Grand Juries - What you need to know

On Tuesday, 12th June 2012, there was a meeting at the Central Methodist Hall, Westminster, London. This meeting was billed as one to define "Police Accountability in 2012".

On the other side of the road (Storeys Gate) a demonstration was held, initiated by Michael Doherty. During that demonstration, the Right Hon. Member for Wrekin, Mark Prichard, made a short speech. In that speech he called for the abolition of the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).

A couple of weeks prior to this, there had been another demonstration (again organised by Michael Doherty), outside the IPCC, calling for its abolition. This seemed to result in the Minister for Home Affairs, Keith Vaz, telling the BBC that there would be an Inquiry held, in order to assess the functionality of the IPCC.

That is all fine & dandy as far as it goes.

But there are a number of problems with a motion to "abolish the IPCC".

First of all, the IPCC is only a small cog in a fairly large wheel designed to block one's access to honourable Justice.

Secondly, the question arises: If the IPCC is abolished, then what replaces it?

And the answers to all of this is: It's not just the IPCC that needs to go the whole mechanisms for road-blocking need to go of which the IPCC is only a small part. The entire gamut of road-clocking mechanisms need to be replaced by a "non-road-blocking mechanism"

And we are fortunate that the necessary mechanism once existed, and could easily exist again.

However, before explaining that mechanism, we all need to understand a little bit of our history.

(I'll be a concise as I can).

Go back to be beginning of time. It has always been recognised that Land-dwellers need some kind of 'restraint' placed upon others who would seek to harm or steal from those who wish to simply to live in peace.

The reason why this has always been recognised is simply Common Sense i.e. "We KNOW what some people are like".

It has always been so.

In many cases, as time went on, and Kings evolved, and claimed some "Divine Right of Kings", it came down to "the King making the Law", such as to place the necessary "restraints".

By the year 1215 it was obvious that relying on a King (i.e. Monarch) to "make the Law" was not the way to do it. Because the result was (more often than not) nothing short of tyranny.

The result of the "King's Law" defied Common Sense and (effectively) created a Dictatorship.

Thus during the week of 11th - 15th June 1215, at Runnymede (11th - 15th June? How significant!) - as a result of an ultimatum - the King at the time (John) was forced to make a Treaty with the people of England & France (represented by the Northern Barons). This Treaty is called The Magna Carta 1215.

What this document did was two-fold:

1. For the first time in history it took The Law out of the hands of the Monarch, and placed it into the hands of the Commoners i.e. those to whom it would be applied. 

2. It documented some of the basic tenets for honourable Justice.

Halsbury's Laws of England refers to the Magna Carta 1215 as "the founding document of the British Constitution". Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, and the numerous statements made by Sir Edward Coke, when he was Lord Chief Justice, fully support this contention. 

It was, indeed, only a "founding document", because it was incomplete, but it did comprise the Article (61) that gave every Englishman & Englishwoman the DUTY to rebel against whatever they considered to be "unjust" (by virtue of their innate Common Sense). 

And so the Magna Carta 1215 can be considered to define a number of important aspects of what we now call The Common Law.

I firmly believe that the reason for calling it The Common Law, is because it is the Commoner's Law. It is the Law-of-the-Land, made by Land-dwellers, in order that they can live together in peace with all other Land-dwellers. (I refer to "Land-dwellers", because the Law for the sea must - by virtue of environment - be slightly different i.e. a "boat-rocker" can kill everyone on board)

Now we are getting close to the mechanism that can replace all the road-blocks that occur due to the existence of the IPCC, the CPS, ACPO, and Magistrates Courts, etc.

Because The Common Law always contained the necessary mechanisms. It contained these mechanisms in the form of Juries.

Juries formed by groups of Commoners.

Juries that use their Common Sense to create The Common (Case) Law for any specific circumstance.

Most people know of one kind of Jury, the Petit Jury of 12, whose Verdict - after hearing evidence sworn under penalty of perjury - is supposed to be sacrosanct.

However, until 1933, there was a second kind of Jury - namely a Grand Jury. This was actually defined in the Magna Carta 1215 via Article 61. This Article refers to "Barons" as forming a Grand Jury, however - as time went on - a practical application of Article 61 was to use Commoners for a Grand Jury, as well as for the more-widely-known Petit Jury.

This is totally reasonable, because in all cases Common Sense and Truth must rule the day, if honourable Justice is the ultimate requirement.

Thus the job of applying honourable Justice was split between the two types of Jury.

The job of the Grand Jury was:

A. To receive complaints (from anyone);

B. To meet, in secret, to discuss these complaints;

C. To fully investigate these complaints;

D. To have NOTHING withheld from them;

E. To determine whether or not a prima facie case exists, and whether or not an Indictment should be raised on the basis of each complaint.

Subsequent to Indictments being raised, a Trial-by-Jury would be held in front of a Petit Jury, which would decide on guilt or innocence.

The current system still employs - TO SOME EXTENT - the second part of this Common Law mechanism.

Consequently there is no reason why it could not employ the first part, as well.

And, since BOTH parts are Common Law entities, the result would be the application of The Common Law, to apply the Rule of Law.

Something which has stood us in good stead between the years 1215 and 1933.

So, what happened in 1933? In that year (using the excuse that "manpower for Grand Juries was too scarce") Grand Juries were 'abandoned' (note that word!), in favour of Magistrates. It is important to note the word 'abandoned', because that's not the same as the word 'abolished'. 

For the simple reason that nothing in the British Constitution can be 'abolished' without a Constitutional Convention. And the Parliament, that enacted the Statute 'abandoning' Grand Juries, knew full well it was not a Constitutional Convention.

(A Constitutional Convention would require the services of Constitutional Experts to discuss any changes to be made. Members of Parliament are far from Constitutional Experts many of them have only the vaguest idea that a Constitution even exists)

So, in summary, it's all pretty simple:

(i) Abolish the IPCC, AND

(ii) Abolish the CPS, AND

(iii) Abolish Magistrates Courts, AND

(iv) Abolish the ACPO, AND

(v)  Ensure Judges simply do their job, and do not try to 'tamper' with Petit Jury Verdicts, AND

put our faith back into the mechanism that stood us in good stead for 718 years.

And the final question is: What is Parliament, anyway, and why can't Parliaments "make the Law"?

And the answer to that is pretty simple. The first Parliament to be recognised (by Edward I) was Simon de Monfort's "Model Parliament", in 1295.

That was 80 years on, from 1215.

Consequently, since The Common Law was applicable at the time (having been founded in 1215), the Model Parliament AND ALL SUBSEQUENT PARLIAMENTS have been created UNDER The Common Law.

And, if one reads Statutes created by these Parliaments (the 1835 Statutory Declarations Act, and the Trust Act 2000 come immediately to mind although there are many others), one finds that these all REFER TO and DEFER TO The Common Law.

And this leads to "Jury Nullification" created by "Perverse Verdicts". A Petit Jury can, by virtue of its Verdict, overturn ANYTHING created by ANY Parliament (past, present, future), by returning (what is called) a "Perverse Verdict". This (effectively) says: "The Accused did no wrong in our eyes, the Statute must be wrong".

Anything created by Parliament can be overturned in this way. It just takes "the right Trial", and "the right presentments & arguments" to the Petit Jury.

And this has happened many times over the intervening years. Indeed, it happened very recently - at the Coroner's Inquiry into the death of Ian Tomlinson, and also at the Trial of Muad'Dib.

This is because Parliaments create "Legislation" ... they don't create "Law".

And the reason for this situation is that PARLIAMENTS ARE CREATED UNDER THE COMMON LAW - AND ARE THEREFORE ALWAYS SUBSERVIENT TO THE COMMON LAW. Therefore they can't "create Law". Only Juries and Statements of Truth (Affidavits) can create Law.

Veronica, 12th June 2012.