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Old 27-10-2008, 13:43   #331
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Part of the curious and perhaps telling aftermath of colonialism is that a great many countries who have no reason to remember the British with great fondness have, nevertheless, retained all or part of the English legal system.
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Old 27-10-2008, 16:34   #332
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Because it's a good legal system. In fact, the criminal code that Thomas Macaulay wrote for India in the 19th Century is used as a model today, even though Parliament did its best to exempt Englishmen living in India from its provisions (such as by denying local magistrates jurisdiction over "White" Englishmen and by other means).
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Old 27-10-2008, 18:41   #333
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Other unlikely examples are: Pakistan, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Ruwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Belize, etc., etc.

Do not confuse English common law with democracy or freedom, etc. - that's not where it came from, and (if permitted) it works just fine in totalitarian regimes. This is probably because people (and the governments who need to pacify them) generally like the idea of a jury of your peers; reasoned, explanatory, publically published appellate decisions; and precedent - the hallmarks of English common law.
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Old 27-10-2008, 19:44   #334
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Actually it does not work well in totalitarian regimes because it requires an independent judiciary: either a constitutionally independent judicial branch, as in the United States, or a hereditary court of highest appeal that is immune from politics as a practical matter, such as the English House of Lords.

Yes, in the English syystem published decisions are available to the public, but more importantly the trials are open to the public. There are no "star chamber" secret proceedings in the English legal system. Furthermore there there is the right of habeus corpus, the right to counsel and, in the criminal law, the notion that the punishment ought to fit the crime.

The list of common law countries that are totalitarian is virtually nonexistent. Certainly it is short: possibly Uganda and South Africa under apartheid. There have been deeply flawed and oppressive common law countries, but very few totalitarian ones.
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Old 27-10-2008, 20:10   #335
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Ok - you can quibble about about totalitarian vs. ruthless vs. repressive; but: Actually, the judiciary (frequently at the risk of life and limb) has shown remarkable independence in the face of military coups and the like in common law countries. See State v.Dosso (Pakistan) and its progeny:

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl24...7501201600.htm

The source of English common law was a brutal feudal and yes, totalitarian, society - but it was and is a great legal system.
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Old 28-10-2008, 10:26   #336
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The source of English common law was a brutal feudal and yes, totalitarian, society - but it was and is a great legal system.
A great legal system once you get downstream of the prosecutor, as this case illustrates. See quotes in posts 259 ad 260, page 18 of this thread.An Appalling Example of California Justice . . .

The prosecutor is the weak link.
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:24   #337
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The source of English common law was a brutal feudal and yes, totalitarian, society - but it was and is a great legal system.
Well, it's alot more complicated than that. There were no democracies in the middle ages, and the primary legal system was the church, with decisions based on canonical law, which was in turn an offshoot of Roman law. So ALL legal systems are the product of autocratic regimes.

The real breakthrough came in the 12th Century under Henry II, who created a purely secular legal system with uniform penalties and a system of professional circuit judges who rode out to hear cases and then returned to London to discuss the results with their colleagues. Henry used these legal reforms to weaken the ecclesiastical courts and strengthen the power of the secular state vs. the church. Henry's reforms led to the flourishing of the jury system-- since the circuit judges were from "out of town" they had to rely on input from local people to achieve reasonable results. It also developed the principle of stare decisis as the judges discussed cases among themselves and established legal precedents.

The civil law, which arose under the totally autocratic French and Hapsburg kings, and which was later codified by Napoleon, is much more the product of totalitarian regimes than the common law.
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:25   #338
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The prosecutor is a criminal himself, and should be dealt with in such manner!!!!
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:59   #339
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The prosecutor is a criminal himself, and should be dealt with in such manner!!!!
Prosecutors have civil, but not criminal immunity. You can't give every criminal who is found guilty the right to sue the prosecutor if he or she thinks the result was unfair.

But if a prosecutor violates a criminal law, he can be prosecuted himself. Prosecutors are also not immune from professional discipline, up to and including disbarrment.

A good example of these principles in action is the fate of the prosecutor in the recent case involving an alleged rape by members of the Duke University lacrosse team.
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Old 28-10-2008, 14:15   #340
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A good example of these principles in action is the fate of the prosecutor in the recent case involving an alleged rape by members of the Duke University lacrosse team.
That was going to be my example as I read your post. I don't understand Jerry Brown, state's attorney general, not getting involved. I read that he possibly is allowing the DA to dig his own grave?
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Old 28-10-2008, 15:16   #341
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I thought it was Roman Law

While much of the system may be hung on the Roman Law framework, Roman Law itself is drawn from many differing sources. It has, is, and will evolve to meet the perceived needs of the governed.

But that means the governed need to be actively involved in monitoring and tweaking the system.
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:12   #342
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:49   #343
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I LOVE that GIF.

However, with no PETA representation on CF, there are no rules against beating horses...

Some will have to just close their eyes...
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Old 28-10-2008, 17:10   #344
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<snip>
However, with no PETA representation on CF, there are no rules against beating horses...
<snip>
Now, wait a second there, Dan. As the recipient of the appellation "Left Wing Animal Rights Nutjob," surely I deserve some consideration if there is indeed an opening for such a representative.

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Old 28-10-2008, 17:15   #345
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Dan….Safe speed has nothing to do with what is common practice in a local area as it is well known that we all push the speed limits.

However in a legal sense, safe speed could be loosely defined as “a speed that would allow the operator to avoid a collision by his actions alone in the prevailing visibility as determined by the quality of lookout including the use of radar.”

A slow boat can not get out of the way of a fast boat so the onus is on the fast boat to maintain a more vigilant look-out and stay clear of slow moving traffic
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