Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP,
The House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA,
15th April 2017
Dear Ms Rudd,
When do citizens have a duty to withhold tax?
As you probably know I have been imprisoned illegally 3 times in the past 18 months by Hastings Magistrates Court at the behest of Rother District Council for failing to pay council tax. Both the Council and the Courts refuse to acknowledge or refute my defence that I am obeying, and they are breaking, the criminal law[i]. Please ask HM Government to clarify the meaning of the offences in the Terrorism Act 2000 and the International Criminal Court Act 2001 so that taxpayers, public officials and the Courts know when it is lawful to pay tax and when citizens have a duty to withhold tax.
The law of England and Wales (Section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000) asserts that:
- A person commits an offence if he asks for, receives or provides money knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
As Parliament defined terrorism as the use of firearms or explosives endangering life for a political cause[ii], and as the UK Supreme Court has stated[iii] that this [definition] would appear to extend to military or quasi-military activity aimed at bringing down a foreign government, even where that activity is approved by the UK government, and because HM Forces use explosive weapons such as bombs, rockets and missiles that endanger and take the lives of Iraqi and Syrian nationals, and as Councils and businesses regularly transfer money from taxpayers (income tax, council tax, PAYE, NI, VAT etc) to HMR&C, which then transfers it to the Ministry of Defence to enable HM Forces to use explosives to take lives, it is clear that these financial transactions by public officials and taxpayers contravene statute and common law[iv] and constitute serious criminal offences.
I attach a copy of the law and a letter to Hastings Council asking them to suspend the collection of council tax and business rates until they receive confirmation that it is lawful and is not a crime. I’d be grateful if you would ensure that they too receive a copy of your response to my request.
Chris Coverdale encl: Laws Against War and its Funding
[i] Sections 15 – 17 Terrorism Act 2000, section 52 International Criminal Court Act 2001, article 25 Rome Statute of the ICC, article 2 of the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, Principle VII of the Nuremburg Principles.
[ii] Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000
[iii] Regina ‘v’ Gul UKSC 64 (2013) paragraphs 26 – 29
[iv] sections 15 – 17 Terrorism Act 2000, section 52 International Criminal Court Act 2001, article 25 Rome Statute of the ICC, article 2 of the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, Principle VII of the Nuremburg Principles.
The Laws against war and the funding of war
The Judgement of the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946
“War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
“In the opinion of the Tribunal, the solemn renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy necessarily involves the proposition that such war is illegal in international law; and that those who plan and wage such a war with its inevitable and terrible consequences are committing a crime in so doing… Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.”
The UN Charter 1945
1.3 All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace, security and justice are not endangered.
1.4 All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
41. The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon members of the United Nations to apply such measures…
[NB HM Government’s claim that its’ use of force is authorised by the Security Council operating under Chapter VII of the UN Charter is false and untrue. By ignoring the word ‘not’ in the phrase ‘not involving the use of armed force’ in Article 41, the Government misled us into believing that the UN had authorised war. The UN can never authorise war or the use of armed force.]
UN Declaration on Principles of International Law 1970 [UNGA Resolution 2625]
Every State has the duty to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. Such a threat or use of force constitutes a violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues.
No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.
The Nuremburg Principles 1950 [Principle VII]
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism [summary]
The States Parties to this Convention, deeply concerned about the worldwide escalation of acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations have agreed as follows: Any person commits an offence if that person unlawfully and wilfully provides or collects funds in the knowledge that they are to be used to carry out an act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian.
The UK Terrorism Act 2000 – [summaries of sections 1, 15 and 17]
- Terrorism is the threat or use of firearms or explosives endangering a person’s life for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
15. A person commits an offence if he asks for, receives or provides money knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
17. A person commits an offence if he enters into an arrangement as a result of which money is made available to another, and he knows that it may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
Regina ‘v’ Gul UK Supreme Court 64 (2013) extracts from paragraphs 26 and 28
- “the legislation does not exempt, nor make an exception, nor create a defence for, nor exculpate what some would describe as terrorism in a just cause. Such a concept is foreign to the 2000 Act. Terrorism is terrorism, whatever the motives of the perpetrators… Terrorist action outside the United Kingdom which involves the use of firearms or explosives, resulting in danger to life … is terrorism.”
- “As a matter of ordinary language, the definition [of terrorism] would seem to cover any violence or damage to property if it is carried out with a view to influencing a government or IGO in order to advance a very wide range of causes. Thus, it would appear to extend to military or quasi-military activity aimed at bringing down a foreign government, even where that activity is approved officially or unofficially by the UK government.”
The International Criminal Court Act 2001 [summary of section 52]
It is a criminal offence for a person to aid or abet the commission of genocide, a crime against humanity, a war crime or conduct ancillary to such crimes.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [summary of article 25.3 (c)]
A person, who aids, abets or assists in the commission of a crime of genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime, including providing the means for its commission, shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment.
The Accessories and Abettors Act 1861
- Whosoever shall aid, abet, counsel, or procure the commission of any indictable offence, whether the same be an offence at common law or by virtue of any Act passed or to be passed, shall be liable to be tried, indicted, and punished as a principal offender.
Chris Coverdale Make Wars History Hastings April 2017