A CO Donegal man whose son took on Gardaí in court after his car was seized and won says more motorists need to legally challenge the practice.John Doherty spoke out after both Customs and Gardaí seized a total of 60 vehicles across the county in the past three weeks.The Customs seizures related to UK-registered vehicles which hadn’t Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) paid. The Garda seizures related mainly to non-payment of road tax. But despite losing a court case five years ago over the practice, Gardaí are continuing to seize vehicles.John’s son John Jnr had his car seized in Letterkenny five years ago. It was registered in Northern Ireland at the time.“The garda in the case said he was seizing John’s car under Section 139 of the 1992 Finance Act,” said John Snr who is part of the Irish Drivers Association lobby group.“John replied that by taking his car the garda was in breach of his rights under European Law, specifically articles 25 and 39 of the Treaty of Rome; that gardai would be in breach of his rights on freedom of movement as well as in breach of diue process under the Irish Constitution.“This effectively says that seizure of goods more than the amount allegedly owed to the State is illegal.”John Snr also confronted Gardai who said his son had a Republic of Ireland drivers’ license. But he responded that it was a European-wide license, which allows him to hire a car whilst abroad – without breaking any laws.It took more than two years for the case to get to court where John Jnr rejected a plea bargain offer on charges of resisting arrest and possession of a foreign-registered vehicle.“The Gardai regretted taking the case to court and offered to drop the resisting arrest charges if the VRT charge was pleaded to but we rejected this,” said John Snr.“In court we told Judge Kevin Kilrane that John had told the garda on the night that failure to deal with the matter by summons was breaching his rights and the judge agreed.“He told the garda that in future he should follow due process. The cases were thrown out of court.”He says the Irish Drivers Association is now advising motorists how to handle a situation where a car is being seized.“What the association are advising people when confronted by customs or Gardai about car seizures in relation to road tax or customs duties/VRT is simply to inform the respective officer that he/she must follow due process and issue them with a summons,” said John.“Every officer has a duty of care to uphold that person’s Constitutional rights.That way they get a fair trial by a court. No roadside penalties should be paid in lieu of going to court. No seizure fee should be paid. By enforcing any of these penalties the State denies you your constitutional right to a fair trial in court.“This is now a fact and has been proven in Letterkenny Court in the case of DPP v John Doherty. Judge Kilrane told the Garda that it was a draconian measure to lift anyone’s car on the roadside. Striking out the case, the judge told the Garda ‘in future guard, follow due process’.”Due Process – the lawThis is the guidance given to motorists from the Irish Drivers Association:Irish constitutional law1. The 3rd amendment to the constitution. Ireland’s accession to Europe. Known as the 1972 European Communities Act. This is where the Gov of 1992 signed up to the terms of the treaty of Rome.2. Constitutional lawThe constitution is the highest law in the land and no other acts of law introduced by governments shall supersede same. The constitution can only be changed or amended by the people by means of a referendum.3. The 1992 Finance Act is an introduction of law which supposedly gives Gardai and Customs the powers of seizure which is contrary to article 15.which states “The Oireachtas shall not enact any law which is in any way repugnant to the constitution or any part thereof.”4. Article 38 The right to a Fair TrialArticle 38 the right to a fair trial in court by a Judge/ jury. If Gardai and customs start to act as judge jury and executioner on the roadside then we no longer need the courts.5. Article 37Every person appointed a judge shall swear an oath to uphold the constitution. And should bring it to the attention of the court where summons are been issued under the 1992 finance act giving powers of seizure is contrary to constitutional law.6. Article 43 property rightsYour property is yours and can not be seized detained or otherwise unless on foot of a court order signed by a Judge not a ( court clerk ) in other words if it’s not signed by a judge it’s not Valid.………………………………………………………European law. Treaty of RomeEuropean principles of proportionalityA court order can not be issued to collect revenue if the property exceeds that which is due to the state. In short they can only lift to the value of, but not above.Treaty article 10Member states shall take appropriate measures to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of the treaty.Article 14The community shall adopt measuresWith the aim of establishing the internal Market over a period expiring on the 31.12.92Article 25Customs duties on imports and exports and (charges having equivalent effect) /VRT shall be prohibited between member states.Article 39. Free movement.The free movement of goods. Persons. And capital.‘WE WON COURT CASE WHEN GARDAÍ SEIZED CAR – YOU CAN DO THE SAME’ – CAMPAIGNER was last modified: April 12th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CUSTOMSGardaiIrish Drivers AssociationJohn DohertyprotestRevenueroad taxVRT
A recent NOAA study found that by 2040, Alaskan shellfish hatcheries may no longer be sustainable because of ocean acidification, unless serious mitigation efforts are put in place. We recently reported on a hatchery in Oregon that’s become a model for adapting to these different conditions. But the long term solution may actually lie in shellfish genes.Download Audio:Diagram of upwelling which is a cycle of seasonal winds pushing newer oxygen-rich water off the surface of the ocean and older, nutrient and CO2 rich water rising up to take its place causing a lot of pH fluctuation. (Image courtesy of NOAA)Evolution and resiliency are the buzzwords for a sustainable mariculture industry in Alaska, a state that is particularly vulnerable.“And Alaska is going to be the test bed unfortunately for informing us for how the rest of the ecosystem will respond to ocean acidification,” says Jeremy Mathis, a NOAA oceanographer who worked on the recent study based at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward.One short-term solution hatcheries are testing is injecting the acidic ocean water with carbonates that are needed for organisms like clams and mussels to develop hard shells.But in the long term, Mathis says they may need to turn to genetics for answers.“Ideally we can start looking at species that are more resilient to ocean acidification and adapting the commercial fisheries and commercial processing to animals that have that robustness to tolerate ocean acidification as opposed to the ones that are more vulnerable to it,” says Mathis.That’s where scientists like Gretchen Hofmann come in. She’s a marine biology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.“I work on marine invertebrates and sometimes fish and we study how they respond to their environment. We would call it environment-organism interactions and lately we’ve been interested in how these organisms will respond to future changes in ocean pH and ocean warming,” says Hofmann.She’s a leader in what Mathis calls the emerging field of genetic adaptability.“So it really just started with a conversation with oceanographers who were thinking about this and from there, we started to do experiments, and then we started to ask deeper questions about whether or not organisms could adapt to these changes in the ocean and even if there are already genotypes and strains of organisms that are able to handle a low pH condition,” says Hofmann.She says the first experiments they did were a bit too basic for Mother Nature. They’d take species, put them in water with different pH, and see how they’d react. That didn’t reflect natural variations in ocean conditions.“What we found was that there wasn’t just this straight line, no pH change, but that pH was going up and down sometimes quite dramatically,” says Hofmann.Alaskan waters, for example, are very cold and have shifting pH depending on the seasons, fresh water inputs, and how much CO2-rich glacial melt is present.From Washington to California, the coast is subject to a phenomenon known as upwelling, which is a cycle of seasonal winds pushing newer oxygen-rich water off the surface of the ocean and older, nutrient and CO2 rich water rising up to take its place. That means a lot of pH fluctuation.So, Hofmann says they shifted their sea urchin research to take upwelling into account.“And we formed the hypothesis to test that the adults from the place where there was a lot of low pH exposure would be genetically different from the wimpy ones that did not experience all that pH stress,” says Hofmann.They found that the urchins from areas with upwelling had a different genetic signature from those who weren’t and their progeny, or babies, were more tolerant of acidic water.“It was even more interesting because it looked like the trait of being able to tolerate that low pH, that was heritable,” says Hofmann.She points to work being done in New Zealand, where different types of green-shelled mussels are being cross-bred to develop a new resistant and adaptive strain.So, an Alaskan hatchery, for example, could choose to make the shift from some common species being raised now to ones that selectively favor that trait.But it also may mean letting go of consumer preference for certain types of clams, mussels, and other shellfish that just don’t measure up.“These are things that we should be taking a strong look at because it could be that there are other strains of shellfish that could be used that would be more successful in a mariculture setting. But, it is a very thorny issue and one that I think science could bring a lot of daylight to, I think, if we work together on it,” says Hofmann.Hofmann says it’s important for industry and scientists to start partnering now, to get ahead of the game as much as possible.“The first thing we have to do though is get carbon dioxide emission levels under control and then we can deal with the damage that has already been done through mitigation and adaptation strategies,” says Mathis.Because, the problem will only get worse with each coming year.