A new take on conjugal rights

December 28, 2012 11 Comments
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It’s always been a problem when people talk rights, particularly politicians who encoded some rights into law and allowed judges (and the legal system) to twist them beyond what was actually intended but still within the letter (if only barely at times) This in essence is why proper legal documents are rather bizarre to read at times as legalise is a very precise language where what is stated is exactly what is meant. Politicians (and people) rarely realise this and their idea of a right has all sort of exclusivity built into it unknowingly whereas to a legal expert it’s all open to interpretation. Also no system of rights seems to come with a system of responsibilities, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have stories like this in the press.

Mail.

Four murderers and a drug dealer are in line for taxpayer-funded fertility treatment so that they can father a child from behind bars.
The killers are demanding to be allowed to take part in IVF treatment despite serving life sentences. Ministers may be powerless to refuse because of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights concerning the right to a private and family life.
Turning down the prisoners’ demands could lead to court action and compensation claims running into tens of thousands of pounds.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that a prisoner had been given access to artificial insemination treatment on the NHS at a cost of around £2,000.
Since then, 13 applications have been made by inmates in England and Wales. Eight have been rejected but five remain in ministers’ in-trays.

As it’s the Mail, usual caveats apply, however there are several documented cases where criminals have used the rights system to evade justice s well as use the Human Rights Act and its various clauses to act as if they are not prisoners at all. That has ever been at the core of the Human Rights Act in that it remained specifically vague as to the differences between the law abiding and the criminal. Rather than go for a basic set of rights, it opted for all encompassing and got a hell of a surprise when it got used in ways they never envisioned by people who clearly ought not to have access to IVF fertilisation or indeed the right to vote. This is what comes of allowing badly written law onto the statute books, a table of rights for all, should also have come with a table of responsibilities for all which if not abided to, restricted you to a very limited set of rights. As it is, the way that the EU is set up with regard to the European Court of Human Rights means that in order to get this odious piece of legislation off the statute books means we’d have to leave the EU. Nor would bringing in an extra layer of ‘British rights’ in the manner of a new Magna Carta work either as it would simply be a layer on top of the HRA and not a replacement as some politicians would have us believe.

I’m not against people having rights as a protection from the state, I do have a problem when the scope of those rights goes way beyond what was originally intended (in the public’s eye at least) you should only get the full raft of rights when you take on a full raft of responsibilities. We don’t need to just get rid of the HRA, we need to add a Human Responsibilities Act in future rights legislation to prevent things like this ever happening again.

11 Responses to A new take on conjugal rights

  1. December 28, 2012 at 11:57 am

    As it’s the Mail, usual caveats apply

    That’s true but all the same, it points to issues the other media won’t touch. And I do agree with this:

    I do have a problem when the scope of those rights goes way beyond what was originally intended (in the public’s eye at least)

  2. graham wood
    December 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Where does the concept of “rights” come from? From international, secular governments and authorities? Arguably, they emanate from God alone.
    Jefferson’s understanding was at least based upon the accepted Judeo/Christian foundational belief in God as the source of all authority. But human “rights” per se are never raised or discussed in Scripture. Do we then need to outsource the origin of rights to one or another human institution or court?
    Obviously, no human source has the authority to claim for itself a source of rights – they must be sourced in God.
    The Ten Commandments are the very origin and definition of our God-given rights. Contrary to popular myth, our rights were not born when the Bill of Rights was inserted into the (USA or British)Constitutions!
    We already had them by virtue of the duties that God laid upon us all in His wise and benevolent Commandments.
    That which a creature is duty-bound to do automatically presupposes a right to do it. Duties without such rights would be meaningless. In the first three Commandments we are instructed in our duties toward God, which are the foundation of our rights.
    We have rights, in other words, because God, being our maker, has an absolute right to our love and obedience. This is why the Rights of God are placed before the Rights of Man in the first three Commandments, which form the First Great Commandment to “love the
    Lord Thy God”….
    In these commandments can be found the essence of true religious liberty.
    Because this is our duty, it must also be our right. The State, being also under His Dominion, must also obey.
    The Rights of Man, which arise from these, work differently, in an indirect manner – i.e. in the last seven Commandments, which form the Second Great Commandment, “Thou Shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”, by regulating our behaviour towards our fellow-men.
    From the extent to which these are obeyed flows the guarantees to what we call our “rights”.

    • December 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Special non-proselytizing comment on the comment by Graham Wood. ;-)

      If you look at the wording of the original documents of the Founding Fathers, they are steeped in references to God as the “approver”. For example:

      We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

      If you look at our Bill of Rights:

      And for preventing all questions and divisions in this realm by reason of any pretended titles to the crown, and for preserving a certainty in the succession thereof, in and upon which the unity, peace, tranquility and safety of this nation doth under God wholly consist and depend, the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do beseech their Majesties that it may be enacted, established and declared

      … there is s similar wording. And this:

      I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

      What the writers of these documents recognized was that there had to be a Higher Authority which would bind even rulers and demand that basic rights as perceived by the people should be honoured. These people had no problem with this, they didn’t go on about proselytizing or any other guff like that. They were quite clear about that.

      The mandate from the masses is also a powerful concept but not one enforceable except in revolutions and even in them, all that happens is that one ruler goes and another takes its place. If you accept that the UK is a constitutional monarchy and the u.s. of A is a republic, and both make reference to a Higher Authority, then there is something in that.

      I don’t believe in the divine right of Kings and the “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” is a pretty good indicator that there are matters temporal and then matters spiritual. Yet there is also the reference to Pilate not having his authority except under God.

      So what we had with the Founding Fathers was a determination that under the broad umbrella of divine approval, they were free to make laws and protect rights. And this was not just any god, it was the Christian God for only under such was the notion of all equal under God enshrined, i.e. in practical terms, the only way the mandate by the masses could possibly prevail for any length of time.

      Where nations attempted it outside of that structure, e.g. the USSR, very soon, in lieu of compassionate deity, was the Politburo and the rest you know.

      Now I’m not remotely interested in proselytizing anyone as it is a personal matter for people themselves and none of my business. However, I am very interested in where people’s rights come from and if you genuinely want to explore that, then you are inevitably going to come back to the origins of two major democratic nations – the u.s. of A and the modern UK. You just can’t sweep that under the carpet and say it does not signify. It is integrally entwined in political power.

      Having acknowledged that, the Founding Fathers and writers of the Bill of Rights moved on and addressed the purely temporal matters and a very good job they made of it.

      I myself am more temporal, a political animal if you like. I don’t go on about religious things at my blog and only do so here because others write bunkum on occasions and it needs to be addressed, as I have in the past few days. And the only reason I did in this comment is that someone else brought up the origins of rights.

      There are those who put the “all equal” concept down to the Renaissance but I would ask – which came first – the events of the year 0 AD or the events of the 1400s?

      Therefore we needed to go back and look at those.

      ………..

      LATE NOTE from Zero Hedge:

      China Passes Law Legalizing Deletion Of Internet Posts Or Pages Containing “Illegal” Information
      While the US is caught in a rancorous debate over allowing the government to define just what was and wasn’t meant by the Second amendment, and how best to limit it and give the government even more powers, China is more focused on its version of the First. Because on Wednesday we reported that in its attempt to make the Internet “healthier, more cultured and safer” and to curb what Chinese regulators dub “rumors and vulgarity” it would pass a law making internet anonymity impossible. Sure enough, said proposal has now been enacted into law, which just happens to also ensure that the First amendment is never an issue China has to worry about.

      China – Christian tradition, isn’t it?

      This post by QM was on rights taken too far:

      As it is, the way that the EU is set up with regard to the European Court of Human Rights means that in order to get this odious piece of legislation off the statute books means we’d have to leave the EU. Nor would bringing in an extra layer of ‘British rights’ in the manner of a new Magna Carta work either as it would simply be a layer on top of the HRA and not a replacement as some politicians would have us believe.

      Very much. Step 1 – out of the EU. Step 2 – reassert our own Bill of Rights.

    • mona
      December 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      You will get nowhere quoting the Bible which is after all is a collcton of books and tales written to the will and caprice of endless scribes, the Human Rights Act was written it appears for the benefit of Bliars wife and and a hosts of Lawyers, as near as one can get to the rights of Man,try Common Law.

      • December 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        Who’s quoting the Bible? I was quoting the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Pledge.

        Different other documents.

        • Voice of Reason
          December 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm

          Let’s see:

          1. The Declaration of Independence is a poke in the eye for the ‘divine right of Kings’.
          2. The Constitution makes no reference at all to God, only that no religious test could be applied to hold office.
          3. The Bill of Rights enforces freedom of religion (not just by sect, and includes freedom from religion).
          4. The pledge, written by a Baptist pastor, contained no reference to God until 1956, when it was added to show that the US was different than ‘those atheist Ruskies’.

          • December 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

            And?

          • December 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

            The Declaration of Independence mentions God.

            As for Mona’s reference to common law, she should know that one of its roots is Alfred the Great’s code, which is replete with Bible quotes.

      • graham wood
        December 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm

        Mona The discussion is about human rights and the associated question of their source.
        That said, I believe you are right to identify common law, as understood in England over many centuries does have a bearing on the issue of rights.
        Thus, common law allows one to speak or act totally freely towards others and vice versa without let or hindrance, the only proviso being as long as it does not actually harm them, or transgress existing statute law.
        That what was once meant by the common expression ‘its a free country’, a privilege we in England once enjoyed virtually exclusively. It was a ‘given’, a right, and its roots were in Christian culture, and in effect the best ‘law’ system in existence.
        It only remains to add that political correctness (i.e. censorship or criticism by a third party) is the antithesis of common law.

  3. Paul Williamson
    December 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Somehow a phrase such as ‘I have a right to have a family’, which I would assume means I am allowed to procreate and bear children, seems to now come to mean the state has duty to enable me to have children. I can only think this has come to pass with the ideas of equality and non discrimination, the progress in health care, the ability to apply to the European Court of Human Rights, and man’s ability to push boundaries.

  4. Furor Teutonicus
    December 30, 2012 at 9:32 am

    XX It’s always been a problem when people talk rights, particularly politicians who encoded some rights into law and allowed judges (and the legal system) to twist them beyond what was actually intended but still within the letter (if only barely at times) XX

    But…(!) It is the job of the judge to interpret and CHANGE that “letter”…..or?

    They are doing EXACTLY what they are paid for. Which in this day and age, is rather unusual amongst “Government” employees.

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