LA News Release, "Even Mr Big Has Rights: Plans to Lower Burden of Proof in Criminal Cases Utterly Wrong" (February 2004)

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In Association with the Libertarian International

London, Monday 16th February 2004
Contact Details: Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199,

"Even Mr Big Has Rights: Plans to Lower Burden of Proof in Criminal Cases Utterly Wrong", Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Think Tank

Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to lower the burden of proof in criminal cases, to allow conviction on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt, as at present. He says: "To require everything beyond reason able doubt in these cases is very difficult. I think people would accept that within certain categories of case, provided it's big enough, you don't take the normal burden ... It requires a different court process."

"Nonsense", says Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance. "Crime is crime. Bringing in a different process for different crimes is a further nail in the coffin of liberty in this country. We were told a fortnight ago that "terrorist" offences might need a lower burden of proof - and by people who have been surrendering part of the United Kingdom into the hands of the IRA. Now we are told that this may apply to non-terrorist offences.

"The truth is, this government wants a police state and will use any excuse to get one. This legislation, if passed, would soon become the normal mode of trial of all offences. I predict it would be extended at first to politically correct crimes - I bet it would take a year for the proposals to be floated. Then it would be proposed for "paedophile" offences. Then to drinking and driving. Within a decade, we would all be subject to trial by kangaroo court.

"The Libertarian Alliance is utterly opposed to these proposed measures, and to any others that have been proposed or enacted so far. No one, however grave his alleged offence, should be subject to such breach of traditional rights. Even Mr Big has rights.

"The politicians and police in this country are out of control. These people will not stop until they are stopped."

Sean Gabb is available for media comment on 07956 472 199


Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is the author of ten novels and ten other books, plus about a million words of journalism. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

His latest novel, The Break, has been nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.

His recent book, Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, is a defence of freedom of speech without exceptions. 

Or his book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, explains how its current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed.

Or another of his books, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power, explains how the current "war" on smoking has nothing to do with making individuals healthy, but everything to do with enhancing the power of a totalitarian ruling class, and enriching its relevant client groups.

You can see other books by Sean Gabb here.

Extended Contact Details

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain's most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Tel: 07956 472 199