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Old 31st May 2017, 12:19 AM   #41
David Mo
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
In general I do feel that trials in absenting are unjust, including trials for war crimes. I believe that it is a vital part of a justice system that an accused must be given the opportunity to answer the charges against them in order to be fair.

Most legal systems do allow for such trials as an exception to the general rule, and provided such trials are an exception they are not a threat to the general right to a fair trial and the open administration of justice.
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Trials in absentia are only unjust if the accused is available to be at the trial. If the defendant has vanished on his own, not so much. He/she had the chance to be at the trial but chose not to.
We can discuss whether trial in absence or the system of public defenders is "fair trial" or not but whatever you want to consider as the features of a fair trial they have to be applied to everybody in the same circumstances. This is what means the universal right to a fair trial. "Universal" means equality in front to the Law.

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Old 31st May 2017, 03:37 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
It is linguistically (and to a lesser degree morally, legally, and so forth) odd to apply the word and concept of a "right" to something that by definition someone else has to provide for you.
Why?
If it is odd to talk about the right to a fair trial then what word should be used?
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Old 31st May 2017, 06:39 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
Why?
If it is odd to talk about the right to a fair trial then what word should be used?
Nobody has to provide you with a trial. They could just leave you alone instead.
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Old 31st May 2017, 12:11 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Nobody has to provide you with a trial. They could just leave you alone instead.
I don't see how this assertion relates to my question.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:18 AM   #45
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I think that rights are nothing more than behaviors you are allowed to do.

Even if the government disappeared overnight, there would still be a limit on what you could do: what other people allow you to do. No one is going to allow you to kill them or hurt their loved ones, for example, law or no law. You could frolic naked in the woods but if your behavior offended someone else, they would try and stop you. The only thing we truly have an in-born right to do is a behavior that affectsdirectly harms no one else.

It's a corruption of the concept of rights to say that someone has a right to healthcare. I agree, you have a right to seek it out and have it done, but you don't have a right to make someone else perform the service for you. That other person has the right to say "no, I won't do that," or "I will only do that under these circumstances."

What people really mean to say when they say, "Everyone has a right to healthcare," is that "Everyone is entitled to healthcare;" i.e., they want to create a government program to provide that care to everyone.

ETA: I think that correction is more precise.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:21 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
Why?
If it is odd to talk about the right to a fair trial then what word should be used?
Entitlement. You are entitled to a fair trial under our laws.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:22 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And herein with hit brick wall of manufactured semantics that kill every discussion.

It is linguistically (and to a lesser degree morally, legally, and so forth) odd to apply the word and concept of a "right" to something that by definition someone else has to provide for you.
But that's what rights are. The term has no meaning outside of a socio-legal context. And it doesn't matter that the US constitution defines them as something they don't take away, it's still something they allow you to do. They are confered rights. There is no such thing as a natural right.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:44 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Nobody has to provide you with a trial. They could just leave you alone instead.
Or summarily kill you. It's the wide gulf inbetween the extremes that legal rights allow us to navigate.
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Old 1st June 2017, 08:52 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
And it doesn't matter that the US constitution defines them as something they don't take away, it's still something they allow you to do.
Actually though, a US citizen can still have their "inalienable rights" taken away. The USC specifically allows for the loss of freedom of movement during a period of lawful incarceration, but doesn't indicate that you lose any other rights - except citizens convicted of certain offences do lose their right to "keep and bear arms", and often their right to vote - which the rest of the citizenry is OK with. And this reinforces the notion that rights are not inherent, but granted by society.
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Old 1st June 2017, 09:11 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Actually though, a US citizen can still have their "inalienable rights" taken away.
Indeed. It just serves to show that "rights" are just legal fictions. Extremely useful, but still not "inherent" or anything of the like.

I realise I'm just repeating what you said.
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Old 1st June 2017, 10:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Entitlement. You are entitled to a fair trial under our laws.
That seems like a good word but doesn't answer the why question.

Why use a different word? And then the word right would presumably be redefined. Why bother?
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Old 1st June 2017, 10:38 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Indeed. It just serves to show that "rights" are just legal fictions. Extremely useful, but still not "inherent" or anything of the like.

I realise I'm just repeating what you said.
While I'm on the subject of definitions... Rights are not legal fictions.

When corporations are said to be persons, that's a legal fiction. One pretends that a corporation is a person so that laws applying to actual, natural persons can be applied to corporations. Otherwise laws that govern, for example, contracts between persons could not be applied to corporations.

Rights are rights.
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Old 1st June 2017, 10:39 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Indeed. It just serves to show that "rights" are just legal fictions. Extremely useful, but still not "inherent" or anything of the like.

I realise I'm just repeating what you said.
s'alright.

When I did my Combat Leaders Course in 1989 they taught us ways to make our lectures more interesting and effective through the use of CREST.

Comparison (something the students know to the subject matter being taught)
Repetition (if something is important, find a way to keep coming back to it - they'll get it)
Emphasis (voice modulation, or just saying "this is important...")
Statistics (9 out of 10 legal theorists say....)
Testimony (provided it comes from a relevant authority)
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Old 1st June 2017, 11:56 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
That seems like a good word but doesn't answer the why question.
Why? Because the society, through its legislative mechanisms, has decided that every citizen should have that particular thing.

Quote:
Why use a different word? And then the word right would presumably be redefined. Why bother?
"Entitlement" is more precise. "Right," has already been redefined as a right to have a thing. I think that's a corruption. We are entitled to certain things; we have a right to engage in certain behaviors. Rights are behaviors the government shouldn't regulate or curtail; entitlements are things the government should give us.

Again, imagine a world with no government and no laws. What would you have a right to?
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Old 1st June 2017, 12:48 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
"Entitlement" is more precise. "Right," has already been redefined as a right to have a thing. I think that's a corruption.
When did this supposed redefinition happen? As far as I can tell the word 'right' has meant pretty much the same thing for several centuries; longer than the US has existed.
Are you talking metaphorically? If so, I don't get it.

Quote:
We are entitled to certain things; we have a right to engage in certain behaviors. Rights are behaviors the government shouldn't regulate or curtail; entitlements are things the government should give us.
Ok, that seems like a reasonable classification but I don't get why redefining 'right' is desirable or wise.

Quote:
Again, imagine a world with no government and no laws. What would you have a right to?
I'm not sure if the concept makes sense without a government. It's sort of like asking: "In a world without numbers, how many fingers do you have?"
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Old 1st June 2017, 01:59 PM   #56
xjx388
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
When did this supposed redefinition happen? As far as I can tell the word 'right' has meant pretty much the same thing for several centuries; longer than the US has existed.
Are you talking metaphorically? If so, I don't get it.
I'm probably oversimplifying. I'm really just giving you my view of the matter.
Quote:
Ok, that seems like a reasonable classification but I don't get why redefining 'right' is desirable or wise.
I think we should differentiate between the two. Having a right to something does not mean that the government should make sure you have it. To wit: I have a right to bear arms, but the government doesn't have to give me a gun. If we call healthcare a right for example, this should not imply that the government must give it to us.
Quote:
I'm not sure if the concept makes sense without a government. It's sort of like asking: "In a world without numbers, how many fingers do you have?"
I think you are right. Without government or laws, you could do as you please . . . until you start affecting other people. The concept of a right would make no sense in such a circumstance unless it was limited only to those behaviors that affect or harm no one else. Basically, you only have an in-born right to think what you want. Everything else has the potential to be curtailed by someone else.
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Old 1st June 2017, 04:35 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think we should differentiate between the two.
Ok. What about using some preexisting classification? The Hohfeldian system seems to be what is used in the US.

Quote:
Having a right to something does not mean that the government should make sure you have it. To wit: I have a right to bear arms, but the government doesn't have to give me a gun. If we call healthcare a right for example, this should not imply that the government must give it to us.
The right to keep and bear arms is not usually regarded as a human right but I suppose that doesn't matter.
You are right that a right to something does not meant that the government has to give it to you. It also does not have to make sure that you have it. The government does, however, have to make sure that you could reasonably get that something.

US society is structured in a way that arms can be bought cheaply, or alternatively one could enlist in the armed forces. If the government sought to change this - eg by putting high taxes on arms - then I would think this would be unconstitutional.

Another right in the US constitution is the right to a fair trial. This is recognized as a human right.
In the US this means that the government pays public defendants. Less obviously, it means that the government pays for trials at all. It's not like a trial - including jurors and all that expensive forensics stuff - is physically necessary.

Healthcare is a human right, as was pointed out in post #4. I'm always game for some pointless philosophizing but, at the end of the day, that right is on the book.
The US government has gone some way in its duty to secure this right. ERs are generally legally obliged to treat all emergencies. Someone pays for that.

Quote:
I think you are right. Without government or laws, you could do as you please . . . until you start affecting other people. The concept of a right would make no sense in such a circumstance unless it was limited only to those behaviors that affect or harm no one else. Basically, you only have an in-born right to think what you want. Everything else has the potential to be curtailed by someone else.
I'm not really sure I get this. You define a right as something that no one can stop you doing? If this is right then: What is the utility of such a concept?


I was thinking the concept of a right makes no sense outside a system of justice interpreting and applying these rights Society needs to be complex enough so that not everyone knows each other. Then you need abstract rules of behavior to govern the behavior between strangers.
In a simpler society, a family or tribe, I would expect individual concerns (family ties, shared memories, friendship and love) to override abstract considerations of justice.
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