The Commodore Would Approve.
Ezra Levant is best known outside Canada for the astonishing series of youtube videos he released documenting his defense before Canada's Human Rights Commission on charges that Levant's republication of the Danish Muhammad (pbuh) cartoons amounted to a hate crime. Levant does not accept the charges, but more importantly refuses to accept the legitimacy of the Commission as a court, nor the law in question, which allows prosecution for mere expression of opinion. Or cartoons.
Mr. Levant has a blog well worth reading to those concerned about erosion of free speech rights in the west. This week Levant has a couple of posts which may be of particular interest to lawyers, concerning one Richard Warman, a lawyer employed by Canada's Department of Defence [sic] as "Director of Special Grievances," – in other words, a hate crime prosecutor. Warman has in the past been a hate crime litigant himself, filing these complaints and encouraging others to do so, a business which can result in monetary gain to the complainant, who like a government whistleblower may be entitled to a percentage of any penalties imposed.
My point? Warman has in the past advocated a strategy he refers to as "Maximum Disruption" in dealing with ideological opponents. Maximum disruption, as documented in Warman's speech on the topic, includes any means of harassing, intimidating, slandering, suing, or otherwise destroying the lives of one's opponents, possibly including violence. (Warman not cleverly dances around this, condemning a mail bomb sent to holocaust denier Ernst Zundel as "indiscriminate" violence which endangers "other people," not saying whether "other people" included Zundel). Warman gives some pretty nasty examples of what "maximum disruption" means in his speech, which you can read from the link above for yourself.
While Warman's targets include some loathsome people, the conduct he advocates is equally loathsome, particularly toward people who have done nothing more than express their opinions, no matter how wrong. It's of particular concern coming from a lawyer, who in the United States anyway owes a duty of fairness to opponents which certainly prevents advocacy of frivolous suits, harassment, pie-throwing, and, just possibly, discriminate violence. While I don't know what the profession's ethical standards are in the banana republic up north, it seems particularly disgraceful that a man who advocates this sort of conduct has been hired to direct investigations and prosecutions for a government, with all of the power and potential for abuse that entails.
The Church of Scientology has a policy, seemingly identical to what Warman suggests, for dealing with "Suppressive Persons." Perhaps they should sue Warman for stealing their copyrighted doctrine of "Fair Game." I can't tell the difference between them.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
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- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility For Chip McGee's Feelz. And For Wombats. - January 30th, 2015
- Charlie Hebdo - Open Thread - January 7th, 2015