Equal under the Law

One of the seven guiding principles on which the policies and actions of the Pirate Party are based states… All are equal under the law. We all have a say in the structure and process of governance and the right to know what is done on our behalf.

Personally, and as Nominations Officer for the party, this is the core principle that means most to me. Equality and access to justice are fundamental rights, and that is enshrined in Article 7 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But sad to say we do not live in an equal society in this country. Every day people are discriminated against on grounds of sex, race, sexual identity, and political or religious beliefs. While such behaviour might be illegal, it is still widely practiced and is ingrained in some organisations. What is more, the Press actively encourages sexist, homophobic, and religious intolerance with provocative headlines, photos, and articles.

The Pirate Party stands for justice and equality. We believe that a person's beliefs, preferences, and physical attributes should have no bearing on how they are treated or what opportunities they have access to.

One of our policies states: The Pirate Party wants a free and fair society where everyone can take part, with space to live, respect for all of our communities, and where basic human rights are the cornerstone of a fair society. And with that in mind, we agree with Amnesty International that the UK must remain a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, a commitment that should continue regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU or not.

Another of our policies states that The poor are served disproportionately by the justice system. Legal representation must be available to all; it should not be a privilege for those who can afford it …but the Government continues to cut and limit access to Legal Aid. With its high percentage of qualified lawyers you might expect that Parliament would understand the importance of access to justice regardless of personal wealth, but it appears that our representatives who have good salaries and can afford to hire lawyers do not think that the average person needs to be represented in court.

We also need to learn to trust the electorate more. Too often our politicians make decisions on our behalf saying that the issues are too complicated for us to understand, and only sharing a small amount of the facts that are necessary to make informed choices. The Pirate Party believes in evidence-based democracy where the population can have access to the information they need to understand and properly consider the questions.

Furthermore, we believe that in today's world 16 and 17 year olds are equipped and capable of participating in our democracy. Young adults in Scotland have demonstrated their ability to vote and contribute to important discussions: why shouldn't 16 and 17 year olds in the rest of the country also be able to? So one of our policies states: We want to open up our democracy to younger people. They see their lives and futures directed by governments they have no say over. We trust young people and want to allow them to vote from the age of 16. If equality under the law is important to you, then you should support the Pirate Party.

If you think that access to justice is a fundamental right in our country, then you should support the Pirate Party. And if you believe that we should trust all of the people in this country to make decisions based on good quality information and evidence, then you need to support the Pirate Party. All of our principles are set out on our web site at https://pirateparty.org.uk/policy