ACCA TO GAG REFORMERS

VOTE AGAINST RESOLUTION 5

ACCA's leadership has further lurched to the right. It is seeking to silence council members and potential members by forcing them to sign  the Councilís Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice was developed without any input whatsoever from ACCA members. It is designed to silence debate. Amongst other things it requires Council members to
 
v. explain and support the policies formally adopted by Council even where these may differ from their individual views 

vi. refrain from making public pronouncements which are at variance with Council's formal position even where that position may differ from their individual views 
 

Council members must not be gagged. they must have freedom to speak on any matter and indicate their dissent with any policy of the ACCA, should they so wish. In any debate one's conscience, concern for community and principles of justice, liberty and fairness shall over ride all narrow considerations.

ACCA's proposal is undemocratic and contrary to the UK's Human Rights Act 1998 which is due to come into force in October 2000. Article 9 of the Act states that
 
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. 
 
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject  only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. 
 

Article 10 of the Act states that
 
 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right  shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for  the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
                    

 Any attempt by ACCA to enforce its Code of Practice will make it a laughing stock and subject to litigation.

 VOTE AGAINST RESOLUTION 5