Saturday, June 07, 2008

BCHRT: Make-Believe Justice

I want to publicly thank Andrew Coyne for his perseverance in live-blogging the five-day kangaroo court case against Maclean's maganize last week at the bc human rights tribunal (small caps deliberate).

He carried his readers along quite a roller coaster ride. Here was a funhouse mirror of a courtroom if ever there was one, a child's version of a trial proceeding performed with the same earnest manner seen when little children play at having tea parties with empty cups served to dolls sitting up at knee-high tables.
A child's tea party has no actual tea, and a bc human rights courtroom has no justice. The participants just act as if it did.
Hard to believe that it all took place in my city, in my country, in my Canada.

The final outrage came at the very end, as the curtain was prematurely run down on Andrew's eye-witness accounts of the theater of the absurd:

12:04 PM ...
CODA: There will be no more liveblogging. As I left the courtroom for the lunch break, i was taken aside by a sheepish-looking court official, who said that he’d just learned that I had been “broadcasting” from inside the courtroom. So had I. Broadcasting, I said? I didn’t have a microphone, or a camera.
No, he explained: but liveblogging counts as broadcasting. It’s not the computer that’s the problem. You can type away on it all you want. If you step outside to send it, that’s okay, too. But if you send text from within the courtroom, that’s broadcasting.
Anyway, I gave him my solemn word that I would do no more broadcasting. What with the hearings being almost over and all. It seemed a fitting way to put a cap on the week.
Fitting, indeed. One final empty cup of justice, to toast the conclusion of the game called holding a hearing.

Poetic justice, making a brief appearance at the end of a trial otherwise devoid of any justice.


Anonymous said...

When does this tribunal deliver its ruling? Or suggestions? Or whatever conclusion it gets to deliver? I didn’t catch when this thing eventually wraps up.

I’ll echo your commendation of Coyne’s work. His entries succinctly demonstrate the absurdity of the entire process. I’d be interested in going to hear a reading of the verdict(?) except I’m not sure which ruling(?) I’d like to hear. I want to see these authoritarian pricks get put in their place, but I also want to see the entire absurd show to continue so as to create more pressure on politicians to change the laws and prevent these trials(?) from occurring again. Perhaps they should write one of our most fundamental rights - the Right to be an Asshole – explicitly into the Charter so the next batch of enforcers for correct-thinking avoid the courtroom in their broader struggle* to eliminate hurt feelings.


*Translated so as not to offend unnamed communities in such a way as to cause the blog comment to become evidence before a human rights tribunal.

Dag said...

NA, I've been following this case as closely as I can and I have no idea when the tribunes will release their verdict. One assumes it will be on Monday morning when court resumes, given that the gang take up a much needed courthouse venue meant for more serious matters like criminal trials.

The way the media cover this story, though, the verdict might have come and gone already, and we would be none the wiser, if not for Coyne and a handful of bloggers.

There are other, less well-known cases of a similar sort occurring in Vancouver as we sit awaiting this outcome. Rachel Davis is a local woman in a similar situation. There is no end to this.

Greg Felton can come to the city library and spew his lunatic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as freely as one can allow in a democracy, but the rest of us, being outside the range of the allowable to the left dhimmi fascism of the intelligentsia are tried for pursuing Reason.

Well, the times they are a'changin'.

Anonymous said...

I attended sessions. Media were assigned a specific section of the 24 seat gallery. Audio recording was explicitly permitted by the media, as long as its sole purpose was for reporting. I question if the Court Sheriffs - ex-cops - had a clue about live blogging.

Eowyn said...

NA, I also join in congratulating Andrew Coyne on what must have been a grueling experience (never mind the insanity on top of it!)

LOL at this -- "Perhaps they should write one of our most fundamental rights - the Right to be an Asshole – explicitly into the Charter ..."

Charles Henry and crew, thanks for sharing so much good information as we all impatiently await the "verdict."

I'm curious -- if the "verdict" IS rendered and the press not told, how is one to find out?

Dag said...

I made a cosmic discovery some years ago that most people dismiss as inane. You decide:

Many organizations have a position called the office of the ombudsman; and that position is meant to deliver mediation between an aggrieved member of the public and the bureaucracy. I found out, sheerly by chance, that there is no such living being as the ombudsman. Instead, there are buildings all over the nation, high-rise office towers meant to intimidate the pubic by their towering presences and also to house electronic devices like answering machines and automatic response machines of some sort, the kind that send messages to the sender thanking him/her for their inquiries. Hge office towers full of tape recorders and answering machines, and the staff composed of immigrant cleaning ladies who dust and change disks and so on while the people who are actually the "government" are living at Club Med on credit and ATM cards with direct deposits from the idiot tax-payer like me. Notice that one never actually sees an executive in government. No, there is instead a movie set in Ottawa where soap-opera actors read from scripts about things sort of related to the issues of the past year or so. Occasionally there is a cast change so viewers can promote their favorite actors to starring roles and demote those who can't deliver their lines very well. All of this is presided over by the ombudsman, know to the like of me as "The Wizard of Ombz."

Will we ever know anything? I'm glued to the television. That was a mistake while trying to fix a broken lamp. I have my hands free to reach this key-board, but my neck hurts straining to see the monitor. Please help.

Eowyn said...

Dag, I recommend a stiff shot of Remedial Therapy for Survival of Serial Whiners, 80 proof :)

As far as those vast banks inhabited by voice machines et al. -- so THAT explains the proliferation of those annoying voice menus, and the dismayed surprise of the real person when you luck into actually catching them!

Dag said...

As soon as I can get unglued from this television and the lamp....