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PDF: The Charter of Fundamental Rights which is an integral part of the Lisbon Treaty (a part from which the UK regrettably derogated), specifically outlaws capital punishment in Article 2.

The EU (though not the UK) is therefore on firm grounds in opposing the execution as a matter of principle.

However it is understandable, as Marco points out, that many Chinese will take UK protestations with a (neo-colonial) pinch of salt and expect foreign nationals to be subject to the same laws and punishments as Chinese citizens.  

It does not seem to be asking too much to expect the Chinese Courts to order their own, independent, psychiatric evaluation, but failing that, the defence argument does not appear to claim that a miscarriage of justice has occurred: merely that the punishment is excessive, or that appropriate psychiatric protocols were not followed.  But is this a criticism of the Chinese judicial system in general or of the specifics of this case?  All countries guard their sovereignty in relation to their judicial systems very jealously, and even in the UK the findings of the ECJ, for instance, can be very controversial.

The diplomatic route would therefore seem to be to seek to have the outlawing of Capital punishment made a matter of human rights enshrined by Treaty in international law.  We are a very long way away from that.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 29th, 2009 at 08:33:03 AM EST

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