I never got a speeding ticket, but I looked this up here: http://www.nopenaltypoints.co.uk/dispute-speed-ticket-you-we...
It may well be wrong, but it sounds like what I'd expect in the UK.
According to Lord Mustill: "A general immunity, possessed by all persons and bodies, from being compelled on pain of punishment to answer questions posed by other persons or bodies."
Which seems eminently applicable. Has the camera law been challenged in this way in British courts?
In this case, there is an Act of Parliament (Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as amended by Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act 1991) that makes it an offence to withhold this information. That is the end of the story: Parliament has said it, therefore it is so.
(Note that in the U.K. there is currently a way out: the ECHR. I don't think they cover the right to not self-incriminate, but if they do that would be a possible challenge.)
Remember: in the U.K., Parliament governs by wielding the power of the monarch. That power is formally unbounded and absolute.
And indeed, in 2007 someone appealed a camera speeding ticket all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, saying that this system violates the right to remain silent!
Unfortunately, the court rejected the argument. "On the one hand, it was self-evident that it was incompatible with the immunities to base a conviction solely or mainly on the accused's silence or on a refusal to answer questions or to give evidence himself. On the other hand, the immunities could and should not prevent the accused's silence from being taken into account in situations which clearly called for an explanation. The conclusion was that the 'right to remain silent' was not absolute"
That - to my understanding - is backwards. The power of the monarch is subordinated under Parliament. Parliamentary sovereignty is inherent, not derived from the crown.
HMG - not parliament - exercises the royal prerogative (those powers retained by the Crown) on behalf of the monarch.
In reality, yes. But technically the monarch can veto any Act of Parliament and appoint anyone as PM, though this would last about a day until there was a 'revolution' and the monarch was formally stripped of power.
It is not clear to me that any of the constitutional documents in the UK enshrine a right to silence. The Right to Silence in the U.K. is generally built up on common law, not statue. Every essay I have ever found on this topic refers to the right to silence in the UK as predicated on common law, not on statute, let alone on a critical constitutional document that would require explicit repeal.
So yes, Parliament cannot implicitly repeal some documents. But I don't think that the Right to Silence is in any of those. Of course, citations to the contrary would be welcome!
EDIT: And in fact the law has been challenged, all the way to the ECHR. The challenge failed: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/jun/29/transport.eu
Failure to respond to the request will often lead to a summons to court for both offences, although a successful prosecution for the underlying offence is fairly unlikely as the prosecution will usually be unable to prove who was driving. Additionally, the penalty for failure to provide information is higher than most standard traffic offences, partly as a deterrent and partly to avoid refusing to identify the driver from being the "better" option in all but the worst of circumstances.
There was a loophole for a while whereby you could return the form, correctly filled in but not signed, meaning that you have provided the information, but it is not admissible as evidence in court. This is currently still effective in Scotland. In England, case law has been established such that the form is not valid unless signed, and would usually result in the police placing the defendant firmly in the "smartass" pile and proceeding with a prosecution for failing to provide information. Just lately, police have been increasingly taking the more pragmatic approach of calling the motorists bluff in cases where he nominates himself and the case can be dealt with by way of a training course or a simple fixed penalty. They will often now offer the course or the penalty, and still charge for both offences if the driver elects for the case to progress to court.
Requiring people to answer questions truthfully is not unreasonable, I never quite understood the basis for the 5th amendment. Was it because of some British colonial atrocity?
Presumably, this is a big part of why Bush was so keen to relabel what had previously been considered civilian terrorists as military combatants, since the fifth amendment then apparently stops applying.
IANAL, but the way I understand it is something like: You are a court, and you're trying to determine how the 5th amendment applies in some tricky case. The text itself might be ambiguous or unspecific in your case.
One way to approach that ambiguity is to look at the history of the amendment - why was it written, and given that, what is the most likely intended way to read it?
For the 5th amendment, the context is that the Court of Star Chamber used the inquisitive method, combining the search for truth with the force a court is able to apply to a defendant. In doing so, the Court of Star Chamber highlighted a flaw in the inquisitive method: Combining the right to apply force to its subjects with the job of determining truth created incentive for extensive abuse, as the court forced false testimonies out of its subjects.
Hence, the 5th amendments no-self-incrimination clause can be interpreted to exist to weaken the inquisitorial method in US courts, reinforcing the US commitment to an adversarial system instead.
However, the 5th amendment applies there as well - they can't force you to self-incriminate, you are free to remain silent in police interrogation. However, there's nothing in the 5th amendment saying the police or courts can't ask clever questions - if you incriminate yourself because a police asked a sneaky question in interrogation, that's on you.
Sneaky questions versus outright lying? From what I've read, that's common practice for US police officers in suspect interviews.
It's mostly to prevent the incentive to apply pressure to the citizenry via torture or harassment. (Parenthetically, we just harass witnesses instead now)
"The history of this clause is interesting. In England, it was permissible at one point to force a confession, and this at times included torture. Our founders realized this was wrong, and so they added this clause." http://libertyfirstfl.org/2013/06/why-do-we-have-the-fifth-a...
It is only one short clause amongst several others in the amendment.
How do you determine whether they're answering questions truthfully or not?
there's also a longer 2-part video of the entire talk including a complementary perspective from the police POV. look in the related videos/sidebar.
- the current date
- the time you start the ride
- the license plate number
- the name of the driver
and immediately after finishing the ride
- the end of the ride
- the driver's signature
I personally would like to avoid that..
A person might be tempted - in such a case - to confess to the crime and take the fine simply in order to avoid getting entangled in a bureaucratic nightmare. And because of that the state is encouraged to threaten bureaucratic nightmare in order to elicit a confession.
Isn't this exactly the situation that protections against self-incrimination are designed to avoid?
If that's close enough: How is that a problem? Yes, people over here might just pay the fine (which is completely legal for a lot of cases: In all cases where the state doesn't care about the offender's identity).
But if the 5th only means that you're allowed to protect yourself (and yours), isn't it correct to pay? I currently parse your comment as "Wouldn't the people pay up if they are guilty in the first place?".
Not my native language.
The answer could be "X person borrowed my car", which isn't, itself necessarily covered, however the answer could be "I was driving my car at that time", which is definitely covered by the 5th amendment. Since one of the possible truthful responses counts as testimony against yourself, you don't have to answer the question at all, otherwise non-answers could be seen as implicit confessions.
The police's assumption is that as the car's owner you are responsible for its use, and have committed any offense involving it.
Because you're the person responsible for the vehicle. That's literally what "responsible" means. It's your job as a car owner to ensure situations like this, where you don't know who was driving, don't happen.
No, but if you do not it's on your head, you are personally responsible for the use of your motor vehicle.
"If you borrow a gun from me, and I don't know that you did, and you don't or won't tell me that you did... oh well. shrug" becomes your expectation of what should happen next.
"Oh sorry, you weren't driving your vehicle, and you have no idea who was, when it was involved in that accident. But you know it wasn't stolen. Guess there's nothing more we can do here, have a nice day."
'A year old' case seems unlikely as well. I don't know about the UK laws, but over here most (all?) traffic violations expire after 3 month. There's no way to receive questions about a speeding ticket in the distant past..
Which is fair in my book: You own the car, you are responsible for it. You're not on the hook for offenses that you didn't cause. But you were careless with your car if nobody steps forward after an incident.
Also how do they if they actually were the one that was speeding if more than one used the car on the same road.
Collective punishment? You make it sound like Full Metal Jacket. I'd call it responsible behavior, protecting the person involved (unfit for driving if unable to admit errors) and myself (responsible for that heavy machine and the one whose trust was abused).
Obviously that doesn't apply to a random parking ticket or even a minor (slap on the wrist) speeding ticket. But accidents, running red lights, sever speeding? See above. Admit it or gtfo.
I really, really fail to see the reason for artificial "4 kids have access, they took turn driving and it was a year ago. What can these poor souls do?" arguments.
Wife takes car in the evening to do some shopping. She comes back, daughter takes the car to see some friends. They both drove on the same road.
Month later, you get a letter saying that your car has been photographed doing 5mph over the limit on that day. The photo has a time stamp, but there's really no way to tell who was driving at that time, it could have been either your daughter or your wife.
What do you do?
Do you pay the fine, knowing fully well that it wasn't you driving? Or do you tell your wife or daughter to take the points? At the same time, you are aware that naming the wrong person is actually a criminal offence, and since you are not 100% certain who was driving, how can you name anyone??
Why shouldn't you demand more evidence from the police? Why shouldn't you tell the police that you simply don't know and have no way of knowing who was using the car at the time? How can the police ticket anybody in this case, since they don't know who was driving?
I really, really fail to see why is it so hard to understand this. Actually, I bet this happens all the time, but people prefer to just pay the fine and be done with it, instead of fighting for their rights.
Over here you get a picture showing license plate and driver for most offenses (obviously not for parking tickets etc). Pointing out that the picture shows your wife or your daughter should be a trivial exercise.
But I understand that this might not be the case in your jurisdiction. Now, I hope you do get some evidence. The license plate at least?
If the car you own, that you are responsible for, is caught speeding, then there's no way in hell that you can shrug and say "Well.. Could've been anyone, really. The keys usually are in the lock, anyone could be the driver". That excuse seems mind-blowingly easy to exploit. Sure - you might not know who drove the car. In my world, that should have consequences for you, the owner (over here it's on a case by case basis, not a strict consequence).
My understanding so far is that someone wants to weasel out of that responsibility by paying a lawyer.. or teaching law. "If you cannot tell who drove it's your problem" is a crappy answer imo, because that can only lead to more surveillance. And there lies my problem, my issue.
So yes, if you only had a list of names and couldn't do anything else, you could hand that over. The police could then require information from each of those people in the same way.
There was a case which was successfully defended, where the defendant asserted that the "reasonable diligence" requirement only applied after the request was received, and that there was no such requirement for you to retrospectively exercise such diligence. In other words, you must do everything you can to find out who was driving when you receive the notice, but that doesn't mean you have an obligation to keep records of who was driving in anticipation of such a request.
 for infractions which are all short of an immediate license loss