Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Let's kill all the lawyers...

The subversive influence of legalism continues to grow in Australia, undermining the concept of personal responsibility for our actions, pushing for 'rights' that run counter to the common good, and attempting to undermine the capacity for action on the part of decision-makers.

Sick secularism; stealth jihad

Consider some of these recent gems.

The Australian Muslim imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy who plans to sue the Australian Government for not doing enough to get him released.

The High Court's interference in the actions of the Government on the Malaysian Refugee exchange.

And now, reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald, where a couple are suing their IVF doctor because their son was born with a genetic disease passed on to him from the father and is now severely disabled....

IVF has to go

This is not, of course, the first such outrageous, morally offensive IVF related case has been brought to court.  Remember those Canberra lesbians who sued because they ended up with two children rather than one?

Rather, it demonstrates once again the dangers of the commodification of children, who are rejected if they don't meet the parents particular standards of perfection.

On the plus side, maybe if enough people sue, IVF will become more expensive, and be used less....

But while we must look in horror and ponder how parents could even contemplate running such a case, saying their now 11 year old child should never have been born, we should bear in mind that it is the lawyers who are enabling this try on.  Let's kill all the lawyers.

And meanwhile back in Toowoomba....

9 comments:

HolyCatholicApostoli said...

Some fantastic news on the Pro-Life front:
Infamous Croydon abortion chamber (caused at least 50 Hepatitis C cases, leaving one woman with major organ shutdown and causing the death of one woman)has decidided to stop late-term abortions:

see
http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2012/01/26/fantastic-pro-life-news-on-australia-day/

and

http://www.acl.org.au/2012/01/victorian-clinic-stops-late-term-abortions/

Anonymous said...

Kill the ALL the lawyers?

How about only those infected with the error of legal positivism?

And what about all those nuns, brothers and priests who believed in canonical positivism, and infected the faithful with it years prior to Vatican II??

And what about the faithful - even the otherwise orthodox ones - tainted with the same error?



+ Wolsey (a common lawyer)

Kate said...

I should admit that I too have a law degree Woolsey!

So just a little rhetorical flourish to make a point, not meant literally!

But good news on the Croydon, thanks for letting us know HCA.

Anonymous said...

I can’t resist pointing out that the “let’s kill all the lawyers” quote comes from Henry VI, Pt 2 and is put in the mouth of the character Jack Cade, who recognizes that he cannot hope to achieve his objective of overthrowing the government, destroying the rule of law and establishing a personal tyranny unless he first of all kills all the lawyers. he also favours killing anyone who can read. Cade - at least as presented by Shakespeare - is a pretty nasty piece of work, and not someobody whose opinions would normally be considered useful moral guidance.

And Shakespeare had a point. People have a right of access to the courts. Lawyers have an ethical obligation not to frustrate this. If you’re charged with a crime, you’re entitled to have your defence considered and determined by a jury of your peers - a right which will be frustrated if a lawyer refuses to put your case to the court because he doesn’t like it. And the same is true of civil and administrative matters.

I’m disturbed to see you bracket “the High Court’s interference in the actions of the Government on the Malaysian refugee exchange” along with some of the loopier cases brought in recent years. The actions of the government were illegal. The whole point of the rule of law is that the government, as well as the governed, is bound by law. The alternative is the Führerprinzip - the notion that whatever the Leader wants to do is, by definition, the law. The role of the High Court is to uphold the rule of law by requiring the government to act in accordance with the law. In this instance they upheld that role. And, tellingly, when the government then tried to persuade Parliament to change the law to allow it to do what it wanted to do, Parliament declined. How you can possibly see this as “the subversive influence of legalism” is beyond me, but it does give rise to the suspicion that you may favour “let’s kill all the laywers” not because you are unaware of the Cadian attitudes which it embodies, but because you share them :-)

Peregrinus

Kate said...

Indeed Peregrinus it was intended to be a humorous allusion to just that text.

Although one can interpret the quote I think a number of ways, and it certainly isn't meant to be taken in praise of them I think!

But the bottom loine is that I am not, of course, altogether opposed to lawyers, just to the excesses of a system that is tipping the balance too far one way.

The Malaysian decision being a classic case in point. One can certainly debate its correctness, but once upon a time the courts very reluctant to interfere with executive decisions based on judgments about the facts of a situation. These days, as the Malaysian case illustrates, they are only too happy to second guess decision-makers and substitute their own assessments on the merits of a situation for that of the person charged by statute to make the decision.

And I really don't think we can read anything into parliaments decision other than Abbott's bloodymindedness and determination to edge Labor on refugees!

Anonymous said...

Indeed Peregrinus it was intended to be a humorous allusion to just that text.

Although one can interpret the quote I think a number of ways, and it certainly isn't meant to be taken in praise of them I think!

I’m pretty sure that it is, actually. If you’ve ever seen the play, Cade is basically a Pol Pot-type figure; grasping for power which, he makes clear from the outset, he will wield so as to destroy society as completely as possible. (I think the historical Cade was a more nuanced figure, but in Shakespeare he is completely one-dimensional.) If Shakespeare has Cade denounce you, then Shakespeare definitely likes you. And, remember, Shakespeare generally liked lawyers and the law.

The Malaysian decision being a classic case in point. One can certainly debate its correctness, but once upon a time the courts very reluctant to interfere with executive decisions based on judgments about the facts of a situation. These days, as the Malaysian case illustrates, they are only too happy to second guess decision-makers and substitute their own assessments on the merits of a situation for that of the person charged by statute to make the decision.

And thank God for that. With the overweening power of the state, and the far-reaching nature of administrative actions, there has to be [i]some[/i] control over the abuse of state power for electoral advantage.

And I really don't think we can read anything into parliaments decision other than Abbott's bloodymindedness and determination to edge Labor on refugees!
True. Fortunately, if and when (and it looks increasingly like “when”) Abbot takes power, the High Court will still be around to try and ensure his actions are controlled by law, rather than by his own bloodymindedness and a determination to edge Labor.

Peregrinus

Kate said...

Yes I'm very familiar with the play, and used it with that in mind. But when I was looking around, I came across this interesting commentary on the quote, which draws out some of the subtleties of Shakespeare's commentary:

http://www.spectacle.org/797/finkel.html

As for the court as a counterweight to pollies - personally I think that elected officials should be held accountable at the ballot box, however unsatisfactory that often is, not second-guessed by unelected and completely unaccountable lawyers who write themselves a mandate to oversee everything....

Anonymous said...

As for the court as a counterweight to pollies - personally I think that elected officials should be held accountable at the ballot box, however unsatisfactory that often is, not second-guessed by unelected and completely unaccountable lawyers who write themselves a mandate to oversee everything....

The don’t write themselves a mandate to oversee everything; the constitution gives them a mandate to oversee the application and enforcement of the law. And Parliament passed a relevant law; the Immigration Act.

As for holding elected officials accountable at the ballot box, the problem here is obvious. If an ALP government victimises asylum seekers by flouting the Immigration Act, and the only way I can hold them to account for it is by voting for a Coalition government which will victimize asylum seekers as badly or worse, that isn’t just unsatisfactory; it’s unacceptable. The system we actually have involves the High Court requiring the government to observe the Immigration Act, and doesn’t detract in the least from my ability to pass such judgment as I can on the government at the next election. That seems to me to be plainly a superior system

Besides, you’re ignoring the obvious possibility that governments may abuse their power for electoral advantage, in which event the ballot box is fairly obviously not going to provide adequate (or any) redress. And asylum seekers is one of the policy areas in which governments are most strongly tempted to do this, and where they most often yield to the temptation. In fact, it’s generally true that unpopular minorities and the objects of moral panics are not going to be adequately protected at the ballot box. It’s the High Court and the rule of law, or nothing at all, I’m afraid.

Peregrinus

Kate said...

Peregrinus - The understanding of what the courts powers were at the time the Constitution was written, and the powers the courts have given themselves in the broad reading of the law bear absolutely no relationship!

The history of twentieth century administrative and constitutional law in particular law in Australia (and elsewhere) is the history of ever wider readings of the courts power to intervene and ever greater focus on the merits of decisions as opposed to pure process aspects of them.

Nor can we rely on the courts, however overreaching their claims to jurisdiction, to provide an adequate check on Government as the whole Tampa affair and the ongoing mistreatment of asylum seekers in detention centres demonstrates.