Guest Post: James Allan – Libertarian Economists and the Law

What is it with libertarian economists who know a lot about economics but are pretty much clueless when it comes to constitutional law? There are myriad examples. But what provoked me to write this Guest Post was the great man Sinclair Davidson’s short post on the 18th, yesterday, where he ended some observations about free speech with a little riff on our lack of a bill of rights. I’ll quote the whole of Herr Davidson’s final paragraph:

The most interesting aspect of Mr Glasgow’s views on free speech is that he writes from New York State in the United States. His right to free speech is protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution, and the second amendment too. Here [in] Australia we have none of those rights.

This is pretty typical of a good many libertarian economists’ views on how constitutional law works – from Sinc all the way back to, and including, Hayek. It paints a sort of 18th century view of the common law type world. It sees the enumerated rights in a bill of rights as laying down obvious, clear lines with unelected judges delivering the outcomes that a programmed machine could. The only problem with all of this, with respect, is that it runs directly counter to what in the philosophy of science is known as ‘the facts’.

Here’s the thing about any bill of rights. It lays down a set of emotively attractive moral claims in the language of rights. It does it in a way that tempts the reader to think what’s on offer is some sort of absolute right, with no limits. And it finesses all the disagreement out there in society about where to draw very difficult and contentious and debatable line-drawing exercises. Of course in real life all sorts of limits (on freedom of religion, on free speech, on what counts as an unreasonable search, etc etc) will be imposed on the rights. It’s just that with a bill of rights nine or seven unelected ex-lawyers will be doing the deciding, rather than 150 elected legislatures. All you buy with a bill of rights – and I mean this literally – is rule by judges.

Take the right to free speech (and I’ll lay my cards on the table on this one and say that there isn’t a law prof in Australia who favours a wider scope for free speech than I, and certainly no one who’s argued and fought for it). But even in the US the judges have read in plenty of limits on free speech. No fighting words. No publishing details of how to make a weapon that would destroy the world. Obscenity limits. And lots more. Yes, there is more scope to speak your mind in the US than anywhere else on earth. I love that. But there are limits galore.

Now Sinclair’s implication was that if we in Australia bought a bill of rights we’d also get the whole US package of case law too. That’s a joke! Canada opted for (well, Trudeau did without any election on the matter or any referendum) a bill of rights. But the Canadian judges have accepted all sorts of limits on free speech. I mean this literally — there is more scope to speak your mind in Australia today (Sinc’s desired but absent bill of rights notwithstanding) than there is in Canada today. Canada’s national hate speech laws were challenged twice in the Canadian Supreme Court. They were upheld twice by the judges. It was the Canadian Parliament (pushed by Mark Steyn) that got rid of those at the national level, though plenty still exist provincially.

It is a dead certainty that our judges would follow Canada (and the European Court of Human Rights and South Africa’s Court, and New Zealand’s and the UK’s and everywhere except the US) rather than the US. Let me be blunt. Opt for a bill of rights and we will be worse off in free speech terms because the lawyerly class that gives us the top judges will almost always side with equality rights over free speech rights. We’re better off with politicians, for all their sins. If you want to apply the bracing acid of public choice thinking to politicos, how about having the good graces to do so too to top judges. (Start with Michael Kirby.) Put differently, Sinc is putting himself in the same camp in this country as George Williams and just about every left-of-centre legal academic. He’s betting he’s pegged the future conduct of top judges better than they have. (Sort of like his pick on Turnbull, I suppose.)

Here’s the thing. The US free speech jurisprudence was built up many, many decades ago when top judges adopted a sane approach to reading legal texts. Back then they took the words, they read them in the light of drafters’ and ratifiers’ intentions, and whatever fell outside their ambit was left to democracy. That is the core position of Justice Antonin Scalia, just deceased. But even in the US that is dying out. That’s why there’s a huge political battle over his replacement. Do you think any Obama chosen replacement will take a hard line on free speech in the context of, say, campaign finance laws? (If you do, I have some seaside land in Alice Springs I’d like to sell you.)

Most of the common law world’s top judges adopt what’s known as a ‘living tree’ or ‘living constitution’ approach to interpreting constitutions, including the bills of rights many contain. That means, plain and simple, that the words stay the same but their supposed meaning changes over time according to the perceptions a committee of ex-lawyers happens to have as regards to ‘changing social values’. They think they’ve got their fingers on the pulse of society. Call this what you will, but it’s not democratic and it’s not likely (in this day and age) to give you a vigorous pro-free speech outcome. It does deliver to the judges, though, a massive amount of social policy-making power.
Again, Hayek made this mistake too. He had a simplistic and wrong view of what today’s top judges do. He didn’t know his legal facts. If you want and prefer the values of your average lefty lawyer then by all means push for a bill of rights. No doubt they’ll make something up about how the document guarantees same sex marriage. But they won’t give you what I take Sinclair to want in the free speech realm.

Oh, last thing. When Sinc finishes the above quote by saying that ‘in Australia we have none of those rights’ he’s wrong there too. We have lots of rights that come from statute and from non-constitutional case law, just not enough and we’d all be better off with s.18C of one statute being repealed. But rights do NOT just come from a bill of rights. Can I be clearer about that? That sort of nonsense is what they teach six year olds back in my native Canada. The UK had more rights for more people through more of history than anywhere. They had no bill of rights. Heck, they didn’t even have (still don’t for that matter) a written constitution.

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54 Responses to Guest Post: James Allan – Libertarian Economists and the Law

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    I fear the psychological trauma of Abbott losing office has driven my good friend Jim Allan quite mad. I might have to conduct some electroshock therapy on him the next time I see him. 🙂

  2. Norman Church

    “I fear the psychological trauma of Abbott losing office has driven my good friend Jim Allan quite mad.’

    Gee, what an erudite and well-reasoned rebuttal. Impressive! If the short piece from Professor Allan is not enough for you to understand the point, perhaps you can read his recent tome on the subject before wading into the debate. It’s far too important for this type of undergraduate response.

  3. Mique

    Great stuff. Imagine if a Mordy Bromberg and clones were to be appointed to the High Court.

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    Norman – I’m being flippant. The fact is this – Jim has no idea whatsoever about my views of bills of rights and has pulled an entire story – imputing views to me that I do not hold – out of his arse. So rather than treat his views imputations with the complete contempt he deserves I have decided to mock him. He’s a big boy, he can take it. In the meantime, I’ve posted the piece as he does have an interesting perspective.

  5. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Opt for a bill of rights and we will be worse off in free speech terms because the lawyerly class that gives us the top judges will almost always side with equality rights over free speech rights. We’re better off with politicians, for all their sins.

    Yep. Be wary of Judges bearing gifts of justice.
    At least you can vote out politicians. On this, we need to forgive them their sin.

  6. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    … ooops. Sins plural. And these are plenteous, but this is a Christian nation (so far). 🙂

  7. steve

    ‘plenteous”. What a wonderfluous turn of phrase.

  8. Joe

    Time for all judicial appointments to be randomly selected from the adult populace.
    Of course, the legal fraternity would have a conniption, and would never allow it.
    Know who rules you by what is forbidden – indeed.

  9. kevin

    No judge has ever contacted me to ask what my ‘changing social values’ are.

  10. jupes

    Put differently, Sinc is putting himself in the same camp in this country as George Williams and just about every left-of-centre legal academic.

    Scratch a libertarian and you will find a lefty trying to get out.

  11. Rob MW

    Now Sinclair’s implication was that if we in Australia bought a bill of rights we’d also get the whole US package of case law too. That’s a joke! Canada opted for (well, Trudeau did without any election on the matter or any referendum) a bill of rights.

    There’s no Jurisprudence left in Australia anyway mate, overruled by a bunch of elected pricks who want nothing more than parliamentary supremacy. Won’t be long now where there will be no need to have a judiciary. Comply or go straight to jail – is that right mate ?

    Read this and weep !

    CRIMINAL JUSTICE AMENDMENT BILL 1993 (Queensland)

    Clause 15 inserts a new paragraph (d) to s.3.4(1) to include an express
    authorisation that the person executing the warrant may do so with such
    assistance as the person considers necessary. The amendment also negates
    any argument on the basis of Plenty v. Dillon and Ors (1991) 98 ALR 353 that in the absence of an express provision authorising the use of assistance
    by a Commission officer in the execution of a warrant, such use would be
    precluded without the prior consent of the occupier of the premises which is
    the subject of the warrant.

  12. Pyrmonter

    Pedants Corner

    Hayek’s first degree was a Dr. jur: a professional degree for lawyers. Romano-german legal reasoning may (at least a century ago) have involved a different education to that of common lawyers – and probably more than an equivlaent degree in the common law world a century ago than now – but to suggest Hayek was ignorant of law is as silly as Sinc’s throwaway line about the reliability of entrenched constitutional rights.

  13. Stimpson J. Cat

    I might have to conduct some electroshock therapy on him the next time I see him. 🙂

    Yes joke about mental illness.
    How dare you. Sanism rampant.
    It’s all fun and games until you are locked in a room with me and I swallow the key. 🙂

  14. John Comnenus

    This is a good piece regardless of whether they accurately portray Sinclair’s views or not. The SSM decision faced by many countries and jurisdictions is an interesting issue that highlights the pitfalls of relying on judges.

    Decreeing SSM legal by judicial fiat, as per the US Supreme Court, was a disastrous, nay idiotic and fundamentally non democratic way to handle this issue. There were far better and more democratic decision models available.

    Making the law via Parliament, such as in the UK, is fine because the opponents of the cause can always remove the government and over turn the decision if it really upsets the people – that is there is recourse to a bad decision.

    The Irish approach was equally good because rather than relying on judges or politicians to divine the will of the people, the politicians asked the people directly. It is pretty hard to complain about the Irish outcome.

    The only bad way to make this decision, the only non democratic way to do it, the approach with least room for robust free speech, is the idiotic decision of the US Courts to usurp the role of elected politicians and the people. This highlights the arrogance and anti democratic tendencies latent in a professional class all but removed from the responsibilities the rest of us owe each other through the law.

    When was the last time a judge was charged with recklessness or professional misconduct if a person they release on bail against the advice of the prosecution goes on to commit a crime? In any other context you or I would be liable for the damage our actions caused or contributed to. But this doesn’t apply to judges.

    If I make an error in law I get fined, get a criminal record, go to jail etc. I have no professional legal training. If a judge makes an error in law, I (as a tax payer) have to pay and the matter is decided by another judge. There is no sanction against the judge, who has a lifetime of professional education in the law. A judge can stuff up every other case and still not get disciplined, be forced to do remedial training or education, or be sacked.

    Judges are the only class of people above the law, which is precisely why they should have no role in making law. They should be forcibly entirely restricted to interpreting and applying the law as per the classical doctrine of the separation of powers. Judicial activism by Judges on the bench should be called out for the tyranny that it is.

  15. Tim Neilson

    Joe
    #1950551, posted on February 19, 2016 at 11:25 am
    Should we do the same with surgery qualifications?
    And remember, about 50% of the adults in this country vote ALP or Greens, and a lot of the rest support Malcolm Termite.

  16. Trent

    A decent point about ‘rule of judges’ tarnished with an ad hominem against libertarian economists. Next.

  17. Rob MW

    “Judges are the only class of people above the law,……..”

    Bullshit. Decision makers are provided statutory immunity.

    So who you gunna call when your democratically elected illiterates legislate without limitation that remove your freedoms, a liberty or two or your property by statute ? What, are you going to simply not vote for them next time around or what ? – shit I bet they are shaking in the boots !

    What about the fact that a newly elected government very rarely, if ever repeal a freedom, liberty or property confiscating law; what say you, what are you going to do ? – lay down and play dead or whisper harsh words.

    What’s the alternative John, is it not anarchy ?

    What’s a democracy without freedom, liberty or property called ?

  18. Richard H

    “… we’d all be better off with s.18C of one statute being repealed”. And far better off if the entire RDA were repealed, not just s 18C.

  19. Pyrmonter

    @ John Comnenus

    I’m no fan of judges supplanting the legislature; but I do think conscientious judges can end up being asked to make difficult decisions because of laws cast in very general terms. Cl 1 of the 14th amendment reads:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    That is legislation – constitutional legislation in this case – with enormous uncertainty of meaning. To read into it the qualifications one might expect from history – that it is focused on racial and/or slavery-related discrimination – would be to usurp the language. To give it its full effect … can readily result in the decision in Obergefell. (With which, as a matter of policy, I agree; though for the reasons set out extensively in past Cat debates, wish had come about by legislative action)

  20. John Comnenus

    Rob

    It’s difficult to know where to start. I’m not saying there should be no judges. Unfortunately as we see in the Bolt case they are just as likely to remove your rights as a politician. The difference is that we can kick out a politician – judicial appointments are for life.

    A few things that would help is to make judges responsible for poor decisions that materially damage other parties. I am not saying it should be the sack but if a judges decisions are too frequently over turned perhaps they need refresher education. No sanction for poor performance just institutionalises an arrogant indifference to the people the judges serve.

  21. Empire

    Scratch a libertarian and you will find a lefty trying to get out.

    Nah.

    Jim is right on the money. I have been opposed to a BoR ever since I first considered the issue as a 16 yo student.

  22. Richard H

    No law in Australian history removed existing freedoms more than did the National Security Act 1939 (Cth). Its provisions were upheld in almost all cases by the courts. The democratically-elected Parliament repealed the Act in toto in 1946.

  23. stackja

    Pyrmonter
    #1950616, posted on February 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm
    @ John Comnenus

    I’m no fan of judges supplanting the legislature; but I do think conscientious judges can end up being asked to make difficult decisions because of laws cast in very general terms. Cl 1 of the 14th amendment reads:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    ‘Modern definitions’ were probably not part of 1868 life.

  24. Struth

    His third paragraph falls down.
    I get what he is saying, but his assumption that it will just be watered down anyway is defeatist.
    Better to start with a right in writing than bemoan not having the right and never expecting it.

    If this argument held, why is it that it is ONLY the states that absolutely does have free speech, only limited by defimation and society standards, not government.

    The basketball owner a few months ago being a case in point.

  25. stackja

    Richard H
    #1950631, posted on February 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm
    No law in Australian history removed existing freedoms more than did the National Security Act 1939 (Cth). Its provisions were upheld in almost all cases by the courts. The democratically-elected Parliament repealed the Act in toto in 1946.

    The Australian people seemingly accepted the fact of a wartime situation.

  26. Joe

    Tim Neilson eructed:

    Should we do the same with surgery qualifications?
    And remember, about 50% of the adults in this country vote ALP or Greens, and a lot of the rest support Malcolm Termite.

    1. Not arguing about surgery. Arguing about JUDGES!

    2. 50% of adults vote one way or another. So WHAT! the whole point is that judges – those that adjudicate conflict – should represent the populous. That means, Greens, Reds, Blues, Browns, and any other color you care to name.

  27. Rob MW

    It’s difficult to know where to start. I’m not saying there should be no judges. Unfortunately as we see in the Bolt case they are just as likely to remove your rights as a politician.

    John – the Bolt case was simply a judge upholding what the politicians wrote into law. So who’s at fault, the politicians for writing the law in the first place, or the black-letter law following judge ?

    Where to start is easy, start with the law makers making law within limitations to their authority and capacity, and the judiciary enforcing those limitations in the first instance. Easy really and all else will fall into place including the preservation of natural justice.

  28. John Comnenus

    Garbage Rob re the Bolt case. The judge read into Bolts words what he wanted. Just like the Steyn case in Canada the judge was very interested in the tone and insinuation etc. All of the EEO and anti discrimination legislation tells us that legitimate religious liberty won’t be affected by the law. In all cases and in every jurisdiction judges restrict the right to freedom of religion. Just like the idiocy of the case in Tassie where the Cardinal is being sued for arguing in favour of the current law. I don’t trust politicians but trust judges less. The politician can be replaced the judge can’t almost no matter how incompetently they perform their duty.

  29. Rob MW

    Garbage Rob re the Bolt case.

    Your full of it amigo. Who wrote the fucking law for the law to be interpreted dimwit ?

    Get with the order of administrative process. The administrative process begins where ? FMD…… what’s wrong with you ?

  30. .

    jupes shitting his pants over people wanting less government in their lives (as usual).

    What is it with libertarian economists who know a lot about economics but are pretty much clueless when it comes to constitutional law?

    Well old mate I’m an economist training to be a lawyer. There is a fair chance I might end up in constitutional law.

    Some of the old stuff was outrageous, but to say you cannot incite violence is an abrogation of free speech is a weasel-esque argument used by leftists to argue against free speech and constitutional, negative rights.

  31. Stimpson J. Cat

    Time for all judicial appointments to be randomly selected from the adult populace.

    Yes.
    I like the sound of that.
    Judge Stimpy Dredd.
    Excellent.

  32. Tim Neilson

    Joe
    #1950644, posted on February 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm
    Joe, if you’re happy to be judged by an ALP/Greens/Termite supporter with zero legal knowledge, you’re welcome to it. My point was, you’re wrong to believe that an average citizen chosen at random is any sort of certainty to be even sane let alone competent. And that was also the point of the surgery comparison. Believe it or not, you do need to have some sort of training to understand the law properly. Yes, a lot of judges do outrageous things which get reported in the media, and that’s a good reason to be concerned about the appointment process, but in between times they (and the rest of the judiciary) use considerable knowledge and experience to resolve vast numbers of disputes satisfactorily according to law without attracting headlines.

  33. .

    My father was in the criminal & civil justice system for most of his career. On retirement, he proposed to the local MP (conservative) and AG (ALP hack) about having an extra layer of nominations (the committee responsible for this would be appointed as commissioners and have long, rotating terms long surpassing Parliament and be approved by both houses) and upper house confirmation on Premier/Cabinet selection.

    (So nomination by independent committee, the Premier picks and LC confirms, then governor appoints in-Council).

    He wanted this after being influenced by some of my libertarian zeal and being shocked at some of the loons appointed in the magistracy.

    What he got back from the local MP (typically, a former solicitor) was encouragement and interest.

    What he got back from the AG’s office was a smarmy brat explaining to my father how the state constitution worked.

    He was meek and mild in his illness before death but this brought on some rage which moved him from lifelong centrism and swinging voter status and cemented him as a conservative before he passed away (along with Gillard’s utter incompetence and career of failing up).

  34. Fisky

    This is another area where libertarians fail at strategy, like immigration and SSM. There is no prospect of any bill of rights defending genuine rights rather than restricting them in the name of “equality”. We shouldn’t even be giving oxygen to the idea.

  35. Fisky

    Good for Tom Palmer. Unfortunately, there is zero chance of any Second Amendment proposal getting up now. The Left will never allow it.

  36. .

    It doesn’t need to get up. It has been upheld at the highest level.

    Victory especially where glory is not fleeting is not a loss.

  37. Fisky

    The problem is that we are discussing the prospect of a 18th century style bill of rights in Australia, not the US. There is zero (0) chance of it getting up here.

  38. Tim Neilson

    John C and Rob MW,
    I agree at least in part with John.
    Bolt lost because his articles were held by Bromberg to have been published “because of the race…[or] colour …of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group”.
    The first ground is clearly wrong to anyone who thinks logically about it for a nanosecond. Suppose one of the self pitying nine were proved beyond all doubt to have no indigenous ancestry. Would Bolt say “oh I’m sorry I take it all back”? No, he’d say (if he were willing to risk more lawfare) “see what I mean?”. In other words, unless there were actually a finding that the “race” of the self pitying nine wasn’t indigenous (which there clearly wasn’t), it is logically impossible to find that Bolt’s articles were published “because of” the self pitying nine ‘s “race”.
    So it is correct to say that that part of the decision is Bolt being punished solely by an invention of the judge, not by the law as democratically enacted. And that’s even before we start looking at Bromberg’s minute parsing of every syllable of the articles to try to find offence and insult.
    It is probably true to say that Bolt’s articles were published, at least in part, “because of” the “colour” of the self pitying nine. That wasn’t emphasised strongly in Bromberg’s judgement, but to be fair it was a ground for his decision, and the legal analysis can probably stand, under the law as democratically enacted, on that basis. It’s just a bit troublesome for the middle class pinkos to have to justify the totalitarian persecution of Bolt (ignoring as they do the microscopic scrutiny necessary to make the findings of fact) by admitting that the self pitying nine would actually be less conspicuous in Fitzroy Square, London than Fitzroy Crossing WA.

  39. .

    Sure Fisk, and there used to be a prognosticator on the old ARM forums who told us that the CLP would never lose government in the NT.

    It has zero chance right now. Reagan had zero chance in 1976.

  40. Tim Neilson

    Dot and Fisky, I think you have been talking slightly at cross purposes. But I think Fisky’s last point is important. Can you imagine the Termite permitting enactment of a law that actually gave an individual any genuine liberty? Or Peanut Head (except maybe immunity for union officials accused of corruption or rape)? There’s a long, long process of changing the entire culture of this country before it’s safe to talk about a Bill of Rights.

  41. .

    I reckon it starts with supporting a bill of rights that enshrines negative liberty.

  42. Fisky

    Dot and Fisky, I think you have been talking slightly at cross purposes. But I think Fisky’s last point is important. Can you imagine the Termite permitting enactment of a law that actually gave an individual any genuine liberty? Or Peanut Head (except maybe immunity for union officials accused of corruption or rape)? There’s a long, long process of changing the entire culture of this country before it’s safe to talk about a Bill of Rights.

    Exactly. If you can’t repeal 18C with a notional right-of-centre Senate majority, then there is zero chance of a Constitutional amendment protecting free speech. It’s never going to happen.

  43. Fisky

    I reckon it starts with supporting a bill of rights that enshrines negative liberty.

    There is zero chance of this passing, let alone being proposed.

  44. Struth

    Could you imagine trying to get a bill of rights up in this shithole now?

  45. rich

    The point of true rights is they are inherent and imbued by God. They aren’t conferred by the state through a “Bill of Rights” because, any conferrence can be treated as welfare gifted by the state, for stupidity like “a right to a living wage” or “right to housing” etc.

    The point of the constitution was to restrain the state from trampling on those God given rights, not to empower the state to override them. The piece accurately points out the de facto pitfalls of trusting lawyers and judges (who have a vested interest in empowering themselves) with interpreting such a limiter as the constitution.

    There comes a point when the citizenry have to seize those rights (which they always had) back for themselves and put big government back in its cage.

  46. Struth

    Government doesn’t assume you have those God given rights without seeing it in writing.
    And then they will eventually ignore it.
    We know we have God given rights.

    Although too late for us now, we would be far less closer to the socialist shit hole we now are, if we had a bill of rights from the beginning.
    An acknowledgement by government that they can’t make laws in contradiction of them.

  47. rebel with cause

    If the culture is turning anti-free speech then laws and bills of rights ain’t gonna do jack.

  48. Struth

    Bullshit.
    Look at the states.

  49. Muddy

    Kudos to Sinc for actually posting this, given the content.

  50. .

    Exactly. If you can’t repeal 18C with a notional right-of-centre Senate majority, then there is zero chance of a Constitutional amendment protecting free speech. It’s never going to happen.

    We already HAVE a limited common law right to free speech, recognised by the High Court.

    All we need to do is take S18C all the way. Bolt and News Corp squibbed.

    Anyone who read Mordy’s judgment would know his reasons were below his pay grade.

  51. Struth

    When did the high court recognise that dot?

    Have they officially recognised that we are a common law country.
    I know that may sound like a stupid question, but although it is inferred , has it actually been recognised by case study or what?

  52. .

    Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth (1992) 177 CLR 106

  53. Bruce

    I am no lawyer, just a “peasant”, and, of course, my point will carry no weight with the statists.

    Bill of Rights?

    Last time I looked, Australia, and ALL parts of the once and present “Empire” inherited in their legal systems, the “Bill of Rights, 1689” (or thereabouts.

    Unless specifically struck down by legislation, this Act still stands, albeit under grave threat, by the legalists and statists.

    This Bill was a part of conditions of ascension to the British throne by William and Mary of Orange.

    Part of the problem is the galloping legalism of “granted rights’. i.e. Your “rights” are what a bunch of overpaid and overprotected buffoon’s declare that they will “allow’.

    Thus it has been “systematically ‘white-anted almost from day one.

    REAL rights are a LOT “looser” and are based on specifically limiting the predations of parliament, the courts and the “enforcement agencies”.

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