August 7, 2010

Dry Eyed Justice

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 9:27 am

The National Post is reporting the New Brunswick Court of Appeal weighing in to discard a Queen’s Bench sentence unduly influenced by the tragedy the offender had caused.

It reports:

A ruling by New Brunswick’s top court that declares victims “cannot be allowed to hijack” a trial and chastens a judge so moved by tearful accounts of loss that he doubled an expected sentence is prompting debate over whether it is time to rethink the judicial system’s focus on victims’ rights.

The judgment has victims’ rights advocates warning their voices are being silenced, but has others applauding the court’s appeal for what the judge described as “dry-eyed justice.” Over the past two decades, victim impact statements have become dramatic and compelling features at most criminal trials.

The newpaper reports the court of appeal decision observing:

“While retribution is an accepted sentencing principle, vengeance is not.

“The ultimate objective is dry-eyed justice according to law.”

Read more:


August 2, 2010

Writing Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 3:45 pm

In a paraphrased snapshot, internet advice to internet posters on privacy and defamation issues, in the current issue of the Writer’s Digest (July /August 2010 at page 45) by a Chicago writer and attorney, Amy Cook, is to ask:

— Am I writing about real people?
— Are they recognizable to readers?
— Am I writing disputable statements of fact?
— Am I disclosing private, possibly embarassing information?
— Are the matters discussed of concern to the community at large (not just your family)?
— Am I disclosing a crime? How recent?

And directed more to an American audience than otherwise:

— Is the individual in question a private person (as opposed to a public figure)?

August 1, 2010

Judicial Review, Parliamentary action and the English Civil War

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 10:17 pm

Conservative M.E.P. Daniel Hannan hits a rough and ready constitutional note in the Daily Telegram’s blog

“It is worth remembering that we came through a civil war to establish the principle that revenues should be levied and disbursed by the House of Commons. If the Fawcett Society wants a different budget, its members should put themselves up for election and argue their case. Then again, why go to all the trouble of persuading the voters when you can simply subvert the democratic process through the courts?”


Judicial Review of Parliamentary Action?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruleswatch @ 6:46 am

A longstanding English Women’s equality organization is challenging the United Kingdom’s new budget in court.

The UK’s new government’s budget is said to impact government programs affecting women disproportionately.

The group, the Fawcett Society, is maintaining that government failed to conduct what would seem to be a sexual inequality assessment in adopting the measures.

The Guardian describes the judicial review application as “the first ever legal challenge to a British government’s budget…” “Papers filed on Friday [July 29] claim that Treasury officials broke the law by failing to carry out an assessment of whether the plans for heavy spending cuts would hit women hardest.”

A solciitor for the group has the law being very clear.

“Although public authorities have been subject to the gender equality duty for three years now, there is widespread ignorance not only about how strong these laws actually are,… However, the case law is crystal clear. Firstly, an equality impact assessment must be conducted before policy decisions are taken.”

The UK legislation, directed primarily to listed government and public authorities, calls for similar assessments in the case of race and disability.

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