A few words on the erosion of Common Law in England

05/08/2021 11:13:39 AM


Nothing spurs my patriotism like our Common Law system. As a libertarian, or British liberal, I find no pleasure in the exploits of the British Empire, nor our "victories" in the First and Second World Wars, oh and I find the Queen to be nothing more than a rubber-stamp signing away our historic rights; the customs of which I am proud have eroded in recent decades, and so I would like to highlight with this post the most troubling trend I see.

“The liberty, the unalienable, indefeasible rights of men, the honor and dignity of human nature, the grandeur and glory of the public, and the universal happiness of individuals, were never so skillfully and successfully consulted as in that most excellent monument of human art, the common law of England.” - John Adams

Our constitution and liberty are always under attack, but as the State and its corresponding ruling class expands, the process becomes quicker and easier. One of our best defences from the menace of the State historically has been Common Law. A jury of your peers, answerable to no one and equipped with the power of nullification, whereby despite being guilty of a crime they may declare the law unjust and return a not-guilty verdict. The process of grinding down a fundamental pillar of our constitution and liberty into obscurity has taken decades, but the self-inflicted threat of COVID is a great tool for those looking to do away with the annoyance of jury trials once and for all. Members of the ruling class championing further dismantlement point to the current backlog of 30k cases as evidence of an "inefficient and antiquated" system in need of reform, which I would suggest is another self-inflicted problem for the purpose of justifying further watering-down. Her Majesties Government has the money to arm, train, and house Syrian rebels, but can't expand our justice system at home. Less than one percent of criminal cases are tried by juries in England, and civil cases are no longer settled by juries at all except in extraordinary circumstances. An increasing number of offences are outright denied jury trials, including offences punishable by less than six months in prison. Many of our most absurd and authoritarian laws are not punishable by six months in prison, leaving you at the mercy of a single Judge, without a final say on unjust laws passed by parliament, and without a shared common understanding and responsibility for the liberty of your neighbours.

That last point cannot be overstated. It is a very different matter voting for a member of parliament who passes new statutes, the victims of which you never see, and washing your hands of the whole process, to personally sitting on a jury and reading your verdict in court. Would a jury return a guilty verdict under the Communications Act to a man who trained his girlfriend's pug dog, Budda, to raise his paw when he said "gas the Jews" as a surprise gag? Even if the answer were yes, the jury would at least be given the opportunity to witness firsthand the consequences of their democratic action, and the decadence of modern Britain. I believe we would see more resistance to authoritarian laws if there was a greater chance of being called up to decide on whether to put someone into a cage for their violation.

With the removal of Common Law from our country comes inevitable unrest and violence, as every defence of our liberty has been taken from us piece by piece, leaving only the chiseled and collapsing final pillar, Common Law.


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