Showing posts with label law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law. Show all posts

Friday, November 18, 2016

[Micropost]: "Obey the law, even if you don't agree with it," you say?

So as I take a brief break teaching myself Japanese and my brain melting as a result, I couldn't help but stumble on a news article on The Guardian about a woman who's being charged for having sex outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates because she was raped; and having sex outside of marriage (regardless of the circumstances) is a crime there.

And incidently, is the second time I've read one of these articles - the first being from a few years back involving a Norwegian woman. [source]

But it got me to thinking about how people who're against civil disobedience and spout half-baked retorts such as "Obey the law, even if you don't agree with it." or "People can't just pick and choose what laws they want to obey!"

Laws fall into two categories:
  1. Malum Prohibitum - it's only illegal because the law says it is - e.g. jaywalking
  2. Malum in se  - illegal because the act is wrong in itself - e.g. assault, murder, rape

I quite happily disobey a victimless, Malum Prohibitum law (as I once before mentioned here), but quite happily obey the law for things such as murder* and rape because they're utterly reprehensible acts against another person.

People disobeying unjust and/or victimless laws isn't going to cause the downfall of humanity.

I don't agree with is what's happening to the woman here; or what happened to the Norwegian woman - who was thankfully pardoned in the end. The only people who should be dealt with are the people who commited the heinous act of rape...

So the question is this:

If people should obey the law, even if they don't agree with it, does this mean that what is happening to this woman is totally justifiable because after all, she broke the law, right?

What're your thoughts?

*I do wish to point out that I would kill another person to defend my own life; for example, if they were trying to murder me.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two words: Jury nullification

I'm posting this here in the hopes that people will see it, and educate others about it.

More people in the UK, as well as Australia and the U.S need to know about a thing called Jury nullification, a last line of defense against unjust laws.

If, for example, you ever get selected for a trial which is a victimless crime; e.g. 

  • Someone who possesses subjectively "obscene" drawings
  • People who grow Cannabis plants for their own personal use
  • Telling people about Jury nullification [source]

...and all the evidence clearly indicates that they are guilty of said "crime," you can question the law and disagree with it because you feel it is unjust or wrongly applied, and that the person in question shouldn't be punished.

This is because as a juror, you don't have to give any reasoning for your verdict, and you can't be punished for returning a verdict that is "incorrect." This is why the entire concept of jury nullification exists to begin with.

Juries have more power than judges, magistrates and the prosecution would like you to ever know about.

WARNING: I'm not entirely sure if Australia and the UK have selection processes like they do in the U.S.; but for those of you who live in the U.S., if you know about jury nullification, don't disclose your knowledge about it either during the selection process or to other jurors in the deliberation room, because they will disqualify you and everybody else. (Although this could be argued that it's a punishment in itself.)

This is because they would like the jury to conform.

If you do manage to get selected for jury duty, just remember that the oath they make you take isn't binding, because as history has managed to show, "orders are orders" is a terrible justification for blindly obeying an authority.

Stick to your convictions, and don't allow someone to be punished just because a law is unjust.

For any further information, search Google or check out videos on YouTube.