At the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh on 7 August 2013 the Crown dropped its prosecution of Barbara Dowling for allegedly failing to fully complete her census form in 2011.

Barbara’s legal team had gone to the appeal court to challenge an earlier decision by Glasgow Sheriff Court to allow the case against Barbara to proceed without allowing her lawyer to comment on an ammendment to the charge ( they were using out of date legislation ). The appeal court judges took the view that if the Crown were to contest the submission from Babara’s lawyers, a further evidential hearing would be needed. The Crown then announced that it would drop the case.

The conduct by the Crown that led to the appeal was just the last in a long series of legal abuses designed to scapegoat a handful of people, without making any serious attempt to prosecute all the 187,924 Scottish households that the Register Office believes had failed to send in a census form as required.

Ethical Census and Scotland Against Criminalising Communities encouraged people to withhold co-operation from Scotland’s 2011 census in protest at the involvement in key census work of a British subsidiary of CACI – a US-based defence contractor that was complicit in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Glasgow Sheriff Court

Photo copyright © the justified sinner

Barbara Dowling’s trial for alleged non-compliance with the census, scheduled for today, Tuesday 25 September, has been adjourned due to lack of court time until 10am 19 February 2013, in Glasgow Sheriff Court (court 16).

Census prosecution of less than 1 in 37,000 is “persecution, not prosecution”

Just 5 people have been prosecuted over the census – a prosecution rate of less than one in 37,000. This is so gross an imbalance that SACC believes that proceedings against the five amount to persecution, not prosecution…

“CACI has so far escaped any legal sanction over its involvement in torture at Abu Ghraib. Even if the lawsuits currently proceeding against CACI are eventually successful, CACI will still have avoided having to answer for its actions under criminal law. Yet Barbara Dowling is being accused of a criminal offence because she allegedly left some blank spaces on her census form. Scotland’s legal system is on the brink of making a fool of itself. The charges should be dropped.” – SACC Press Release

Abu Ghraib prisoner

“As everyone knows, soldiers and civilian contractors at the Abu Ghraib prison committed criminal offenses,” says New York Times editor, Andrew Rosenthal. So why have no Abu Ghraib contractors faced prosecution? And why is a Glasgow woman facing criminal charges for objecting to the involvement of Abu Ghraib contractor CACI in Scotland’s census?

Barbara Dowling will be tried in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday 25 September, accused of committing a criminal offence under the Census Act 1920. She allegedly refused to fully complete her census form last year in protest at the involvement in Scotland’s census of a British subsidiary of US defence contractor CACI International.

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Glasgow Sheriff Court

Photo copyright © the justified sinner

Barbara Dowling is being charged under the Census Act, accused of not filling in her census form properly. At an intermediate diet held at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday her trial, scheduled for Tuesday 15 May, was re-scheduled for 25 September.

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Glasgow Sheriff Court

Photo copyright © rassac

2pm Monday 14 May, Glasgow Sheriff Court (intermediate diet)
10am Tuesday 15 May, Glasgow Sheriff Court (trial diet)

Barbara Dowling is being charged under the Census Act, accused of not filling in her census form properly.

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Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC

The Crown Office says that it has brought proceedings against just 5 people for not complying with Scotland’s 2011 census. One person, whose identity is unknown, has been convicted. One case has ended without a conviction. Three cases are still going through the courts. One of them involves Barbara Dowling, of Glasgow and one involves Mary Reid, of Falkirk. A third person, whose identity is unknown, is being prosecuted in Greenock.

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Surprise legal development could undermine census trials throughout the UK
- Barbara Dowling’s trial adjourned

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Barbara Dowling is being charged under the Census Act, accused of not filling in her census form properly. Her intermediate diet was held on Tue 10 January and her case is going ahead to trial. Barbara will be defending herself.

The trial will be at 10am in Court 16, Glasgow Sheriff Court Thursday 26 January

Countless Scots have either failed to fill in their census forms or returned them partially completed or improved by critical comments, but have not been prosecuted. Barbara’s victimisation is inexplicable. Please make a date in your diary to come along and support her. And please tell your friends.

Barbara will also be in court on 25 Jan over non-payment of a fine incurred for blockading Faslane nuclear submarine base. Barbara is refusing to pay the fine and risks a jail sentence:
10am 25th January, Dumbarton Sheriff Court – support in court welcome

More about the Faslane blockade

Source CCR Press Release

December 20, 2011, New York – Last night, attorneys for Iraqi torture victims abused in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and other detention centers in Iraq challenged two private military contractors’ claims to immunity from being sued on the grounds that their alleged torture occurred during wartime. Today, a coalition of groups, including retired military officers and human rights NGO’s and experts, supported their claims by filing amicus briefs that argue that for-profit corporations cannot be considered equivalent to U.S. soldiers and should face justice under traditional legal principles governing any illegal conduct.

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Contact EthicalCensus

Scottish Census contractor and human rights abuser CACI has won its battle for immunity from US law. On 21 September 2011 a US Federal Appeals Court in Virginia dismissed the case brought against CACI by 4 former Abu Ghraib prisoners (“Al Shimari v CACI International”). They did so not because they rejected the evidence against CACI, but because they believed CACI’s integration into the US military renders it immune to this sort of lawsuit. The ruling follows the pattern set by a US Supreme Court ruling in June.

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