Lord Slynn, the former senior judge in English courts and the European Court of Justice died 8th April.
During his long career as a judge, he was responsible for some of the most notorious decisions of the English judiciary in recent years, which made him a bogey-man of defenders of human rights.
In the 1970’s, in what became a cause célèbre of a class-influenced and sexist judgment, Judge Slynn, along with two other judges of the English Appeal Court, released a convicted violent child rapist from prison, ostensibly because serving a prison sentence would damage his “promising career” as a military officer.
The fact was that the rapist officer was from the magnificently aristocratic Coldstream Guards regiment and his victim was “only” a 16-year-old working class girl working as a waitress for some pocket money.
To the honorable judge, the well-bred Guardsman had an innate right to all that was possessed by the teenage waitress, including her body. True, the “little serf” had caused a fuss over the issue, and there was the slight inconvenience of the law that demanded equal protection against rape irrespective of class, but not enough to merit inconveniencing an esquire’s “promising career”. So, Judge Slynn felt that a suspended prison sentence would more than suffice as punishment for the gentleman-officer, at least for his offence of reaching out for a woman below his station.
This ruling understandably caused outrage in Britain, especially among women campaigning against rape, and led to widespread protests across the UK.
A number of Members of Parliament signed a petition calling on Judge Slynn to be sacked or to resign. But, the honorable judge rejected these calls, citing the independence of the judiciary.
Years later, when the former Chilean dictator and coup leader General Pinochet was arrested in the UK on a Spanish extradition request for crimes against humanity, (the then Lord) Slynn entered the arena again and did his bit for humanity by being the sole law lord in the House of Lords who ruled against the admissibility of his extradition. Lord Slynn had the unique distinction of declaring that the Chilean dictator was entitled to “state immunity” although he may have committed grave crimes against humanity, mainly torture and murder. A view rejected by other senior British judges and other legal experts.
Nevertheless, this bizarre position was inline with Lord Slynn’s personality and views about the function of law. His view was that laws were there to protect the status quo and to ensure that the representatives of the ruling classes – be they the dashing “gentlemen officers” of the Coldstream Guards or the brutal Chilean coup leader – were to be protected from the consequences of their crimes against their “inferiors”. By extension, it was the victims who had been the authors of their own misfortune; The teenage waitress in the UK should not have shown the temerity to resist the unwanted approaches of the dashing Guardsman and the defenders of freedom and justice in Chile should have known better than to resist the US-backed putsch by Pinochet.
It was, therefore, almost inevitable that he should have found sympathy, not only for the cause, but for the ill-gotten cash, of the anti-Iran terrorist Rajavi cult, sometimes known as the PMOI or MKO.
Throughout their ignominious existence since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the PMOI have stopped at no treachery or crime against their compatriots.
Random bombings and assassinations, murders of a popularly elected president and his prime minister, blowing up of elected members of the Iranian parliament (Majlis), spying for the defunct Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, while his troops were occupying Iran, setting up military camps in Saddam’s Iraq and mounting joint operations against Iran from these bases, and much much more. They have done it all.
With the defeat of Saddam Hussein, the PMOI were left without a sponsor. So, bewildered, brainwashes, despondent and defeated. Furthermore, being listed as a proscribed terrorist organization curtailed their fundraising efforts.
So, in an effort to be removed from the list, to whom could the PMOI turn but the trust old bullies’ warhorse: Lord Slynn of Hadley.
The defenders of British child rapists and Chilean torturers rose to the occasion and did his best to have the PMOI removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations.
Eventually, the PMOI were delisted in the European Union by the European Court of Justice, in a perverse ruling which merely accepted the PMOI’s claims that it had “stopped” terrorist activities. It left open the slight matter of their previous crimes, in a verdict that showed contempt for the Iranian lives that had been destroyed by PMOI’s violence in the past.
In order to satisfy himself that the PMOI violence was directed at Iran only and not the British and American occupiers of Iraq, Lord Slynn traveled to the PMOI’s terrorist training base in “Camp Ashraf” in the Iraqi desert, not far from Iranian border.
Lord Slynn did not live long after this legal “victory”. Upon hearing of his death, the PMOI co-leader Maryam Rajavi declared that as a member of the PMOI, Lord Slynn should be buried in Camp Ashraf.
The Rajavi cult have long since buried themselves alive in Camp Ashraf, and their hunt for new companions only rarely bears fruit these days. Saves for the likes of the late Lord Slynn
By Anna O’hara