Tagged: internet law

Law 16: Where knowing the law is of no use

English (I) and French (II).

I

Critical race theory is correct: civil rights legislation is rubbish and the liberals’ record a piece of trash.

*

Where knowing the law is of no use

British man cleared after being arrested for “offensive” online video. A win for free expression.

A win for free expression? “The court cleared L. after learning he did not make the video, shared it as a joke, and the clip had been quote-tweeted 369 times, and retweeted 47 times, and had 107 likes.”

The police picked up the man randomly among 400 “criminals” and there was a trial and that wasn’t the trial of the police but of the man and you call that a win for free expression? No, it would have been a win if the police had been tried and convicted for harassing a law-abiding citizen.

ii

Why do I say the man was subjected to police harassment? Normally, when police bring a man before a criminal court for trial, if the court, differing from the police, pronounces acquittal, it is based on a difference as to facts. The police thought, according to the evidence at their disposal, that the man was guilty but the court found out the story was another one. They differ on the facts of the case.

But when the court acquits the accused based on the same facts upon which the police and the prosecutor acted to prosecute the accused, how do you call that?

Here the court learnt that L. “did not make the video, shared it as a joke, and the clip had been quote-tweeted 369 times, and retweeted 47 times, and had 107 likes,” but the police investigation, which obviously had reached the selfsame conclusion that L. “did not make the video, shared it as a joke, and the clip had been quote-tweeted 369 times, and retweeted 47 times, and had 107 likes” had sent L. before a court for these –and no other– facts! (Clearly L. had NOT told the police he had made the video himself, in dead earnest, and was the only person to share it, because we will assume he is not suicidal–if he were he would have told the court the same story.)

Therefore the police, having all the facts it needed to leave L. alone, ignored the law and subjected L. to a dire ordeal–out of sadism? one might ask.

With these perverted laws repressing speech, it is always the same and everybody knows it and no one dares speak their mind because a trial’s always possible, it all depens on the subjective appreciation –or even whims– of this or that officer or magistrate. This, I believe, is a strong motive why the U.S. Supreme Court wants none of such insanities, whereas in Britain they are still children living in the days of Blackstone who thought free speech is protected when there was no prior restraint.

iii

In other words they all agree on the facts of the case; yet, based on facts on which they all agree, one demands a conviction and the other acquits. This means no one can know what is permissible and what is not, as knowing the law is of no use then. What is required of citizens is not so much knowing the law as being able to read people’s minds.

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Feudalism and Liberty

Since when can anyone not to mention employers, punish anyone for stating their thoughts and opinions? My employer is not my “daddy” and I am not their property so whatever I say or do as long as it is not at work is none of their concern, ever. (Dr Z.)

I agree the situation Dr Z. describes much resembles feudalism. However, if we take the problem as one of freedom maximizing, we probably should leave employers some room to dismiss at will, which remains the default rule in most of the United States (De Geest, American Law: A Comparative Primer, 2020).

To begin with, the U.K. Equality Act, which excludes opinion as a just cause for dismissal (except “discrimination” –read: content that is not politically correct, and you can count on British courts to make the exception as broad –or rather as discriminatory– as they can, and “harassment”), is of 2010, that is, it is a recent creation. Before that, British employers could fire workers based on their opinions and that would be construed most of the time as fitting the employer’s discretion.

In the U.S. there is no federal Equality Act statute and, as I said, the at-will doctrine remains the default rule. How they blend this with fair employment clauses of the civil rights statutes is beyond my knowledge. Be that as it may, one’s opinion is not one of the protected classes covered by the civil rights acts, so if an employee displeases his boss because of his opinions and the boss fires him, probably there is not much the employee can do about it.

An employer might argue his collaborator is undermining his business (which has a public relations dimension) by making his opinions known and sometimes that could well be the case, so I cannot agree 100% with Dr Z. because it is a business owner’s freedom against that of his employee, and both must retain some degree of freedom. Yet we all perceive that employers will bend to outside pressures to dismiss any employee who expresses views unpleasant to this or that community or lobby so long as they cannot reply to such cancel mobs (heckler’s veto) that the law bars them from dismissing the employee based on his or her opinions. So, yes, probably some statute is needed to shield the employees, because that would even shield the employer. The latter would then face boycott campaigns (boycott is protected speech) but –who knows?– he might survive it. However I don’t expect business organizations to support such a policy.

*

Claim Settlement, or The New Aristocracy

How can you settle claims as prosecution for a crime does not depend on actual claims at all? Even though nobody would file a claim when there is a dead man, prosecuting authorities, if they’ve got a suspect, will send him or her before a court of law. So what does it mean that claims are settled? In theory an injured party has no power to prevent criminal prosecution. Is it settled with the prosecutor then? On what grounds?

Another example: the OJ Simpson trials. There were two trials: criminal and civil (tort suit). As you remember OJ was aquitted by the criminal court and found guilty in the tort trial (due to different evidence rules) but that’s not what interests me now. What interests me is how parties can settle a claim in a criminal trial when they’re not even supposed to be there and it takes a civil trial for them to be represented (in some countries the criminal and tort aspects would have been judged in one single trial)?

ii

My conjecture is that claims are settled when the prosecutor doubts that the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt (the legal standard of proof in criminal trials) and therefore doubts that a criminal trial can thrive against the suspect, so the prosecutor treats the whole matter as a tort case that can be settled between parties. However, on what principle can the pondering of evidence value at the disposal of the prosecution allow the prosecution to make a tort of a crime (or to erase, so to speak, the criminal dimension of an offense that is both a tort and a crime)–while evidence value is the fortuitous result of police work?

The consequence is that rich people, no matter how criminally they behave, will hardly ever have criminal records–rules of subsequent offenses, among other things, will not apply to them. What a privilege.

Tocqueville, a keen observer of the United States, warned about two dangers: tyranny of the masses, which libertarians are fond to recall, but also the tyranny of a money aristocracy.

*

State Action of Private Platforms

Lawsuit against Twitter reveals how it works with Democrats to censor. (Reclaim the Net, June 18, 2021)

Evidence of state action:

“One of these documents is an email from M., Press Secretary for then-California Secretary of State P., to Twitter employee K. that appears to refer to this dedicated channel as ‘the partner portal.’ In the email, M. flagged a tweet from another Twitter user that was previously reported through this partner portal and stated: ‘We would like this tweet taken down ASAP to avoid the spread of election misinformation.’”

1/ Not only did the state refer the tweets through the “dedicated channel,” which would be the usual procedure, but also and in any case the state, via a public officer, made the alleged usual procedure an unusual one by sending an unsollicited email (“Flagging the following tweet that I reported…”), which can be construed as a threat and command to process the report according to the state’s wish.

2/ If the appellation “partner portal” is a true description, then obviously the nexus is established between the private party and the state and therefore the private party’s action is state action.

Given state action, censorship by the private party is a civil liberties First Amendment case.

II

À l’occasion de l’enfarinage de J.-L. Mélenchon le 12 juin, j’apprends, dans le journal, qu’un homme a été interpellé pour « violence sur personne chargée d’une mission de service public ». Je suppose que ce sont les députés et autres élus que notre code pénal décrit comme des personnes chargées d’une mission de service public.

La situation est donc la suivante aux élections : un candidat déjà élu est une personne chargée d’une mission de service public, ce qui lui vaut une protection judiciaire spéciale, tandis que ses concurrents qui ne sont pas déjà élus ne sont rien. C’est octroyer à certains candidats un avantage contraire à tous les principes d’un régime électif. (Je ne crois pas que Mélenchon l’ait jamais dénoncé, ni le Conseil constitutionnel mais ça ce n’est même pas un peu étonnant.)

*

Une justice de bons petits soldats du gouvernement

Je pense que les juges ne devraient plus être inamovibles comme actuellement mais élu par la population locale et notés sur leurs résultats.

Je suis moi-même pour l’élection des juges (ou de la plupart des juges) mais cette personne fait erreur sur le statut actuel du juge français.

1/ Obligation statutaire de mobilité :

“Le juge français est soumis à une obligation statutaire de mobilité géographique ou fonctionnelle qui est exercée généralement tous les cinq à sept ans.”

2/ Un seul pool de magistrats du parquet (hiérarchiquement dépendants du ministère de la justice !) et du siège, avec passage de l’un à l’autre et dans les deux sens, exemple ce jeune magistrat : “Issu du premier concours de l’ENM (celui des étudiants), trois ans de parquet, deux ans et des poussières de siège civil.”

Dans les pays civilisés, l’administration du parquet est staffée par des fonctionnaires administratifs de même statut que les autres fonctionnaires de l’administration centrale, c’est-à-dire de la branche exécutive ; en France, elle l’est par… des juges. (Il n’est pas “juge” quand il est au parquet, car on l’appelle alors un “procureur” ou son “substitut”, mais c’est bien la même personne qui passe de l’un à l’autre.)

Alors parler d’inamovibilité…

ii

Mes cours de droit sont un peu lointains mais je confirme que le juge est inamovible. Les magistrats ne peuvent pas recevoir une nouvelle affectation sans avoir donné leur consentement. Leur indépendance est garantie par le fait que le gouvernement ne peut pas suspendre, déplacer ou destituer un magistrat.

Mon interlocuteur a bonne mémoire mais réciter des cours de droit n’aide malheureusement pas, le plus souvent, à bien juger de la situation.

C’est comme quand, en 2013, le gouvernement pond une loi sur « l’indépendance du parquet », parce que la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme est un peu critique (un peu seulement mais quand même, ça fait tâche) et qu’en 2018, donc après cette loi sur « l’indépendance du parquet », la Cour EDH confirma sa jurisprudence (et ses critiques) dans un nouvel arrêt (Thiam c/ France). Vous voyez le problème ? Je suis certain qu’il y a beaucoup de commentaires élogieux de cette loi et de l’indépendance du parquet.

Mais nous parlons du siège et, citation pour citation, je connais celle-là : « Il est plus étonnant que le Conseil constitutionnel ait estimé que la condition de mobilité imposée aux magistrats du siège par la loi organique du 25 février 1992 ne méconnaissait pas le principe fondamental d’inamovibilité. » (Turpin, Mémento de la jurisprudence du Conseil constitutionnel) Étonnant, voire risible.

Ce que mon interlocuteur dit n’est pas faux, simplement il faut prendre en compte la porosité entre les deux administrations, qui ne peut en aucun cas décrire une séparation des pouvoirs, que l’inamovibilité des juges est censée garantir.

iii

Dans ce contexte, l’élection des juges serait un renforcement du pouvoir des juges et de leur indépendance effective vis-à-vis du gouvernement.

Il y a plusieurs raisons à cela. Je me borne à en citer deux. La première, pas forcément la plus fondamentale selon moi, est qu’il y aurait des juges élus sur d’autres plateformes électorales que celle du gouvernement en place, de la même manière qu’il y a des régions ou des départements et autres de couleurs politiques différentes de celle du gouvernement. Ces juges auraient des comptes à rendre à un électorat, c’est-à-dire qu’ils appliqueraient une politique judiciaire dans leur ressort juridictionnel. De fait, aujourd’hui, c’est le parquet (le gouvernement) qui applique dans les cours une politique judiciaire, tandis que les juges ne sont que des machines à « appliquer la loi ».

Cette première raison n’est pas sans lien avec celle qui me semble plus fondamentale encore et qui est qu’un juge élu ne peut pas être un fonctionnaire anonyme soumis au devoir de réserve, et soumis dans tout son être, comme le juge actuel. Un élu soumis au devoir de réserve ? Absurde. Or le juge français est, dans notre droit, la personne la plus soumise aux restrictions draconiennes du devoir de réserve, de par le statut écrit de la magistrature (le plus draconien à cet égard avec le statut militaire). Cela doit être également pris en considération quand on parle de sa prétendue inamovibilité : en réalité, il est enserré dans un inextricable réseau de chicane statutaire et la moindre prise de parole de sa part équivaut, en fait, à sa mort professionnelle. C’est la forme la plus insidieuse de castration jamais conçue, mais comme elle n’empêche pas de se reproduire je suppose que les intéressés estiment avoir préservé l’essentiel.

iv

On ne peut pas être un bon juge indépendant avec les qualités qui font un bon petit soldat du gouvernement comme le magistrat du parquet, et quand un système prétend, comme le système français, que les deux sont interchangeables, en réalité il organise une justice de bons petits soldats du gouvernement, par contamination.

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Enquête ouverte sur un ex-général, accusé de propos antisémites. (Le Figaro, 18/6/21)

Non, une enquête n’est pas ouverte sur le général Delawarde pour « propos antisémites ».

Une enquête est ouverte pour « diffamation publique et provocation à la haine et à la violence à raison de l’origine ou de l’appartenance à une ethnie, une nation, une race ou une religion ».

Des propos antisémites ou homophobes ou ce que vous voulez qui ne sont ni de la diffamation (diffamation envers un groupe, catégorie totalement sui generis qui ne s’encombre pas de la moindre « exception de vérité » disculpatoire en matière de diffamation) ni de la provocation à la haine ni de l’incitation à la violence ni de l’injure ni de l’incitation à la consommation de stupéfiants ni de l’outrage à personne responsable d’une mission de service public ni de l’outrage à personne dépositaire de l’autorité publique ni de l’outrage aux symboles républicains ni des fausses informations, c’est-à-dire des fake news, ni de la violation du secret de l’instruction ni de la violation du secret médical ni de l’atteinte à la vie privée ni du blasphème (contrairement à ce que prétend la classe politique, il y a de la jurisprudence en 5e République) ni de la divulgation d’informations privées à des fins malveillantes sur une personne chargée d’une mission de service public ni de l’offense au chef de l’État (ah non, pardon, ç’a été abrogé en 2013, au temps pour moi) ni de l’atteinte au droit à l’image ni de la contestation de crime contre l’humanité ni de l’apologie d’actes de terrorisme ni de l’apologie de crimes de guerre ni de l’apologie d’eugénisme ni qu’est-ce que j’ai bien pu oublier ? NE SONT PAS UN DÉLIT.

ii

« Une enquête a été ouverte… »

Bonjour Monsieur. Êtes-vous le général Dominique Delawarde ? – Oui. Avez-vous tenu tel jour sur la chaîne Cnews les propos, je cite, « … » ? – Oui.

Vachement dure, l’enquête… (Oh là là, qu’est-ce qu’on a progressé depuis Sherlock Holmes !)

Dans ces affaires, il y a le plus souvent, peut-être presque toujours, un accord de tous, police, procureur, accusé, juge (tout le monde sauf le jury parce qu’il n’y a pas de jury), sur les FAITS (« machin a dit truc ») et pourtant il arrive que, pour des faits sur lesquels ils sont tous D’ACCORD, l’un exige une condamnation et l’autre acquitte.

« Va comprendre, Charles ! Avec le PMU on joue comme on aime. » Ils ont trop regardé la télé, ma parole… Quand les faits sont établis sans contestation, c’est la loi qui est le PROBLEME si elle permet ces divergences.

*

Rimbaud inconnu : L’Ascétique

Citations tirées d’Une saison en enfer (c’est nous qui soulignons) :

À chaque être, plusieurs autres vies me semblaient dues. Ce monsieur ne sait ce qu’il fait : il est un ange. Cette famille est une nichée de chiens. Devant plusieurs hommes, je causai tout haut avec un moment d’une de leurs autres vies. – Ainsi, j’ai aimé un porc.

J’ai eu raison de mépriser ces bonshommes qui ne perdraient pas l’occasion d’une caresse, parasites de la propreté et de la santé de nos femmes, aujourd’hui qu’elles sont si peu d’accord avec nous.

N’est-ce pas parce que nous cultivons la brume ? Nous mangeons la fièvre avec nos légumes aqueux. Et l’ivrognerie ! et le tabac ! et l’ignorance ! et les dévouements ! – Tout cela est-il assez loin de la sagesse de l’Orient, la patrie primitive ? Pourquoi un monde moderne, si de pareils poisons s’inventent !

Moi ! moi qui me suis dit mage ou ange, dispensé de toute morale, je suis rendu au sol, avec un devoir à chercher, et la réalité rugueuse à étreindre ! Paysan !

Law 12: The Lunar Breeze Effect Flag

The Lunar Breeze Effect Flag

For full understanding of the following, read section The Latest on Wikipedia’s Moon Landing Hoax Debunking in Law 10.

“Neil, it’s cool you went on the Moon but… a good artistic picture is what matters.”

“One that ties the room together.”

So you take the French Wikipedia version for granted. Yet the English Wikipedia version is different: “The flag was rippled because it had been folded during storage – the ripples could be mistaken for movement in a still photo.” Here there is no word about an intention to tie the room together, the ripples are accidental, they are folds due to storage which turn out to make the flag look as if it were fluttering in the wind.

As if the authors of the English Wikipedia page dared not confess what my interlocutor endorses wholeheartedly. As if, namely, they doubted it was judicious to fake a flag fluttering in the wind in a picture shot on the moon. As if they dared not confess it because of the issue involved in taking people for idiots.

NASA Picture With Lunar Breeze Effect Flag
Chinese Flag Without Breeze Effect (Source: BBC Dec 4, 2020 “China becomes second nation to plant flag on the Moon”)

*

Crack Hills Have Eyes 2

See Law 11.

Politicians make laws (lawmaker=the legislative power) and they also enforce laws as executive power (from which police take their orders).

What my post denounced about Crack Hill is that politicians qua executive power do not enforce the law politicians vote qua legislative power. That is, as taking crack is a criminal offence, politicians qua executive are taking a very light view of the law when they enforce it by distributing pipes and paying hotel rooms to criminals. If this is their idea of the issue, then they must take the initiative of a legislative debate to repeal the law and decriminalize crack consumption, and stop telling people they enforce the law by ignoring it.

This is a huge problem, because when executive officials do not want to enforce the law, they don’t bother to have it repealed, they just instruct the services (police etc) to ignore it, or to do as they please.

A crackhead in France may live in a free hotel room with new pipes every Thursday or behind bars, it all depends on the police’s mood.

There’s no rule of law anymore.

ii

Government protectionism of the black market.

Yes, government and police protectionism of the black market, since without police forces the government could do nothing, so the police are always responsible (if only by abiding) whereas one may imagine cases where only police are responsible while the executive authorities know nothing of what is going on.

Now, as my interlocutor compared enforcement of Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act (Prohibition) with the contemporary war on drugs, let me add the following. The same politicians who in France are implementing the briliant crack plan I have just been talking of, eschewing enforcement of national drug laws, are eager to point at the figures of prison inmates in the U.S. (highest rate of prison inmates per inhabitant in the world, so they say) as a reason why they ought not to follow the same path. In several other, perhaps most European countries, we hear the same discourse.

But these fellows dare not repeal their own national drug laws, and the result of this slighting of the law is that these countries are not rule of law countries anymore. The prison inmates figures are the price the United States are paying for upholding the rule of law. God Bless America. In Europe they are leaving everything at the discretion of the bureaucracy. Whether one will be punished for consuming drugs depends not on the law (which still says they must be punished) but on how they were perceived at some point by some guy in the bureaucracy, some cop, who will have them prosecuted in spite of the unwritten rule of bureaucracy saying that those poor devils should be left alone.

The poor devil who did not please the cop will be prosecuted, a judge will hear him and, say we are in France, a country of written law, the judge, although he has heard of the bureaucratic rule, will open the legal code at the page where the article laying down the penalties for consuming drugs is, and he will condemn the poor devil. (Compared to the functionarial nonentity that a French judge is, American judges are intellectuals.)

This is what European politicians are so proud of – the fact that no one knows what to expect. They revel in a world of arbitrariness.

*

Biden supports suppressing online “misinformation,” press secretary says.

Was it on his electoral platform or does he just add it now as an extra?

*

Justin Trudeau dismisses critics of internet censorship bill as “tin foil hats.”

The same guy explained that derogatory speech is the same as shouting fire in a crowded theater – the classic example in SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) case law that would serve to send his bill to the garbage can.

*

“Free speech” lawyer argues “lying” should be an impeachable offense.

The levels of nincompoopery in academia (“law professor at George Washington University”) are staggering. To think that these fellows are comfortable talking about truth and lies as they do… they really have got no clue. Let me take an example. Husband and wife want to divorce because it turns out they don’t see things the same way. One issue to settle is who will keep the kids. Why is it an issue? Because husband and wife both want to raise the kids according to his or her own views and ideas, according to how he or she sees things. Will you ask a law professor at George Washington University to tell the judge whose ideas are truths and whose are untruths, calling the latter lies, before taking a decision? Nonsense. If an amicus curiae talked like that (within an acceptable margin in the frame of the society – as expressing some ideas, like belief in witchcraft or alien abductions, would probably be detrimental in the case to the party expressing these ideas) he would be dismissed at once, as trying to impose his or her own set of preconceived ideas.

ii

What I wrote may sound confusing, at least for two kinds of people in America. Some will remember that experts in American courts are experts of the parties, who try to sustain their party’s position, whereas I seem to be talking of experts of the courts, which exist in civil law (as opposed to common law) countries, experts who had rather remain as neutral as possible in order not to fall into disrepute.

Others will remember that in America jury trial is the rule in civil trials and I seem to omit the fact completely. In fact, divorce trials by jury are rare even in the U.S.:

« Only a few states allow for any type of jury trial in a divorce case.  Even then, those states limit the issues that can go before a jury. For example, Texas, which has the most liberal rules concerning jury trials in divorce cases, is the only state that allows juries to decide which parent gets custody of the children and where the children will live. » (rightlawyers.com)

Unless most divorces occur in Texas, the majority of divorced American parents must abide by a decision on who is to keep the children which was not taken by a jury.

Still, my point was, if an expert smugly told the judge, like some professor of George Washington University, that the kids cannot be in custody of the father, for instance, because he voted for Trump and Trump is a liar so you cannot rely on such a one to take care of kids, she would be laughed at or I do not know my judge. Yet she writes books like that, which tells you what a tyrant she must be in her classroom even if people shrug shoulders at her in most other circumstances.

Now, judges are probably more of an official’s profile than the majority of people, so the fact that divorce trials are not decided by juries is also more likely to be detrimental to parents who hold certain ideas, even not so fringe as belief in alien abductions. I should think a parent known to be a Gab user, for instance, is likely to lose his kids in a divorce court when a divorce is filed. Correct me if I’m wrong.

*

UK government accused of promoting a “nanny state” with proposed online ban on high calorie food ads.

Is commercial speech speech or rather the polluting of speech? Commercial speech wasn’t protected in the US before the 1970s (Virginia State Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 1976). This is the kind of view that makes authoritarian regimes comfortable with their speech suppression systems, as they can say to their people: See, we’re protecting you and your free thinking from the relentless, nauseating pushing by unthinking business whose sole aim is profit.

In any case, while the US Supreme Court has found that commercial speech is speech, it does not grant it the same level of protection as non-commercial speech, so the UK policy here described could be implemented in the states too within the law.

*

Bonkers About Lèse-Majesté

Prince Harry complains about online “misinformation” calls First Amendment “bonkers.”

Prince Harry: “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment; I still don’t understand it, but it is bonkers.”

No surprise: “In 2013, the Ministry of Justice admitted that the Treason Felony Act 1848 had accidentally been ditched. The 165-year-old law threatens anyone calling for the abolition of the monarchy with life imprisonment.” (The Sun, Oct 20, 2016)

Information about lese-majeste legislation in UK is deceptive: they make all sorts of claims, so much so that nobody can know what the legal situation is. (They call that rule of law?)

On Wikipedia page Lèse-majesté, for UK they write: “The Treason Felony Act of 1848 makes it an offence to advocate for the abolition of the monarchy. Such advocation is punishable by up to life imprisonment under the Act. Though still in the statute book, the law is no longer enforced.”

Yet the source for that is a Dec 2013 paper by The Guardian, “Calling for abolition of monarchy is still illegal, UK justice ministry admits,” with subtitle “Department wrongly announced that section of law threatening people with life imprisonment had been repealed.”

The government spreads misinformation on the issue. That the law be no longer enforced does not mean it will not be enforced in case someone violates it (they make it an entirely discretionary decision of prosecuting authorities), only it turns out nobody dares speak freely on the issue (except, probably, ‘accredited’ cartoonists trained in the art of sycophancy under the guise of joking, i.e. court jesters).

ii

As Harry has in his native country a history of blundering (google “Harry the Nazi”), I think it relevant to stress that his calling American First Amendment “bonkers” is not one more blunder according to British royalty’s etiquette but on the contrary full compliance with it.

The extraordinary sequence of the British government claiming lese-majeste laws void and then retracting, claiming to have repealed them and then denying, is the (one may say comical) confirmation that deep within these people see no wrong in punishing speech with life imprisonment.

The appalling statute, worse than the classic example of Thai monarchy (where offensive speech about the King is punishable with a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, compared to 3 years for the Sultan of Brunei), and whose status is at best uncertain, that is, of which nobody can say it is not part of British law any longer because British lawmakers won’t make such a declaration without denying it at once, is among other things what shapes Prince Harry’s animus.

iii

Now, that “Department wrongly announced” the repeal of the lese-majeste law is big lese-majeste, if you ask me, and should be punished with hanging because if they haven’t hanged people for a while it must be due to some misunderstanding.

*

None of Your Business

The US will join the “Christchurch Call” to eliminate extremist content online. (May 2021)

“New Zealand man jailed for 21 months for sharing Christchurch shooting video.” (BBC News, June 2019)

Making it a crime to share this video amounts to claiming that the government must be the only source of truth. The only source of truth will be at the same time the agency that restricts access to evidence.

Under a constitutional regime the government can make no claim to be an authority as to what the truth is. Hence, by restricting access to evidence it overrides its constitutional function and mocks constitutional liberties.

Here is how the government proceeds. You learn what happened in Christchurch and then the government tells you that, given what happened in Christchurch, they are going to carry out a set of policies that will curtail your fundamental liberties for the sake of peace and order. Then, when one citizen says “Okay, so let’s see what happened in Christchurch” and makes the video of the shooting available online, he’s punished with 21 months imprisonment for inciting violence (or whatever fallacy they used).

Thus, what happened in Christchurch is none of your business even though based on this particular event you are going to lose big in terms of freedom, or more simply you are going to lose your freedom. – What happened in Christchurch is the governement’s business and you have no right to ask for evidence. “The only source of truth will be at the same time the agency that restricts access to evidence.”

*

Axiom

Independent judges versus employees of the king. In the common law tradition, judges are fully independent. In the civil law tradition, judges are no more than employees of the king. They are strictly monitored by higher courts, which are in turn monitored in a remarkable extent by the central government.” (Gerrit De Geest, American Law: A Comparative Primer, 2020)

It should be stressed that this describes, as far as the civil law tradition is concerned, police states, because the state is entirely absorbed in the government. The axiom is therefore that civil law countries are police states.

ii

“the French, with their centuries-long tradition of presenting case law as pure interpretations of codified law.” (De Geest, 2020, p. 64)

Granting it is true of the judicial judge, it is not so with the administrative judge, which has originated much of the administrative law in France, whole parts of which are judge-made (« droit d’origine jurisprudentielle »). – The political cartel is fond of leaving to the judge all lawmaking that crushes individuals under the boot of the police state.

De Geest is excusable, however, from a common law viewpoint, for overlooking that the administrative judge is a judge at all: “Believe it or not, the Conseil d’État, that is, the French supreme court for administrative law, belongs to the executive branch, not the judicial branch!” p. 86)

It’s not about believing and joking but about what common law countries do to bring police states to reason.

*

“A plea bargain in a criminal case is the equivalent of a settlement in a civil case.” (Gerrit De Geest, American Law: A Comparative Primer, 2020, p. 70)

No. Plea bargaining is a modality of prosecution, not its eschewing. It has nothing to do with the debate on compulsory prosecution vs. principle of opportunity, and by the way De Geest wrongly associates compulsory prosecution with the civil law tradition; in major civil law countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the principle of opportunity obtains.