Wider Legal Issues
... how do we stop TV Licensing for good?
Don't get mad
It seems crazy that the law permits citizens to ignore BBC/TVL if they wish, but actually defeating the entire organisation is much, much harder. The most effective approach will be to add more and more people who do not require a Licence, all passively or proactively resisting BBC/TVL's attempts to harass them. The passage of time will also make the Licence and its enforcement seem more and more outdated, too.
But what, if anything can be done to bring that day forward?
TVL and the Human Rights Act
The Right to Privacy within the Human Rights Act is based in a revulsion to authoritarian state scrutiny (post World War 2) that TVL's activities fit into fairly well.
When put to them, their response is poor, citing "searching (homes) by consent", when (a) it's unlikely that consent is an exemption to the wide-ranging terms of the law, and (b) they aren't really seeking proper consent, anyway, because they've already misinformed the householder multiple times, and they aren't providing the full legal context of the situation when they ask for entry or personal information.
The issue is that bringing a proactive action under the Human Rights Act usually requires a Judicial Review, and that is a very costly legal action to embark upon.
Whilst we wouldn't necessarily want people to be bringing many, many frivolous Human Rights cases, there really should be a more even playing field between innocent citizens seeking to defend their rights, and criminal defendants seeking to defend themselves (using human rights).
So where does that leave us?
The only real possibility at the moment is practical action undertaken by a large number of individual households, coordinated through social media.
The things that will tend to mess up BBC/TVL's operations are:-
- More people becoming legally Licence-free - this is already happening.
- More people using legal remedies - this is also increasing.
- People with the time and skills submitting a scale of charges and then issuing court procedings.
- People charged with Licence evasion attending Court, even to plead Guilty, and submitting lengthy statements in mitigation.
- People charged with Licence evasion attending Court to plead Not Guilty based on deficiencies with TVL's case or technical issues.
- Issuing court proceedings for trespass ... when TVL trespass on your property.
- Once a judgement is secured on trespass, applying for an Injunction.
- In Scotland, using TVL's own threatening letters to apply for an Interdict.
Supporting documentation for these options will be provided here, shortly.
So, there are steps that can be taken, but they require a certain amount of effort and committment. We also don't know how BBC/TVL and the Government will respond. The BBC is a very powerful, very wealthy organisation. They have also shown themselves to be more than capable of wilful deceit and grotesque incompetence.
All the more reason to try to reform them...