Saturday, 21 May 2011

Privacy, the law and moral turpitude

Many years ago an outraged acquaintance who had bought ¼ oz of what had been sold as cannabis resin but was probably in reality an Oxo cube asked whether he could take action in the County Court to recover his money. No lawyer I, but I knew full well that English law of contract or tort provided no protection for those who came to law with other than 'clean hands'. Thus not only drug deals but gambling debts were not contracts recognised by the legal system. Neither may a prostitute go to court to recover a bilked fee, though the 'shoplifter' may face criminal charges instead. English law has always been based on moral absolutes. Strictly speaking, the doctrine of 'clean hands' applies specifically to those who seek equitable reliefs but it's a good phrase as shorthand for Ex turpi causa non oritur actio or 'from a dishonourable cause an action does not arise'. 


It was in 1775 that Lord Mansfield set out the doctrine that governed English civil law; "The principle of public policy is this; ex dolo malo non oritur actio. No court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act. If, from the plaintiff's own standing or otherwise, the cause of action appears to arise ex turpi causa, or the transgression of a positive law of this country, there the court says he has no right to be assisted."


However, between the eighteenth and the twenty-first century has arisen in England a moral relativism that not only permits but protects in some cases what we used to term moral turpitude. If we permit inverts to marry, how can we deny civil justice to adulterers? If buggery is legal, why not the moving images that depict it? And since buying sex is not illegal, why should the law not extend its shield to soccer players spit-roasting whores or rent boys in their hotel rooms? And so we have a stampede to law by the wicked, the depraved, the morally corrupt, the sleazy, the odious and the despicable all demanding the full force of law in protection of their flagrant immorality. 


This is a gross abuse of law. In large part it has arisen from the Human Rights Act passed by Labour in 1998, but also from the intellectual weakness of our senior judiciary; the most distinguished of the realm's legal minds are collectively more bereft of talent now than for generations past. There's a mass of difference between a liberal society turning a blind eye to deviant or perverted behaviour and such behaviour being protected by law, a difference recognised instinctively by readers of the 'Sun' but not by the Master of the Rolls. 


The law must change, and must change backwards. The shield of the injunction and the superinjunction must be available only to those who come to the law with clean hands. No longer must the depraved, the unnatural wantons, the perverts, the degenerates and the low, mean scrapings of the moral universe be able to gag comment, reporting or discussion of their turpitude by buying law. 

15 comments:

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Nicely put R and heartily second your post.

Anonymous said...

Well reasoned and indubitably correct.
There is a moral vacuum in and at the centre of the country and most of our 'elite' do not, worse still, are not, able to discern right from wrong.
This is deliberate and malicious intent, a purposeful effort - to pervert the whole of society, the foundations have been knocked away. The establishment has debased the established long held doctrines.
There is no anchor for most and soon, inexorably, the vacuum will be filled by an ideology which has no truck with such ambiguity, doubts and uncertainties - particularly in sexual liaisons/relationships.
Oh yes, doubtless - do they hate me but they hate these repulsive individuals and amoral libertines - liberated types, with a vehemence that takes the breath away, something of - a common ground in which we both share.

Kinderling said...

The term "invert" to me means a person who capitulated under pressure to submit then rejoyce in allegece to the values of the perpetrator, black becomes white, white becomes black.

This is why Muslims argue the positives of a tolitarian and represive Islam, Socialists argue wealth in the face of poverty in Communism, Homosexuals educuate love in the shallowness of eroticism.

The Stockholm Syndrome makes intellectual cowards of them all to base their lives, (and ours), on halal/haram, PC/Non-PC and beneficial/non-beneficial outcomes respectively. There is no shame in their world, those of openly uttered taquiya, deceit and lies because it takes shame to make a person review and go back to the point they first exchanged their lives to avoid a cursing and receive a blessing of preferential status.

The sick walk, more and more, among us.

Gordo said...

Excellent post.

Gary said...

Correct in all particulars.
However, society will only correct course after it has run onto the reef and many have drowned.
You can hope to survive the shipwreck but you cannot hope to prevent it. The navigator is incompetent and drunk. The captain is venal and asleep. The lookouts are screaming "rocks dead ahead" but no one on the bridge is listening.
I'll give up the nautical analogy now but I think you get the point. The world won't end today but OUR world is going to end soon.

Elby the Beserk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Higham said...

However, between the eighteenth and the twenty-first century has arisen in England a moral relativism that not only permits but protects in some cases what we used to term moral turpitude.

Amen and vigorously underscored. something I bang on about too. Shall refer to in post tomorrow.

DP111 said...

Raedwald

An insightful and thoughtful essay.

Moral relativism has indeed replaced absolute morality, i.e., an inherent understanding of what is right and what is not. To a large extent, this understanding was based on Christian principles. It is, I believe, not a coincidence that this moral undergirding of society started to deteriorate as society became less Christian.

It is also not a surprise that the resulting moral/spiritual vacuum is now being filled by a religion that is absolute in its practice, but lacks Christian charity and tolerance.

Frying pan and fire, leaps to mind.

Bill Sticker said...

Exactly so. The law in this specific has essentially been perverted by perverts.

measured said...

I am in agreement with my learned friend.

Blue Eyes said...

R, I agree with a reversion to the principle of coming to court with clean hands. This has been over-ridden in many fields. In many areas the law has simply given up: e.g. it is impossible in practice for a council to evict a tenant who does not pay the rent.

With regard to the superinjunction thing, I would say there is a very simple solution. Unless the case is sub judice or relates to national security/defence then the media should be free to publish anything that is demonstrably true. Libel/slander/defamation laws can take care of the untrue or unfair after the event.

In this particular football case, it seems to me absurd that the woman can be openly named while the man who has "done wrong" remains anonymous. If this man believed that his reputation was worth something he should have simply refrained from getting caught at it. Most people avoid getting caught by not doing the "crime".

Gareth said...

Blue Eyes said: "With regard to the superinjunction thing, I would say there is a very simple solution. Unless the case is sub judice or relates to national security/defence then the media should be free to publish anything that is demonstrably true. Libel/slander/defamation laws can take care of the untrue or unfair after the event."

I agree. The current kerfuffle over super injuctions *isn't* directly about libel but politicians, the media and representatives of the judiciary persist with framing it as such. In the matters involving social services libel is definitely not the issue it is about covering up abuses of authority.

If all concerned stuck to the actual problem which is secret court orders that bar people from mentioning the mere existence of the order, rather than concentrating on the stories the secret court orders seek to hide, a speedy resolution could be obtained - secret court orders are an outrageous abuse of court powers.

Barnacle Bill said...

Very eloquently put sir, one has to wonder at the madness that is loose in our country nowadays.
In my heart I hope we will see a speedy and just resolution of this whole sad state of affairs. Yet I fear we are too far down the slippery slope to prevent it.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly put sir. But will our hijacked laws be repaired? I doubt it.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

All true and very well put, thank you Mr. R.

As an aside I suggest that people would feel less upset about this whole business if recourse to the law were not so totally a matter for the very rich only. Is this not another injustice that needs remedied?