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UK & Canadian Patriot Act

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posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:51 PM
I guess I realized today that the general Canadian and UK citizens here have no idea that they already have a "Patriot Act" in their countries. There is so much criticism of American for this, that I had to point this out. By "Patriot Act", I mean the government's ability to enter your property without a search warrant. Quite honestly, it applies to smuggling but can extend to many other crimes.

On to the actual Writ (reproduced here due to being in Word doc format):

No. 69
Writ of assistance

[ ] District Registry

Claim No.


ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Our other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

TO: " ...…, the present (and any future) enforcement officer authorised to enforce writs of execution issued from the High Court."
"The enforcement officers from the High Court who are assigned to the district of1 ……… England & Wales."
[N.B. If you have chosen this option you must send this writ to "NICESheriffs" for allocation.]

Whereas by an order dated (date) made in the above-named claim in the [ ] Division of our High Court between the claimant (name) and the defendant (name), the defendant (name) was ordered to give to the claimant (name) possession of the land [or goods] therein described (describe the land or goods the subject of the order) but the defendant (name), and other persons have refused to obey the order and keep the possession of the land [or goods] in contempt of us and our Court:

And whereas by an order made in this claim (dated) it was ordered that a writ of assistance should issue to give the claimant (name) possession of the said land [or goods]:

YOU ARE NOW COMMANDED to [enter the said land and eject the defendant (name), his tenants, servants and accomplices, each and every of them, from the said land and every part thereof and put the claimant (name) and his assigns into full, peaceable and quiet possession thereof] [or put the claimant (name) and his assigns into full peaceable and quiet possession of the said goods] and defend and keep him and his assigns in such peaceable and quiet possession, when and as often as any interruption thereof is at any time effected, according to the intent of the said orders. And herein you are not in any wise to fail.

THIS WRIT WAS ISSUED by the Central Office [the District Registry] of the High Court on (date) on the application of (name) of (address) [agent for (name) of (address)] solicitor for [the claimant] [or the claimant (name) in person] who resides at (address).

WITNESS (name) Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, the (date)

The address[es] for enforcement are (give address[es] including county and postcode)

Writs of assistance are documentary authorizations to search unspecified premises for smuggled goods and anything else liable to forfeiture under customs law. They do not apply only at our frontiers, but operate inland if that is where the goods are. They are issued by the Queen's bench division of the High Court at the beginning of a monarch's reign and remain valid for six months after the end of the reign. During that time they are lodged at various Customs offices, where the senior manager is responsible for their use.

The issue of writs of assistance is entirely under the control of that Customs and Excise senior manager. My hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton) gave a good example about drugs. The point made by the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) and my hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley, West and Penistone (Mr. Clapham) was that seizure would not be possible where goods were liable to be moved rapidly.

A Writ of Assistance is a legal writ In English Law a writ was one of two things.
From mediaeval times onwards a claim could be brought before the court only if the circumstances which had occurred exactly matched the relief the court could give. Thus there was a writ of ejectment (for getting people off land) and a writ of certiorari for quashing official verdicts. This system was restrictive, and intentionally so. Giving the courts more powers would give the peasants more powers, which was not popular the serves as a general search warrant. A search warrant is a written warrant issued by a judge which authorizes the police to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a criminal offense.

In the US the issue of warrants is determined under Title 18 of the US Code. The law has been restated and extended under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Unlike the warrant, it is generally open-ended, and requires all parties to support the officer to whom it was issued. Its normal use is in support of customs and excise inspections. The writ authorizes an officer to search any person or place and does not expire.

These have become an issue in Canada Canada, the northernmost country on the North American continent, is a federation governed as a constitutional monarchy. It is bordered by the United States to the south as well as in the northwest. The Canada-U.S. border is the world's longest undefended border. The country stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. Canada also reaches the Arctic Ocean in the north where Canada's territorial claim extends to the North Pole where they are usually issued to customs and RCMP The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP or Mounties) are the national police force of Canada. In addition to providing federal (national) level policing, they also provide provincial, and municipal police services to parts of Canada under contract to the three territories, and eight of the provinces (excepting Ontario and Quebec), approximately 198 municipalities and 192 First Nations communities. In French they are known as the Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC) officers to enforce drug and import laws. Controversy surrounds their use to seize pornographic and gay rights literature at the Canadian border.

Section 161 currently provides for Customs officers officers to enter and search any building or place premises where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that any thinggoods liable to forfeiture under Customs law isare kept or concealed there, and to seize or detain such thingsgoods. Sub section 161(1) allows for such action to be carried out by an officer having a under the authority of a writ of assistance. , whilst sub Ssection 161(3) provides for such action to be carried out by an officer under the authority of this to be done using a search warrant issued by a justice of the peace.

The person I know that has one, is one of nine RCMP Officers in Canada with a Writ of Assistance. In his own words he can "enter any premisis at any time, anywhere, for any reason". He has entered homes for other officers when a search warrant was not legally available. He has complete and total latitude. He was on biker/drug detail under the guise of "drug smuggling". This allows the Writ to be used under the provision that it is a smuggling/customs issue.

So, next time you think about bashing the Patriot Act, have it too.

[edit on 25-7-2004 by ZeddicusZulZorander]

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:59 PM
ZZZ, these are old aspects of the law and would never stand up in a trial in this day. Doubt if they would in the UK either. I do not doubt that there are these "special officers", they would be few and easily challenged in court.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:03 PM
I think most people are troubled with it in America because they know that some police will actual abuse the laws. America leads the world with its prison population. Many things are outlawed in this country, that most of us are unaware of, until someone is arrested for it. Americans are terrifyed of giving the police more of a chance to come into their home, because its likely that you are a criminal and don't know it. 98% of our prison population is there for non-violent crimes. Non-violent means they didn't hurt anyone, or threaten anyone.

Other countries, like Canada, which have had these laws for a long time, are used to it, and the police don't seem to abuse it like our's do.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:18 PM

Originally posted by intrepid
I do not doubt that there are these "special officers", they would be few and easily challenged in court.

Alright then...I guess with a wave of the hand, you dismiss the idea. I however know an officer and have spent many an evening drinking Whiskey and hearing stories. Easily challenged when they have the highest authority? Challenged when they can kick in your door, put everone at gunpoint, search the entire place and say "no illegal smuggled drugs here, however NOW these officers will need to speak to you regarding illegal guns". No, it's not so easy. And YES...they DO hold up in court even today.

I has happened and it does happen. But, as I say...if you feel safe, fine. But know that millions of Americans no longer feel safe when various bureaus can do this under the guise of the "Patriot Act".

As for the lone officer idea, yes...he is the one with the Writ, but they still have a small army of cops with them. The idea is the same. He has jurisdiction, and they are "backup".

Jabba - as for the abuse issue, happens. I know of a case where RCMP wanted to go after a gang due to weapons charges, but did not have sufficient evidence for a warrent. Enter the officer that needs no warrent and the whole SWAT team goes in lokoking for "smuggled drugs". After a complete drugs, but plenty of weapons were found. The people were convicted. No granted, they were criminals with a vast arsenal of illegal fully automatic weapons, but still...look at the tactics.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:21 PM

Originally posted by ZeddicusZulZorander
... No granted, they were criminals with a vast arsenal of illegal fully automatic weapons, but still...look at the tactics.

You're right. The rules are what's important. I do know that Canadians trust their police more than we do, but that's more likely because of the massive amount of people in our jails. I don't know why, but many American police departments see it as their goal to lock up as many "criminals" as possible, and if you read every US and state code, I guarentee you we're all criminals.

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