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Legal Matters

Although the Law is notionally associated with "Justice", there is very seldom any of that. Law is generally something which we the honest people end up on the wrong end of, whether it be because we are being persecuted by the police for trumped-up reasons, or because we are being harassed by legalistic companies in the downright nasty ways, or because we are trying to get some justice against those who commit crimes against us, the Law is generally against us in all ways. Meanwhile, criminals, bureaucrats, and nasty companies, seem to be able to get away with murder.

Anarchy seems to be a good alternative, but remember, it has to be the right kind of Anarchy.

Now here at Zyra's website, a variety of pages about Legal Matters are relevant, and so they are listed here, together with a few legal and law-based contacts:

Net Lawman - legal advice online!

No-win No-fee Lawyers

Gloss Legal - for writing your Will

My Lawyer - a new kind of law firm

Copyright and Intellectual Property

Getty Images problem

How to Write Your Own WILL

Clauses in Legal Contracts that we don't sign

Groklaw.net - charting the progress of Linux versus its enemies

Domicile - slaves of the UK in rebellion

Solicitor shredded house Deeds - such unprofessional behaviour exposed

SOPA - another bad law - corporate USA versus The Rest Of The World

Law is something which is different from one country to another. So, there is no such thing as something being "Illegal" in a general sense. One country might ban something and make it illegal in that country, while the same thing may be legal in another country. No-one has a monopoly on Law, and so if you live in a country where the laws are too strict and you haven't got freedoms which you feel you should have, you can emigrate and move to a different country where the laws are different. This leads to fair competition between countries to provide a more libertarian setup, or else they'll lose their best people.

No country has the right to impose laws on people in other countries. Watch out for countries that attempt this, and if they try, they've broken the basic principle of international sovereignty and so have undermined their own legitimacy in the world.

The Rule of Law is not simply a glib statement to the affirmation of The Law, but is something quite specific and subtle which most people don't understand. The Rule of Law is a principle which means that the people who make the laws (and those who administer them) are also subject to the laws. So, with the Magna Carta, the king became subject to having to obey the law rather than being of divine right. The Rule of Law also means that the police have to obey the law, which is in contrast to what happens in Belize where police corruption is rife.

Criminal Law and Civil Law: In many countries there are two types of law. This is a relatively unknown fact to the many of the folks who live in those countries. For example, if someone commits a crime (murder, theft, breach of the peace, etc), then it is regarded as being an offence against the country itself, and then the person may be tried in court under the Criminal Law to see if it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt they committed the offence. The burden of proof is upon the country's forces of law, and there is a presumption of innocence unless proven guilty*. In contrast, if someone cheats, fails to pay up, or otherwise ends up at fault versus another person, then it is a matter of Civil Law, and then the people involved have to fight it out in Civil Court. In such cases, the judgement is based on a balance of evidence. Generally, the side with the best lawyers wins, regardless of the merits of the case.

In deciding whether any particular case is a "criminal law" case or a "civil law" case, the guiding principle is this: Can the matter be settled by payment of an amount of money? If the wrong can not be put right by the payment of any amount and runs to a matter of principle, then it's not a civil case. In the UK, the police have such a heavy workload, mostly having to fill in vast amounts of needless paperwork, that they tend to try to find any excuse to class your own case as "a civil case", even if the person who has done wrong by you has obviously committed a crime!

* The reason why there is the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty is because of the consequences of getting it wrong one way are worse than the consequences of getting it wrong the other way. (The principle is applied on a smaller scale in cricket in the matter of the batsman getting the benefit of the doubt). In legal cases, if there's any doubt, it's safer to let a guilty person go free than it is to punish someone who is innocent. You can see the relative merits of this by considering the relatively small problem of criminals not always being caught. Of those whom are not deterred by the fact they were nearly caught, the others will offend again and will sooner or later not be so lucky. In contrast, an innocent person in jail will likely harden against society and seek revenge, becoming a criminal, and possibly even seeking to overthrow the evil regime that unjustly treated them so badly. An example of this can be seen in the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp where someone said "They weren't terrorists when they went in, but now they most likely are!".