Saturday, May 2, 2009

Even Judges are Confused

As to how exactly the Rule of Law gave way to the Rule of Men.

Passages like this one:
'An enactment in which section 31 (6) and (7) of the Criminal Law Act (1977) (pre-1949) enactments produced the same fine of maximum fine for different convictions shall be treated for the purposes of this section as if there were omitted from it so much of it as before 29th July, 1977, had the effect that a person guilty of an offence under it was liable on summary conviction to a fine or maximum fine less than the highest fine or maximum fine to which he would have been liable if his conviction had satisfied the conditions required for the imposition of the highest fine or maximum fine.' (Criminal Justice Act, section 38, sub-section 4)
...have British Judges wondering:
So, yet again, the courts are faced with a sample of the deeply confusing provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the satellite Statutory Instruments to which it is giving stuttering birth. The most inviting course for this Court to follow, would be for its members, having shaken their heads in despair to hold up their hands and say: "the Holy Grail of rational interpretation is impossible to find". But it is not for us to desert our judicial duty, however lamentably others have legislated. But, we find little comfort or assistance in the historic canons of construction for determining the will of Parliament which were fashioned in a more leisurely age and at a time when elegance and clarity of thought and language were to be found in legislation as a matter of course rather than exception.
...what exactly they are supposed to make of the reams upon reams of rubbish legislators spew forth every year, when what they really would like to do is rule cases fairly, while relying on the order of law.

Read the rest here, being sure not to miss some of the very thoughtful comments, like this one:
[...]One day you are innocently reading your Bible and staying out everybody else's way. The next, Janet Reno's goons are using a tank to break into your property with guns blazing and burn down your home with your children inside. And then, to make sure you get the message, you end up on trial -- not Janet Reno.

The end result of that kind of behavior is a spreading contempt for the Rule of Law -- which leaves us with a non-sustainable society. The current insanity will end. Unfortunately, it will end in tears.

In today's legal world, Ignorance of the law is not a defence, it is a presupposed fact, for all parties involved.

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