It's all very odd, 'that's for sure'
Why should Richard Warman be the only citizen to have his own personal inquisition?
MARK STEYN | January 17, 2008 |
Because I've always been opposed to "human rights" commissions in theory (I like proper courts with things like "due process"), I failed to appreciate until Maclean's present predicament how much worse they are in practice. These commissions were supposedly intended to investigate discrimination in housing and the like, but then came the very poorly drafted Section XIII, which makes it a crime to communicate anything electronically "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." "Likely," eh? What does that mean? Well, according to the key determination, subsequently endorsed by the Supreme Court, in Canadian legalese "likely" now means "highly unlikely." That's to say, notwithstanding the absence of any evidence by the plaintiffs of anyone at all ever having been exposed to actual hatred or contempt, nor even any coherent argument as to why there is a hypothetical possibility of someone unspecified being exposed to theoretical hatred or contempt in the decades ahead, a commission can still deem such hatred or contempt "likely."
In the three decades of the Canadian "Human Rights" Tribunal's existence, not a single "defendant" has been "acquitted." Would you bet on Maclean's bucking this spectacular 100 per cent conviction rate? "Sentence first, verdict afterwards," declares the queen in Alice In Wonderland. Canada's not quite there yet, but at the Human Rights Commission, it's "Verdict first, trial afterwards." So I'm guilty and Ken Whyte's guilty and Maclean's is guilty because that's the only verdict there is.
Who has availed themselves of the "human rights" protected by Section XIII? In its entire history, over half of all cases have been brought by a sole "complainant," one Richard Warman. Indeed, Mr. Warman has been a plaintiff on every single Section XIII case before the federal "human rights" star chamber since 2002 — and he's won every one. That would suggest that no man in any free society anywhere on the planet has been so comprehensively deprived of his human rights. Well, no. Mr. Warman doesn't have to demonstrate that he's been deprived of his human rights, only that it's "likely" (i.e. "highly un-") that someone somewhere will be deprived of some right sometime. Who is Richard Warman? What's his story? Well, he's a former employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission: an investigator. Same as Shirlene McGovern.
Isn't there something a little odd in a supposedly necessary Canadian federal "human rights" system used all but exclusively by one lone Canadian who served as a long-time employee of that system? Why should Richard Warman be the only citizen to have his own personal inquisition? You can hardly blame the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and no doubt the Supreme All-Powerful Islamic Executive Council of Swift Current, Sask., for now figuring they'd like a piece of the human rights action.
In a free society, justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done. And when you see what's being done at the CHRC it's hard not to conclude that the genius of the English legal system — the balance between prosecutor, judge, and jury — has been all but destroyed. The American website Pundita has a sharp analysis of Section XIII, comparing it to Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novel The Minority Report, set in a world in which citizens can be sentenced for "pre-crime" — for criminal acts which have not occurred but are "likely" to. Who needs futuristic novels when we're living it here and now in one of the oldest constitutional democracies on the planet? What kind of countries have tribunals with 100 per cent conviction rates that replace the presumption of innocence with the presumption of guilt and in which truth is not only no defence but compelling evidence of that guilt? Consider this statement, part of the criteria by which the star chamber determines when a Section XIII crime has occurred. What does it look for as evidence?
"Messages that make use of allegedly true stories, news reports, pictures and references to apparently reputable sources in an attempt to lend an air of objectivity and truthfulness to the extremely negative characterization of the targeted group have been found to be likely to expose members of the targeted group to hatred and contempt."
Read that again slowly. Citing news reports, reputable sources, facts, statistics, documentation, quotations, references, scholarly studies, etc., has been "found" to be clear evidence of your "likely" "pre-crime."