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» babble   » current events   » international news and politics   » Johan Steyn, ex law lord, decries descent into authoritarianism

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Author Topic: Johan Steyn, ex law lord, decries descent into authoritarianism
Babbler # 621

posted 01 May 2006 02:22 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some of you may remember Lord Steyn, the law lord from South Africa, for his role in the Pinochet case.

This all-powerful government is prone to creeping authoritarianism

History shows majority rule is no guarantee against tyranny. Post-9/11, the portents for our democracy are alarming

In the western world, the view prevails that democracy is a better form of government than any other. Probably it is. But the assertion of the superior moral value of democratic government compared, for example, with the organisation of society according to moderate Muslim principles, ought not to be conceded without examination. In the light of Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Falluja, the other horrors of the Iraq war, and the continuing revelations about so-called extraordinary rendition - a fancy phrase for kidnapping - the Muslim world may not be over-impressed with protestations about the rule of law. Muslims generally regard such ideas as self-serving hypocrisy. The scale of the outrage in the world of Islam is enormous. The outcome for world peace and stability is the great question of our time.

From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
Babbler # 3276

posted 02 May 2006 02:17 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
This all-powerful government is prone to creeping authoritarianism.

Great piece:
In matters of constitutional law the way in which government is actually conducted is of great importance. For the last 25 years, the pattern has been administration by governments with large majorities. The power of such a government over the lives of people is enormous. In 1978, Lord Hailsham described the Westminster system as "an elective dictatorship".

Guantánamo Bay will forever be a historical reference point for our time. It is a stain on American justice. Only the present US administration tries to defend the utterly indefensible. Unfortunately, our prime minister is not prepared to go further than to say that Guantánamo Bay is an understandable anomaly. In its feebleness, this response to a flagrant breach of the rule of law, reminiscent of the worst actions of totalitarian states, is shaming for our country. While our government condones Guantánamo Bay, the world is perplexed about our approach to the rule of law. If the matter were within the jurisdiction of British courts, our judges would unanimously condemn it. Were our government now to condemn Guantánamo Bay, it would at last be a powerful signal to the world that Britain supports the international rule of law.

From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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