Musings on Rule of Law in Canada

Posted: November 27, 2017 by Ty in Current Events, Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don’t know if it is the flashbacks to high school law class, talking politics with friends and my Dad, or simply my love of the murder mystery or the destructive shenanigans of political ideology of our southern neighbours, but the rule of law keeps cropping up in my musings. Now, due to a tragic error in logic processing I was never able to perceive the LSAT as do-able so never had a chance to be a Crown Prosecutor and eventually a judge in Canada (although several I have discoursed with in my life time lament I never did and thought I would be admirable at it).

It is a hard system to navigate, not because of the criminal code of Canada, or the many tort (civil) laws. No, it is hard for the practitioner because of having to put aside one’s own bias. No matter where you are at work in the Justice System: Politician, police, media, or court…your first obligation is to uphold the rule of law. As such it creates quite a journey for you.

The #Metoo campaign has shown our failings as a society in Canada on this. This is a pattern where the celebrity predator is just the newest manifestation of the ancient predatory evil we have unearthed in the church (Roman Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Christian & Missionary Alliance, and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints to name a few of the more well known); or hockey (or important sports of the community) coach or teacher.

The challenge in the rule of law is that both the accuser and the accused need to be believed until the judgement/ruling is passed. That is the hard part where folks will attempt to use the media to sway the result, or worse their power and money for the outcome that best gives them the protection they desire. At its worse we have seen it with the church where threats of eternal damnation have silenced victims for too long; in residential schools where political cover up has silenced victims; in sports where coachily authority and being the gatekeeper of dreams and the litany goes on. Then there is the challenge when one has the bravery to share their story and what happens once in the system. The re-victimization is the story shared by many.

This is where our system fails. For we are humans, working in a human system shaped by our own experience and bias, and sadly this comes out. For you see the Justice System is not about right/wrong, revenge/restitution or even restoration…it is about what the law deems legal and illegal. Unfortunately, those that work the system need to understand that and work to suspend their own judgments. They must follow the facts and how the facts connect to beyond a reasonable doubt to guilt, to if doubt exists acquit.

For it to work though, the facts must be investigated and brought forward to the Court, as all parties involved are innocent. That is the victim is believed fully, but while building the case against the accused they are believed to be innocent until the court deems them guilty. When this happens the theory of rule of law creates a just society.  This is what needs to be constantly challenged and asserted to make our system work. It is why the system needs to be invested in so the best and brightest choose to be involved to insure the truth is the proper outcome, not the wealthiest or the one who can out shame the other or over power the other wins.

One just has to look to the current Roy Moore fiasco in US politics or the FLDS Bountiful B.C. challenges of polygamy laws in Canada to see what can happen when our system is not invested properly. When the voice of the victim is stripped by the powerful, that is catastrophic. In B.C., what is being challenged in not polygamy marriage laws…it is trying to force the rule of law in Canada to legalize pedophilia. Which the rule of law will never allow—sorry social conservatives and your arguments against marriage equality with the slipper slope. Pedophilia is not only illegal, but unconstitutional.

However, a true test of polyamory under the rule of law in Canada, much like Dr. Phlox’s people practiced, would pass the test for marriage under proper authority and consent. All that would need to be re-worked is the number allowed in union.  See that is the key that Pierre Trudeau, as Justice Minister when he upgraded Canadian laws was getting at with his statement, “the state does not belong in the bedroom of the people.” What goes on between consenting adults of the same power level and choice is legal. The key words are consenting adults.

So as citizens, we need to ask ourselves: Are we willing to risk a system such as this? Are we willing to risk a critically thought out rule of law that encompasses safety, restoration, accountability and hope for all citizens?

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