Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bad law is bad law

During the reign of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismark, the government enacted a law designed to shelter the sensibilities of European monarchs against public ridicule. It was illegal to insult those in high office. In 2016, Recep Erdogan demanded the 143-year old law be enforced against a German satirist who had mocked the Turkish president.

On March 31, the comedian read a poem mocking the Turkish leader whose government has brought more than 1,800 criminal cases against Turks for insulting their president.

Germany's freedom of expression laws notwithstanding, the case has been allowed to proceed, with the statement the government intended to repeal the stale-dated law.

During the reign of the German chancellor, Adolf Hitler, the government enacted a law against home-schooling. Its aim was to ensure Nazi indoctrination for all. 

That law is still in force. It authorizes the government to remove children from parents who wish to home-school their family. For repeated offences, the children may be removed permanently and adopted out to strangers, the parents losing all rights to access. 

No mention of possible repeal.

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