Foreign Law Means Nothing If You're British; as Convicted Murderers McLauchlan and Parry Head Homeward, Dennis Ellam Questions Tony Blair's Intervention

By Ellam, Dennis | The Birmingham Post (England), May 21, 1998 | Go to article overview

Foreign Law Means Nothing If You're British; as Convicted Murderers McLauchlan and Parry Head Homeward, Dennis Ellam Questions Tony Blair's Intervention


Ellam, Dennis, The Birmingham Post (England)


The convicted murderers Lucille McLauchlan and Deborah Parry are flying home - their release another victory for the principle that Britons held in foreign prisons cannot possibly be guilty as charged.

No doubt they will raise a champagne toast on the journey back to Britain; they have not only their freedom to celebrate, but the good fortune that tabloid newspapers have been bidding six-figure sums for their stories.

For the brutal killing of a nursing colleague, it should be noted, they have spent less than 18 months in jail.

Even if the people of Saudi Arabia are not unduly concerned that their justice system is so open to bartering and manipulation, certainly there will be widespread disquiet in this country at the way in which McLauchlan and Parry have been have been allow ed to go.

The UK subscribes to the notion that there ought to be an international rule of law.

But when proven murderers, and before them convicted drug-smugglers, have their punishment waived and are despatched home, apparently because their nationality somehow mitigates their crime, the law's rule appears to depend upon circumstance.

At the heart of public concern will be the application of Royal prerogatives, to overturn the decisions of lawful courts.

McLauchlan and Parry are homeward-bound thanks to a pardon granted by Saudi's King Fahd.

Similarly, Karyn Smith and Patricia Cahill, jailed in Bangkok having been caught in possession of 66lbs of heroin at the airport, were returned home to Birmingham, as an act of clemency by Thailand's King Bhumibol.

In both cases, British prime ministers had intervened on behalf of their citizens. To secure the release of Smith and Cahill, a personal plea was sent directly from Mr John Major, while the case of McLauchlan and Parry was raised by Mr Tony Blair during his recent talks with King Fahd.

Prime ministers, like any politician, naturally respond to what they perceive to be the public opinion, and the image of Britons - female Britons, especially - incarcerated in a foreign land is a powerful opinion-shaper.

They "languish" in its cells. The conditions they must endure are invariably "hellish". They become "victims", in their drab prison uniforms, of a judiciary which might be rarely seen and probably little understood at home in the UK.

We do not even trust the USA. At the very start of the Louise Woodward trial, for example, there was outcry at the sight of an accused Briton being brought into the Boston courthouse in wrist and ankle chains, without much regard to the fact that this wa s exactly how an American would have been treated too.

And yet, the fervent jubilation which greeted Ms Woodward's release was deeply unsettling; likewise, the triumphant return of Smith and Cahill caused much unease, and now when McLauchlan and Parry arrive back there will have to be questioning about their premature release. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Foreign Law Means Nothing If You're British; as Convicted Murderers McLauchlan and Parry Head Homeward, Dennis Ellam Questions Tony Blair's Intervention
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.