#CivilLaw #Appeal #Evidence #DueProcess #FairHearing #FactFinding

THE DUTY TO PUT YOUR CASE : FINDINGS MADE ON KEY POINTS WHICH WERE NOT PUT TO THE WITNESS OVERTURNED ON APPEALAugust 18, 2017 · by  · in Civil evidenceCivil ProcedureWitness statements

In Chen v Ng (British Virgin Islands) [2017] UKPC 27  the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council considered the extent of the duty to put a case to a witness. It is a reminder of the importance of putting a case to a witness. The Privy Council confirmed the overturning of a decision on witness credibility in circumstances where certain key points were not put to that witness.

 

” I regard it as essential that witnesses are challenged with the other side’s case. This involves putting the case positively. This is important for a judge to enable him to assess that witness’s response to the other case orally, by reference to his or her demeanour and in the overall context of the litigation. A failure to put a point should usually disentitle the point to be taken against a witness in a closing speech. This is especially so in an era of pre prepared witness statements. A judge does not see live in chief evidence, thereby depriving the witness of presenting himself positively in his case”

THE CASE

The action related to a dispute about ownership of shares.  The issue of credibility was central to the case.  The judge rejected Mr Ng’s explanation of what went on. One of the grounds of appeal was that the trial judge rejected Mr Ng’s evidence on the basis of matters that were never put to him in cross-examination.  This ground of appeal was allowed (among others) by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.  Madam Chen then appealed to the Privy Council.

THE  PRIVY COUNCIL JUDGMENT ON THIS ISSUE

The judgment considered the grounds on which the trial judge had rejected Mr Ng’s evidence.
  1.  As explained in paras 13 and 14 above, the Judge based his rejection of Mr Ng’s evidence (summarised in para 8 above) as to the circumstances in which he transferred the Shares to Madam Chen, and in particular his evidence that the Shares would be transferred back to him after six months, on two grounds. The first was that the explanation which Mr Ng gave for this arrangement was unconvincing, as it would have been “self-evidently futile” to expect the Macau and Beijing authorities to believe that Mr Ng had no involvement in the proposed development. The second ground, which appears to the Board to be, and to have been regarded by the Judge as being, of less weight, was that, if Mr Ng’s explanation had been true, the Judge considered that he would have obtained a transfer in blank executed by Madam Chen, so that he could have ensured that the Shares were transferred back to him.
  2.  These two grounds are not inherently objectionable as reasons for disbelieving Mr Ng. Recent guidance has been given by the UK Supreme Court in McGraddie v McGraddie [2013] 1 WLR 2477 and Henderson v Foxworth Investments Ltd [2014] 1 WLR 2600 and by the Board itself in Central Bank of Ecuador v Conticorp SA [2015] UKPC 11 as to the proper approach of an appellate court when deciding whether to interfere with a judge’s conclusion on a disputed issue of fact on which the judge has heard oral evidence. In McGraddie the Supreme Court and in Central Bank of Ecuador the Board set out a well-known passage from Lord Thankerton’s speech in Thomas v Thomas[1947] AC 484, 487-488, which encapsulates the principles relevant on this appeal. It is to this effect:
“(1)     Where a question of fact has been tried by a judge without a jury, and there is no question of misdirection of himself by the judge, an appellate court which is disposed to come to a different conclusion on the printed evidence, should not do so unless it is satisfied that any advantage enjoyed by the trial judge by reason of having seen and heard the witnesses, could not be sufficient to explain or justify the trial judge’s conclusion; (2) The appellate court may take the view that, without having seen or heard the witnesses, it is not in a position to come to any satisfactory conclusion on the printed evidence; (3) The appellate court, either because the reasons given by the trial judge are not satisfactory, or because it unmistakably so appears from the evidence, may be satisfied that he has not taken proper advantage of his having seen and heard the witnesses, and the matter will then become at large for the appellate court.”
  1.  In Henderson at paras 62 and 66, the Supreme Court said, in shorthand, that an appellate court should only interfere with a judge’s conclusion of fact if it was one which “no reasonable judge could have reached” or the judge’s decision “cannot be reasonably explained or justified”. In Central Bank of Ecuador, the Board, after reciting once again Lord Thankerton’s famous passage (above) and examining other considerations bearing on the matter, pointed out that these principles do not mean that an appellate court should never intervene, that they “assume that the judge has taken proper advantage of having heard and seen the witnesses, and has in that connection tested their evidence by reference to a correct understanding of the issues against the background of the material available and the inherent probabilities” (para 8). In the present case, the Judge made findings of primary fact about Mr Ng’s credibility and case, based on reading his lengthy written material and seeing him in the witness box for one and a half days in the context of the material before him as a whole. Ultimately, however he expressed only two reasons for rejecting Mr Ng’s evidence, so that it is on them that the appeal in this area must focus. It is not suggested that the Judge’s two grounds for rejecting Mr Ng’s evidence were unreasonable or unjustified, and rightly so: his grounds were plainly reasonable in themselves. However, the attack on the Judge’s finding in this case is not based on the merits of his grounds for disbelieving Mr Ng: it is founded on an alleged procedural flaw in relation to each of those grounds.
  2.  Mr Parker’s argument is, as it was before the Court of Appeal, that if the two grounds cited by the Judge were to be relied on as reasons for disbelieving Mr Ng, they ought to have been put to Mr Ng in cross-examination. As neither ground was raised with him, runs the argument, it was unfair for the Judge to have relied on either of them as reasons for disbelieving Mr Ng; accordingly, it would be wrong to let the decision of the Judge stand. The Court of Appeal accepted this argument, and, albeit with some hesitation, the Board considers that they were right to do so.
  3.  In a perfect world, any ground for doubting the evidence of a witness ought to be put to him, and a judge should only rely on a ground for disbelieving a witness which that witness has had an opportunity of explaining. However, the world is not perfect, and, while both points remain ideals which should always be in the minds of cross-examiners and trial judges, they cannot be absolute requirements in every case. Even in a very full trial, it may often be disproportionate and unrealistic to expect a cross-examiner to put every possible reason for disbelieving a witness to that witness, especially in a complex case, and it may be particularly difficult to do so in a case such as this, where the Judge sensibly rationed the time for cross-examination and the witness concerned needed an interpreter. Once it is accepted that not every point may be put, it is inevitable that there will be cases where a point which strikes the judge as a significant reason for disbelieving some evidence when he comes to give judgment, has not been put to the witness who gave it.
  4.  Mr Parker relies on a general rule, namely that “it will not do to impeach the credibility of a witness upon a matter on which he has not had any opportunity of giving an explanation by reason of there having been no suggestion whatever in the course of the case that his story is not accepted”, as Lord Herschell LC put it in Browne v Dunn (1893) 6 R 67, 71. In other words, where it is not made clear during (or before) a trial that the evidence, or a significant aspect of the evidence, of a witness (especially if he is a party in the proceedings) is challenged as inaccurate, it is not appropriate, at least in the absence of further relevant facts, for the evidence then to be challenged in closing speeches or in the subsequent judgment. A relatively recent example of the application of this rule by the English Court of Appeal can be found in Markem Corpn v Zipher Ltd [2005] RPC 31.
  5.  The Judge’s rejection of Mr Ng’s evidence, and his reasons for rejecting that evidence, do not infringe this general rule, because it was clear from the inception of the instant proceedings, and throughout the trial that Mr Ng’s evidence as to the basis on which the Shares were transferred in October 2011 was rejected by Madam Chen. Indeed, Mr Ng was cross-examined on the basis that he was not telling the truth about this issue. The challenge is therefore more nuanced than if it was based on the general rule: it is based on an objection to the grounds for rejecting Mr Ng’s evidence, rather than an objection to the rejection itself. It appears to the Board that an appellate court’s decision whether to uphold a trial judge’s decision to reject a witness’s evidence on grounds which were not put to the witness must depend on the facts of the particular case. Ultimately, it must turn on the question whether the trial, viewed overall, was fair bearing in mind that the relevant issue was decided on the basis that a witness was disbelieved on grounds which were not put to him.
  6.  At a relatively high level of generality, in such a case an appellate court should have in mind two conflicting principles: the need for finality and minimising costs in litigation, on the one hand, and the even more important requirement of a fair trial, on the other. Specific factors to be taken into account would include the importance of the relevant issue both absolutely and in the context of the case; the closeness of the grounds to the points which were put to the witness; the reasonableness of the grounds not having been put, including the amount of time available for cross-examination and the amount of material to be put to the witness; whether the ground had been raised or touched on in speeches to the court, witness statements or other relevant places; and, in some cases, the plausibility of the notion that the witness might have satisfactorily answered the grounds.
  7.  It is also worth an appellate court having in mind in this context what was said by Lord Hoffmann in Piglowska v Piglowski [1999] 1 WLR 1360, 1372:
“If I may quote what I said in Biogen Inc v Medeva Plc [1997] RPC 1, 45:
‘… [S]pecific findings of fact, even by the most meticulous judge, are inherently an incomplete statement of the impression which was made upon him by the primary evidence. His expressed findings are always surrounded by a penumbra of imprecision as to emphasis, relative weight, minor qualification and nuance … of which time and language do not permit exact expression, but which may play an important part in the judge’s overall evaluation.’
… The exigencies of daily court room life are such that reasons for judgment will always be capable of having been better expressed.”
  1.  In the instant case, the Board is of the view that it would not be fair to let the rejection of Mr Ng’s evidence stand, given that the two grounds upon which the Judge reached his decision were not put to Mr Ng. The ultimate factual dispute between the parties in the litigation was the basis upon which, and circumstances in which, the Transfer of the Shares took place, and therefore the issue on which Mr Ng was disbelieved was central to the proceedings.
  2.  The two grounds on which the Judge relied were not by any means obscure. The first, that it would have been futile to try and hide Mr Ng’s involvement in the development, was primarily based on the contents of the feasibility study, which was actually put as a document to Mr Ng (albeit not opened, let alone read), and one only has to look at the first few pages to see the significance of Mr Ng to the development. The second ground, that Mr Ng would have taken a transfer back in blank, was a pretty obvious point, not least because he had referred to it in his witness statement, and he had also mentioned taking just such a course in relation to another transaction four years earlier. Both grounds could have been put very easily in the course of a 90-minute cross-examination, even allowing for the other points which Mr McDonnell raised with him and the fact that Mr Ng needed an interpreter – and also allowing for wisdom of hindsight. Put bluntly, these two grounds were simple, self-contained reasons for disbelieving Mr Ng, whereas the bulk of the cross-examination was directed to more peripheral and complicated issues such as whether, at the time of the Transfer, he had criminal connections, he had been in financial difficulties, and he had fallen out with a proposed partner.
  3.  It is said that the first ground was raised in Mr McDonnell’s closing submissions, but that was on the basis that Mr Ng’s explanation for the Transfer of the Shares and the alleged agreement to transfer back in six months would have been pointless because the development project had been abandoned. Quite apart from the fact that it was never put to Mr Ng that the project had been abandoned, that was not the basis upon which the Judge rested his ground, which was that Mr Ng’s involvement in the development project would have been apparent to the authorities; indeed, the notion that the project had been abandoned (as Madam Chen said) is in some ways inconsistent with that ground. The second ground was, as mentioned above, specifically addressed in Mr Ng’s witness statement, which is of some assistance to Madam Chen’s case, but was not touched on at any point at the hearing, and it was a secondary reason for disbelieving Mr Ng.
  4.  It is not hard to conceive of answers which might have been available to Mr Ng to answer the first ground, and which might have satisfied or at least mitigated the Judge’s concern. Mr Ng had dealt with the second point in his witness statement, but it is not impossible that he might have had more to say about it if it had been raised in cross-examination. Of course, the Judge may very well have had strong reservations about Mr Ng’s evidence for other reasons, but he gave only two specific grounds for disbelieving him, and there is no other material in his judgment which justifies a conclusion that he would have reached the same decision without these two grounds.
  5.  In summary, then, (i) the issue concerned was central to the whole proceedings, (ii) neither ground which the Judge gave for disbelieving Mr Ng on that issue was put to Mr Ng, (iii) neither ground was referred to at the hearing at any time, save that the second (less significant) ground had been addressed in Mr Ng’s witness statement, (iv) neither ground was obscure or difficult and so each could reasonably be expected to have been raised in cross-examination, (v) it is quite possible that Mr Ng would have given believable evidence which weakened or undermined those grounds, and (vi) there is nothing in the judgment which can reasonably be invoked to say that it is reasonably clear that the judge would have reached the same conclusion without those grounds.
Conclusions
  1.  The Judge’s reasoning for concluding that the Transfer constituted a sale for consideration and his decision to reject Mr Ng’s case therefore cannot stand. The issue as to which of the possibilities identified in para 36 above may apply, whether the Transfer of 4 October 2011 gave rise to a resulting trust, and as to the credibility of Mr Ng’s evidence and case all require further consideration in the light of evidence. It is self-evidently not possible for the Board to reach a conclusion on the issue of Mr Ng’s credibility. The only possible outcome is therefore that this case must be sent back for full re-hearing. Subject to any order which the BVI High Court may give, it would be both unfair and impractical for it to go back on any basis other than that (i) the parties are both free to conduct their respective cases at the re-hearing as if it was the first trial, but (ii) their respective cases should be based on their existing pleadings and witness statements, subject to such amendments and further evidence as the court at first instance may permit, in particular with regard to the new material deriving from the Macau legal proceedings (para 46 above) and (iii) they will be entitled to rely on the transcript of the hearing before Bannister J as cross-examination material.

 

USEFUL GUIDANCE ON PUTTING YOUR CASE

There is a useful summary of the duty to put the case in  EPI Environmental Technologies Inc -v- Symphony Plastic Technologies PLC [2004] EWHC 2945 (Ch) Mr Justice Peter Smith stated:

“i) First, it is essential to evaluate a witness’s performance in the light of the entirety of his evidence. Witnesses can make mistakes, but those mistakes do not necessarily affect other parts of their evidence.
ii) Second, witnesses can regularly lie. However, lies are themselves does not mean necessarily that the entirety of that witnesses evidence is rejected. A witness may lie in a stupid attempt to bolster a case, but the actual case nevertheless remains good irrespective of the lie. A witness may lie because the case is a lie.
iii) Third, I regard it as essential that witnesses are challenged with the other side’s case. This involves putting the case positively. This is important for a judge to enable him to assess that witness’s response to the other case orally, by reference to his or her demeanour and in the overall context of the litigation. A failure to put a point should usually disentitle the point to be taken against a witness in a closing speech. This is especially so in an era of pre prepared witness statements. A judge does not see live in chief evidence, thereby depriving the witness of presenting himself positively in his case.
  1. None of the above or the helpful assistance provided by the reported authorities is necessarily determinative. All of them provide factors to enable a judge to come to a particular conclusion about the acceptance or rejection of a particular persons evidence.
  2. I should stress also that in my view those points also are equally applicable to experts. A judge is very rarely helped by competing expert reports, which express opinions, which are not tested or not maintainable by reference to supporting material. It is not useful simply to leave the judge to find his own analysis of the reports of experts without the experts themselves being put to the test by cross examination. Finally, in the context of experts, with the CPR they have in my view acquired greater responsibilities to the court. Those responsibilities transcend their perceived obligations to the parties whom they give evidence; see Phillips & Others –v- Symes & Others [2004] EWHC 2330 (Ch).”

 

Cross-examination by alleged abusers; and thoughts for a way through…

“Pending further family law legislation promised by the Government, could pro bono (free) advocacy assistance as a special measures direction equivalent to YJCEA 1999 s 38(4) be a way to help in cases identified by the judges referred to above. Even could this be funded as an exceptional case determination (Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 s 10(3); and see ‘Funding implications for vulnerable witnesses’ [2017] Legal Action at 6).”

dbfamilylaw

Abusive cross-examination: recent case-law

Cross-examination of complainants by their alleged abusers has had a number of outings in the past three months, including Re A (A Minor: Fact Finding; Unrepresented Party) [2017] EWHC 1195 (Fam), Hayden J and Re D (Appeal – Failure of Case Management) [2017] EWHC 1907 (Fam), Peter Jackson J. Re A has drawn at least two professorial comments in the mainstream legal press: ‘Vulnerable witnesses’ [2017] Family Law 704 by Penny Cooper and ‘Abuse upon abuse’ [2017] New Law Journal by Jonathan Herring.

The importance of this subject, and the inadequacy of the family proceedings system to deal fairly with it, cannot be over-emphasised. What is surprising about each of the above sources is their failure – as I read them – to deal with the recent jurisprudence on the subject. Hayden and Peter Jackson JJ (respectively at [25] and [6]) refer to Family Procedure Rules…

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The Terrorist Mind and Pathological Anger

“The attachment system is a primary motivational system in the brain. Other types of pathology have their origins in other parts of the brain. ADHD is a pathology in the regulatory systems of the brain for impulse control, attention regulation, and behavioral regulation. Autism-spectrum pathology emerges from hardware malfunctions. Attachment-related pathology, on the other hand, is a pathology in the love-and-bonding system of the brain, a primary motivational system of the brain. Pathogenic structures in the attachment networks have access to motivations. They act with intent.

Cruel intent, the intent to cause suffering. Alienation forming a bond through creating suffering. Distorted, damaged, broken information structures in the love-and-bonding system of the brain.

The absence of empathy. Trauma.

Attachment trauma moving through generations – hidden – until it emerges as traumatic suffering intentionally created.

The terrorist mind and the extremism of pathological hatred ultimately ends in self-destruction after causing its burst of immense suffering in others – the Nazis leading Germany into self-destruction following the immense cruelty of the holocaust – the suicide end of the 911 terrorists in the cruelty of their terrorist act. Self-destruction. Self-loathing. Primal self-alienation.

Remain hidden – seek allies – attack perceived threats with great viciousness. I know this pathogen.

There are four primary emotions; anger, sad, afraid, and happy.”

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

Barcelona, Orlando, Paris, Manchester, Mumbai, 911; the terrorist mind and the extremism of pathological anger.

The research says that the terrorist mind does not reflect any consistent form of pathology.  That’s not true, they just don’t know where to look.

It’s an attachment trauma pathology moving through generations, similar to the pathogen creating AB-PA, but with important variations.  The pathogen creating AB-PA results in the child’s “alienation” from a parent, created by the actions of the other parent.  The pathogen creating the terrorist mind triggers in adulthood and results in the adult’s “alienation” from society – and at a deeper level, from the self.

They are both pathogens of “alienation” – and both are created in and expressed through a profound absence of empathy.  A trauma pathogen, created in generations past and moving from attachment system to attachment system – like a computer virus – across generations.

Remain hidden.  Seek…

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Just In: Findings On Evidence In Family Courts

Here’s to hoping that the ever-increasing number of LIP’s (due to swingeing legal aid cuts in an era of austerity) continue forcing judges to actually do their jobs (instead of merely rubber-stamping often false, misleading and inaccurate LA concerns) to bring back the needle towards equilibrium over compulsory state intervention in established family life.
“Every single child who took part, said they wanted the option to be able to speak to their judge directly.”

Researching Reform

A report just published highlights new findings about research and evidence use in family courts.

The Nuffield Foundation, along with several universities, research organisations and adoption and fostering academy CORAM BAAF, created “Towards a National Family Justice Observatory”, a scoping study which aims to identify what role the latest evidence and research can play in child welfare proceedings.

The study includes a consultation, which took place in September 2016 and which Researching Reform completed – you can see our answers here. It is this consultation which forms the basis of the recently publicised report.

Who Took Part

The consultation wanted to understand the research evidence needs of stakeholders and
opportunities and barriers to the application of research evidence in policy and practice.

The findings were interesting. At a healthy 64 pages, we haven’t had a chance to comb through the whole report yet (you’ll need at least 30 tea bags and…

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Child refugees – section 20? Care proceedings? Either?

“It is neither in the interests of individual children, nor, I think, in the wider public interest for Local Authorities to feel that they have to bring care proceedings to no good purpose, as would be the case if every unaccompanied asylum-seeking child was to be brought within care proceedings.

So a Local Authority, and the IRO, should be weighing up with such children which of the two options is the better option for the child, but the law is not that section 20 is always wrong or always right. There needs to be individual analysis of what’s best for that particular child.”

suesspiciousminds

This is a case in which Mr Justice Peter Jackson was asked to decide whether to make a Care Order for two children aged 9 and 10 who had come to England as refugees from Afghanistan due to actions of the Taliban in their own country.
The Judge was also asked to give indications as to whether care proceedings or s20 were the right approach for other children and other Local Authorities.

Re J (child refugees) 2017
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2017/44.html

On the critical issue of threshold (which has given me disquiet for a while, because the Act requires that the significant harm is as a result of the parents behaviour not being what it would be REASONABLE to expect a parent to provide, and if you are a parent in a war-torn country such as Syria and you can get your child to a place of safety can that really be said…

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The CIA Invented Terror-War In Laos

ThereAreNoSunglasses

What Laos Taught the CIA

Earlier this month, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its 50th anniversary. As Southeast Asian nations look forward to building a more stable future, it’s also useful to remember the events that shaped the modern history of the region.

Fifty years ago, many parts of Southeast Asia were plagued by wars and local conflicts which included the Vietnam War, the anti-communist hysteria in Indonesia, and the rise of a military dictatorship in Burma.

But there was another war, a secret war that was being waged in a remote corner of the Indochina Peninsula during the same period. This was the civil war in Laos, which saw the rise of Hmong soldiers fighting the rising tide of communism in their…

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The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King

The Most Revolutionary Act

The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King

by Dr William F Pepper

Book Review

This book is unique among the volumes of assassination literature. Unlike chronologies of the JFK and Robert Kennedy assassination, the majority of Pepper’s evidence is based on sworn witness statements – either from the lawsuit the King family won against Lloyd Jowers (one of the co-conspirators) in 1999 or the earlier grand jury investigation Pepper instigated in his unsuccessful effort to win James Earl Ray a retrial.*

There are many parallels between New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s unsuccessful 1967 attempt to convict Clay Shaw, one of the JFK assassination co-conspirators, and the civil suit Pepper filed on behalf of the King family. Both Pepper and Garrison targeted low level conspirators and used the power of the subpoena and discovery to ferret out those responsible for instigating, planning and…

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Building of the week: the plastic bottle house

Make Wealth History

An engineer in Algeria has developed an ingenious new house building technique on a desert refugee camp. He wanted to build a home for his grandmother that would beat the heat and sandstorms, and plastic bottles were readily available. Filled with sand and straw and encased into the walls, the bottles make a sturdy and weatherproof shelter. It’s also insulated, and the bottle house is five degrees cooler than its neighbours.

Six thousand discarded bottles are used in each new home, which is useful in itself. The refugee camps have been in place for 40 years, and no recycling facilities have ever been provided. There are huge piles of them to use up, helping to keep waste plastic out of the natural environment.

The bottle house is different to traditional buildings in the region, and was met with some initial scepticism. But it proved more resilient to rain than the…

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#Jews & #Muslims: Reckless language could lead us down a dangerous path!

Jews and Muslims: Reckless language could lead us down a dangerous path | SUN COMMENT | Marie Van der Zyl and Fiyaz Mughal (Tell MAMA) | 16th August 2017

Trevor Kavanagh’s article in The Sun on the 13th of August shifted between Brexit, immigration and grooming gangs – predominantly comprised of people of Pakistani heritage.

Such chilling language, which labels whole communities as a “problem”, and evokes the language the Nazis used about the Jews, should rally us to stand up and speak out, and now Jewish and Muslim organisations, as well as MPs, have done precisely this.

Of course, it is not the answer to hide from the fact that the perpetrators of some recent appalling rape cases were Muslims.

As Imam Qari Asim, of the Makkah mosque in Leeds, has previously said: “If it is cultural prejudices that have led these men to prey on white girls, seeing them as ‘easy meat’, then this needs to be addressed.”

But neither is the answer to be found in irresponsible language.

The term “the Muslim Problem” (especially capitalised as it was in the article) recalls the use of the term “the Jewish problem” by the Nazis in the 1930s.

Seventy years ago, in Germany, Poland and other countries in Europe, Jews were murdered, tortured, separated from their families and stripped of their identity, and suffered the most inhumane and degrading treatment, just because they were Jews.

We understand that today’s environment is a far cry from the murderous regime of the Nazis, but words can confirm prejudices, particularly if people read them in a prominent national newspaper like The Sun.

Maligning the entire Muslim community as a “problem” who are not really part of Britain, feeds in to a poisonous message — spread by both ISIS and the far right — that you cannot be a Muslim and truly embrace British values.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The overwhelming majority of British Muslims — like British Jews — share a love of our country and the freedom that we enjoy in the UK, including the freedom of the press and the human rights that many dictators deny their subjects.

British society and all our institutions have a duty to show Muslims, Jews and all religious minorities that they are a valued and integral part of our country.

If we push an entire community away to the fringes, this risks propelling some into the arms of extremists, who groom their victims to become terrorists; in much the same way as paedophiles groom their victims for abuse.

We believe that Trevor Kavanagh’s article crossed a line when he commented on “The Muslim Problem”.

It did not focus on Islamists, people involved in grooming scandals or criminals who happen to be Muslims. Those three words lumped 3 million Muslims together as a problem to be “solved”.

Our great country needs constructive solutions and community cohesion. Let us as UK citizens build strong, diverse, stable communities, where we protect everyone from harm, including those at risk of sexual abuse.

Let us talk about how we unite Muslims and Jews, and our countrymen and women of all faiths and none, against terrorism, sexual abuse and the many challenges we face in modern Britain.

This is a shared responsibility and let us remember the words of Jo Cox: “We have more in common than that which divides us.”

Let us embrace this message, seize the opportunities and grapple with the challenges we all share in Britain.

— Marie Van der Zyl is Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Fiyaz Mughal is the Director of Faith Matters and the Founder of Tell MAMA — a charity which monitors anti-Muslim attacks.

The article ended by asking what should be done about “the Muslim Problem”.

Marie Van der Zyl, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

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Marie Van der Zyl, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Fiyaz Mughal, Director of Faith Matters and the Founder of Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks)

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Fiyaz Mughal, Director of Faith Matters and the Founder of Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks)

Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh

STEWART WILLIAMS – THE SUN
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Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh


“Reckless Disregard” A True And Compelling Story About One Father’s Fight

Parents Rights Blog

“Reckless Disregard” A True And Compelling Story About One Father’s Fight

Self-Represented Litigants have no less of a right to FAIR and MEANINGFUL due process under the federal and state constitutions as those individuals who choose to utilize an attorney for their legal affairs and issues. In fact, NOWHERE in any state or federal constitution does it specify that the hiring of a lawyer is a prerequisite to exercising one’s due process rights. Democratic principles dictate that we have the right to freely choose between self-representation and hiring a lawyer to handle our legal matters without suffering humiliation, prejudice, or penalization. After all, it is the parties to the litigation that ultimately have to deal with the consequences of the case’s outcome, and not the judge or the lawyers involved in the matter.

Dear Family and Friends,

First I’d like to thank all those who have kept me motivated and have encouraged…

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