Sunday, June 21, 2015

Defining Rule of Law

The NY Times reports:
It is relatively unsplashy, as these things go — not very long, not very elegantly written, just 3,500 or so words of Medieval Latin crammed illegibly onto a single page of parchment.

But Magna Carta, presented by 40 indignant English barons to their treacherous king in the 13th century, has endured ever since as perhaps the world’s first and best declaration of the rule of law, a thrilling instance of a people’s limiting a ruler’s power by demanding rights for themselves.

In the United States, Magna Carta — it means Great Charter in Latin — is treated with a reverence bordering on worship by many legislators, scholars and judges. It is considered the basis for many of the principles that form the Constitution and Bill of Rights. ...

On Monday, Magna Carta’s 800th birthday is to be observed
Earlier versions of the concept of Rule of Law go back to ancient Babylon, Greece, and Rome.

A law professor argues for rule of law:
The rule of law is a slippery term with a number of different possible meanings. ...

For example, the rule of law is often defined in contrast to “the rule of men.” Whereas the former is based on general, impersonal rules, the latter is subject to the vagaries of the bias and discretion of individual government officials. ...

Another common formulation of the rule of law is that it requires the enforcement of clear, predictable rules, as opposed to relatively vague standards (this viewpoint is often associated with Justice Antonin Scalia). ...

The rule of law might also be defined in terms of stability over time. A rule must have the same interpretation at Time B as at Time A.
While it may seem obvious that Rule of Law is good and necessary for any civilized nation, we do not have in the American family courts. Child custody and visitation is determined by BIOTCh, which means "subject to the vagaries of the bias and discretion of individual government officials."

Here is a Scottish story, illustrating rule of law:
A mother who duped her former lover into thinking she had an abortion so that she could give away his baby to a homosexual friend has been jailed for three years.

The 29-year-old and her accomplice got away with the elaborate scam for three years and were only caught after the biological father was told that he was the “spitting image” of the child.

The 35-year-old gay man who was bringing up the child as his own was also jailed for the same period.

The real father was initially told his ex-lover had aborted their child, and that the girl caught up in the case came from a fictional surrogate mother.

The pair were sentenced after earlier being found guilty of duping him into thinking there was an abortion after the child’s mother became pregnant in 2010, and denying him his parental rights for three years.

During the six-day trial, Perth Sheriff Court heard that they signed a birth certificate and claimed to be the child's natural parents, while DNA tests later proved this was not the case. ...

Police discovered that the supposed surrogate mother, called Clare Green, had been invented by the pair, who set up a fake Facebook account in her name.

Social workers were also taken in by the fraud, but immediately placed the girl on the child protection register when they discovered the homosexual man's father was a convicted paedophile.
The kid is his, and was taken wrongfully. So he should get the kid back. No inquiry into the BIOTCh should be necessary.

The one part that seems contrary to the rule of law is putting the kid on a register because the gay man's father was a pedophile. I doubt that they have any laws based on a presumption that pedophilia is hereditary.

The issue should be cut and dry. The DNA test showed that the mom fraudulently put some other man's name on the birth certificate. That should be the end of the story.

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