Letter to a Councillor about The collection and payment of council tax is illegal

Councillor Peter Chowney,

Muriel Matters House,
Breeds Place,
Hastings,
TN34 3UY

Ref: A/C No. 21425569X

 

13th April 2017

 

Dear Councillor,

 

The collection and payment of council tax is illegal

You recently sent me a bill for £1,745.49 council tax which I believe is illegal, so I am asking you to withdraw it and suspend the collection of council tax and business rates until the High Court confirms that the collection and payment of these taxes is not an offence under war or terrorism law.

You may be unaware that two recent treaties[i] and two new laws[ii] make the collection and payment of money a criminal offence if the person collecting or paying the money knows or suspects that it may be used for the purposes of terrorism or war.  The law states:

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, 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 the Council and its partners[iv] transfer money raised from taxpayers to HM Government through PAYE, NI, VAT and other payments, it is clear that your demand is illegal and if I pay it will involve both of us in serious crimes.

Finally I confirm that I will pay all sums of money that are lawfully due to Hastings Borough Council and HMR&C as soon as a court of competent jurisdiction confirms that such payments do not contravene the Terrorism Act 2000, the International Criminal Court Act 2001, the Rome Statute of the ICC, the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism or the Nuremburg Principles.

Yours sincerely,

 

Chris Coverdale                                                   encl:  Laws Against War and its Funding

cc:  Amber Rudd MP / Hastings Online Times / Hastings Independent Press / Ian Birrell

[i] The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

[ii] S. 15 – 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000, s. 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001,

[iii] Regina ‘v’ Gul UKSC 64 (2013) paragraphs 26 – 29

[iv] East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and East Sussex Fire Authority.

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]

  1. 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

  1. “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.”
  2. “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

  1. 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

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