Thursday, July 12, 2012

The responsibility of judges - they don't understand

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District Court Judge David Harvey: “New Zealanders need to involve themselves in a forthcoming review of copyright law or they will "suffer what the conglomerates and corporates" hand to them”. (1)
I have a huge problem with a judge telling me that my way of protecting myself from unfair laws is to participate in a process in which reason is not the standard of value; whether at the point of enacting legislation (because people are not participating in the process) or at the point of judicial consideration (because the judge seems impervious to the deeper philosophy of law). 
“Judge David Harvey said copyright concerned everybody and urged people to become interested”.  (2)
I wonder if it occurred to this judge that people are ‘not interested’ in the law, least of all copyright violation (when it’s so easy to transgress) because the political process does not reward participants. For anyone who has gone to the trouble of writing a submission, talking to a parliamentarian, etc, you are engaging in a process which offers no validation, no constructive engagement, no assurance that anyone has even bothered to read your submission, and no opportunity to challenge the law – except if you break it. Even then, you have little reason to have confidence in your legal counsels understanding of the law. Why? Because reason is not the standard. This is because judges have dispensed with the ‘spirit of the law’, which was supposed to protect people. Now it protects Conservative or liberal interests, and that ultimately depends on who controls the judiciary ‘majority’ and when. i.e. It’s another extortion racket our legislature. 
"We have to be interested in this, because if we aren't then we'll be told what will happen by the big, vested interests”.  (3)
This is an interesting statement because it conveys a liberal-Conservative dichotomy; that corporations are able to use the law to injury you; that the judiciary has no interest in protecting you (i.e. in accordance with some objective standard of law), and that you should fantasifully participate in a process which offers scant justification for thinking you will be protected, because at the end of the day, the politicians vetting your submissions will have the discretion (with their unlimited ‘power of attorney’ you have given them by voting) to decide your fate. I am personally more worried about the arbitrary powers that the legislature has – the arbitrary power to coerce, rather than the discretionary power any corporation has to impose its will upon me; yet this judge seems to be oblivious to his role as a ‘protector of the people’. He utterly conveys no respect for the facts of reality, or objectivity.
1.  “Judge tells Kiwis to speak up on copyright” by Hamish Fletcher, NZ Herald, website, Jul 12, 2012.
2.  “Judge tells Kiwis to speak up on copyright” by Hamish Fletcher, NZ Herald, website, Jul 12, 2012.
3.  “Judge tells Kiwis to speak up on copyright” by Hamish Fletcher, NZ Herald, website, Jul 12, 2012.

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?