Should There be "on-the-spot" Fines for Spitting in the Street? (2013), by Sean Gabb

Share this
Flash Animation


Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio London on the 24th September 2013. Waltham Forest Borough Council in London has won the legal right to issue on the spot fines for spitting in the street.

Sean commented as follows:

1. So long as the streets are owned by the authorities, it should be against the criminal law to spit in the street. 

2. However, the Magna Carta specifies that no one shall be proceeded against or punished without due process of law. Also, in purely abstract terms, it is dangerous to let the authorities hand out punishments without due process of law. On the spot fines are not due process. Therefore, the Libertarian Alliance deplores the actions of Waltham Forest Borough Council.