..and for Being in there For J.A from the Start

  • Tony_0pmoc

    We never asked, knew or cared what their surnames were or had a clue what were the jobs that they did…just nice people…we met down our local gig…

    Come Back To Our Home For a Party…

    and they did

    They never abused our hospitality…

    Well of course..The Kitchen Table was Always full of Cans and Bottles…and if you want the spirits….they are up there..on the high shelf…and we have Coca-Cola and Lemonade, Tea, Coffee and Fresh Fruit Juice Too…

    That is The Fridge…..

    My Wife Might Do Food Later…

    But I Do Not Serve You…

    Help Yourself…

    The Toilets – Are There…

    If You Want To Smoke – Go Outside

    Smoking is Not Allowed In Our House

    That is a Rain Shelter…

    And then we Talk (Our Neighbour’s have been incredibly Tolerant)

    and when they can’t take any more…they knock on our door…

    Can We Come In…Have you Got a Cigarette..I don’t smoke…and she gets through two bottles of wine and we almost have to carry her home.

    They moved in a couple of months before us,,Next Door in 1993…

    We are All Still Here in 2016

    We are Families

    And we are much Stronger Than These American/Jewish/Neocon Fascists

    We are British. We Don’t Act It. We Do it For Real (well same place basically but in Broad Working Class Lancashire)

    Yes there are similarities…

    “The Good Life: Series 1 Episode 1 (Part 1 of 3)”


    My Life’s Role Model was Lemmy and Ozzy..

    My Wife’s Goldie – and that Girl in The Good Life…Oh and The Girl in Splash.


  • fedup

    Someone who wants the comments section closed down clearly is not being paid to post

    On the contrary! It then goes on the books and becomes a mentor!!! No more tenner a day and lots of screen shots to be sent to hasbara hq. The kudos of having shot down a prominent blog’s comment section is in return for bonus and promotion.

    The whole idea is to stop and stifle any debate about the shitty strip of land (as per French prime minster). Those expecting reasoned debate are either novices or do not have a great deal of experience of the keyboard warrior units.

  • Clark

    Why be ordinary, 10:54 pm:

    “Someone who wants the comments section closed down clearly is not being paid to post”

    I don’t think that necessarily follows. If he doesn’t like the comments section, why is he posting comments at all? Maybe there’s plenty more work, or a big prize for getting it closed? Who knows? There’s nothing any of us can prove.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Very Few of our friends would like this, and there is no way we would invite them to such a gig..but my wife and I are different….

    We go to see Bands we have never seen before..doing completely different music to what we are used to…

    Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t

    These Guys were Awesome on Wednesday at The Brixton Academy

    Young Fathers – GET UP


    We danced at the front…well I did – my wife was a bit shy and had my pint of beer (in theory). I wasn’t going to queue at the bar.

    Great Venue – Best in London We Reckon…and we do have experience.


  • Ba'al Zevul

    It’s worth reading what Tochilovsky actually said, though. This has widespread support from UK lawyers, and to be honest, he’s got a point. Still, he’s just a layman, apparently…

    The adopted Opinion raises serious question as to the scope of the mandate of the Working Group.

    It is assumed in the Opinion that Mr. Assange has been detained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London by the authorities of the United Kingdom. In particular, it is stated that his stay in the Embassy constitutes “a state of an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

    In fact, Mr. Assange fled the bail in June 2012 and since then stays at the premises of the Embassy using them as a safe haven to evade arrest. Indeed, fugitives are often self-confined within the places where they evade arrest and detention. This could be some premises, as in Mr. Assange’s situation, or the territory of the State that does not recognise the arrest warrant. However, these territories and premises of self-confinement cannot be considered as places of detention for the purposes of the mandate of the Working Group.

    In regard to the house arrest of Mr. Assange in 2011-2012, it was previously emphasised by the Working Group that where the person is allowed to leave the residence (as in Mr. Assange’s case), it is “a form of restriction of liberty rather than deprivation of liberty, measure which would then lie outside the Group’s competence” (E/CN.4/1998/44, para. 41(e)). Mr. Assange was allowed to leave the mansion where he was supposed to reside while litigating against extradition in the courts of the United Kingdom. As soon as his last application was dismissed by the Supreme Court in June 2012, Mr. Assange fled the bail.

    The mandate of the Working Group is not without limits. By definition, the Working Group is not competent to consider situations that do not involve deprivation of liberty. For the same reason, issues related to the fugitives’ self-confinement, such as asylum and extradition, do not fall into the mandate of the Working Group (see, for instance, E/CN.4/1999/63, para. 67).

    That is not to say that the complaints of Mr. Assange could not have been considered. There exist the appropriate UN human rights treaty bodies and the European Court of Human Rights that do have mandate to examine such complaints regardless whether they involve deprivation of liberty or not.

    Incidentally, any further application of Mr. Assange may now be declared inadmissible in an appropriate UN body or ECtHR on the matters that have been considered by the Working Group. In this regard, one may refer to the ECtHR decision in Peraldi v. France (2096/05) and the reservation of Sweden to the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.

    For these reasons, I dissent.

  • tony_0pmoc

    My Wife might do Sunflowers but she is incredibly Critical too…

    If you don’t Rock it Up a bit…then We are Going To a Rock Festival in Lancashire Again…

    They Changed the Dates…so They Clash…

    but when our mate came round on Thursday to book her tickets (she can do Russia, Mongolia, and China by herself,,,but she hasn’t got a Printer)…and she may well bring her Tipi which she is currently constructing with her Family and Friends….

    I noticed they had booked this band too ( I have absolutely no idea where they come from – but I think they will Rock it Up a Bit )

    My “Sis” is coming too..She said to us two..Just Book The Tickets ..so we did..

    “Inglorious – Until I Die (Official Music Video)”


    Its a Festival..We Live in Tents and Make Friends


  • John Goss

    Oh Ba’al Tochilovsky’s got a point all right. He is a highly qualified international lawyer. His opinion should be taken into account.

    However the other equally qualified professionals reached a different conclusion, on other legally arguable premises.

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