Sunday, November 8, 2015

When rights become wrongs

"Is anything ever safe when everyone pursues his rights to the letter?" Erasmus

A paper on "rights inflation" at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ottawa earlier this year reported that international law now recognized more than 300 "rights" including affordable Internet access.

Things that simply feel good have morphed into rights. If you disagree with someone, he may claim it as a violation of his rights and demand compensation. As two of them can occupy one seat in an aircraft, two midgets claim the right to pay for only a single ticket. Also claiming single-seat fare is the obese person who occupies two seats.

"You have a right to do well financially. " So advertises investment advisor Hollis Wealth. Holders of Greek bonds have appealed to the European Court Human Rights claiming their rights would be violated should the Greek government default on bond payments.

In this atmosphere of grievance collecting, we see increasing demands that one's particular complaint be added to the ever-growing list of of "human rights." All this minimizes the importance of true rights, which appear in the pertinent legislation of developed countries.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has further warped the process in its ban on public access to its hearings. Except in special situations, it is illegal to record the proceedings. And then the record may not be used in a judicial review even if false evidence had been presented and accepted.

As Conrad Black sees it: "I doubt the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] accomplished much substantively beyond unleashing Canada's under-qualified judges to meddle open-endedly in social animation,"

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