June 7th, 2008

We Don't Need No Standards

Our neighbors to the north have tribunals called Human Rights Commissions.  They investigate offenses which consist of somebody being offended.  They conduct trials which are reportedly unhampered by standard safeguards:
The Commission courts obey no standard rules of evidence nor rules for expert testimony. They presume guilt, and are supervised by political hacks, not real judges. They have powers to seize and search that EXCEED (!) those of the police. They seem accountable to no one. They believe they "know better" than regular people, than elected politicians, than those who disagree with their ideology. This seems to permit them to justify any action, even if ethically questionable or downright illegal, to accomplish their "mission".
If this is true, perhaps they're called "Human Rights Commissions" because they are in the business of cutting back on those pesky rights.

It's an example of the principle that the best way to interfere with real rights is to create false ones.

Whether or not it was intended,
a right not to be offended
will reach
to the heart of free speech.

UPDATE: glowingwhispers lends her expertise on Canadian law, and points out that these proceedings ARE in fact open to judicial review.  See her comments here.