Monday, March 23, 2009

Too many laws?

In recent years British society has become increasingly litigious. Both the government and the public increasingly turn to the law to resolve problems.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has beaten even his predecessor’s record, introducing 2,823 new laws during his first year in office.

This is the highest record for law-making by anyone at Number 10, and 40% higher than the annual average created by Margaret Thatcher. Meanwhile, disputes between neighbours, and often trivial harassment cases, are increasingly likely to come to court.

This legalistic approach to social and political problems is causing disquiet, however. Critics question whether fines or imprisonment are always the answer to interpersonal problems.

Questions are being raised about the impact new laws are having on British justice, and the individuals’ relationship to the state and to each other. The use of the law for political ends is also said to be corrupting the criminal justice system, with the abolition of double jeopardy (so that the accused can now be tried twice), proposals to increase the detention without trial of terrorist suspects to 42 days and the rise of race and religious hate laws.

A drive to increase the conviction rate in cases such as rape, the increased prominence of the victim in harassment law and the trial process are also attracting criticism as well as support.

Are we overburdening the law with social and political problems, and undermining it in the process? About one hour.

1 comment:

The Viking said...

Look people, the REAL ISSUE is about a person's right to make their own personal decisions and decide their own quality of life - whether I, you, or the government agrees or not. We have gradually given our rights over to a government who tries to play parent and treat us like brainless children. We are like sheep being lead to the slaughter. Inform me, yes - criminalize me, NO. To all you fatties out there, just wait until the government begins to restrict the amount of calories you can legally consume each day - for your own good. You will be fined or jailed for violations - it will be commonly known as the fat-tax. Your doctor will be required to report your weight via an electronic system similar to the Prescription Monitoring Program. Sound ridiculous? The recommended daily allowance (RDA) has already been established. Don't you people get it? Don't you realize that your right to make personal, moral, and ethical decisions that directly affect the quality of your daily life is slowly taken away and not only dictated by our government, but criminalized. Today it's drugs; tomorrow it will be an issue that affects YOU and much sooner than you think.

Wake up people! It's all happening right under your noses, but you are too busy criticizing and judging others that you are blinded by your own pride, but eventually YOUR habits and behaviors will be criminalized.