GREEN LAW OFFICER SUPPORTS SCOTTISH SHERIFF'S RULING ON THE ILLEGALITY OF TRIDENT
The Green Party Law Officer, Hugo Charlton, who is also the candidate for the Kensington by-election, supports the decision by the Scottish Sheriff concerning Trident. "It is a consequence of the decision of the International Court of Justice, General List No.95 Advisory Opinion of 8 July" he says. "When we argued this point last year before a Crown Court judge in Reading there was no question that the International Courts decision was binding, or at least should be given great weight, in the English courts. However our argument failed because the Advisory Ruling leaves open the possibility of limited use of nuclear weapons for defensive purposes, and we did not have the relevant expert to give evidence that the Trident weapons system can not be used in a way which would bring it within the legal use permitted by international law."
"It should also be said that the Ministry of Defence, who brought the prosecution, allowed the court to be misled. The Judge was impressed by the fact that AWE Aldermaston was operating within the terms of their licence, but in fact they were convicted for a serious breach of safety regulations and the court was not informed of the proceedings. We would have appealed on the basis of an abuse of process by the prosecution, but as the defendant, a 78 year old woman, was given a conditional discharge it was not worth the hassle."
"However we did show that the area around Aldermaston has 30% above the national average of childhood leukemia's which, admittedly translates into only one unnecessary death per year, but nonetheless we felt that was sufficient to justify the damage which our clients inflicted on the fence. We also showed, with uncontroverted evidence, that the current calculations for a "safe dose" have underestimated the risk, due to methodological flaws in the study of Hiroshima victims which form the basis for current safety standards."