End bailiffs powers to break in and use force against debtors and fine defaulters. 

We are seeking a return to the peaceful enforcement of fines by bailiffs who have been able to break to people's homes since March 2006 when the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 came into force. Very dangerous powers also exist in the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 which allow bailiffs to break in to enforce all civil debts and to use force against the debtor or fine defaulter but they are not yet in force. These perverse laws should be removed in a Great Repeal Bill.  

Why is this idea important?

This four hundred year old right to safety in our homes should be restored to the British people. It was established in Semayne’s case in 1604.

During the mid-18th century the doctrine of an Englishman’s castle became of constitutional significance. In Entick v Carrington (1765) the Lord Chief Justice declared: “By the laws of England, every invasion of property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.” It came two years after a speech in Parliament by William Pitt the Elder, first Earl of Chatham, containing what Lord Denning in Southam v Smout [1964] 1 QB 308 described as the: “classic passage” on the principle:

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter – all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement”.

The law banning break ins and force against persons by bailiffs encouraged peaceful enforcement of debts and fines. Magistrates are the Justices of the Peace -JPs. The introduction of the violence of breaking in to homes to enforce fines,  and the violence of force against the person, as yet not in force, increases the dangers of retaliation and risks to the health and safety of both bailiffs and debtors.

Many bailiffs companies do not want the powers to use force against persons; they are satisfied with the right to self defence which covers both bailiffs and debtors.

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