I hereby propose that we, the people, institute on the internet via social media a new principle in the idea of Trial by Public. In short an online Court of Public Sessions … where a group or corporation or political party be assigned a generic nickname (to by-pass litigation) like for instance; The MSM (mainstream media) … or The Right-wing Govt’ … or The Banking Sector … or The Dog F#cker … or Planet Janet etc, and they be accused, charged, put on trial in a Public Court and evidence for and against taken directly off internet archives be placed open to you-us-we; The Public … A known legal or judicial person on the bench to control proceedings. And let the process of Public Judgement be done.
From Wikipedia, The Open Court Principle:
“The open court principle requires that court proceedings presumptively be open and accessible to the public and to the media.
In contrast, in camera describes court proceedings where the public and press are not allowed to observe the procedure or process.
The virtues of openness were discussed by the Supreme Court of Canada in A.G. Nova Scotia v. MacIntyre which quoted eighteenth-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham:
In the darkness of secrecy, sinister interest and evil in every shape have full swing. Only in proportion as publicity has place can any of the checks applicable to judicial injustice operate. Where there is no publicity there is no justice. Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself while trying under trial.
As noted by the Supreme Court of Canada, the open court principle enhances the public’s confidence in the justice system:
Public access to the courts guarantees the integrity of judicial processes by demonstrating “that justice is administered in a non-arbitrary manner, according to the rule of law”. Openness is necessary to maintain the independence and impartiality of courts. It is integral to public confidence in the justice system and the public’s understanding of the administration of justice. Moreover, openness is a principal component of the legitimacy of the judicial process and why the parties and the public at large abide by the decisions of courts.
The open court principle is linked to the freedom of expression and freedom of the press which include the right of the public to receive information. The press plays a vital role as the conduit through which the public receives information regarding the operation of public institutions.”
Seeing as how there appears to be little or no oversight from the Fourth Estate (the mainstream media) or any capability of the judiciary or the Governor General to act to stall the apparently reckless rampage by this right-wing vandalism of our democracy and governance, I say that perhaps it is time the public took matters into its own hands and called to order its own Court of Public Trials and dragged those obvious criminals into the dock and make them plead their case before a “Public Beak” and face the judgement of the people for their delinquency!
There are many legal people on social media who may want to be a part of such raucus proceedings … indeed, it would be great if we could inject that touch of legalese into the process..and even better it would be if we could attract a real retired “beak” to sit “on the bench” to oversee the court proceedings.
Sure it will be a “Star Chamber” or a “Kangaroo Court” and an effing wild one at that with no holds barred! It is the very idea of dragging the bastards into the Public Square and making them plead their case … even if “in absentia” … we will use information and their own quoted words directly off their own interviews or articles from the internet … it is all out there! And their case will be held to public judgement “beneath the shadow of the guillotine”!
Perhaps if it got big enough to attract enough “views” and “hits”, a individual web-page replete with courthouse scene and side-panels for witness statements and “anonymous information drops” etc could be set up … turning it into a semi-legitimate public trial mechanism where the results could be sent to the appropriate authorities for follow-up proceedings.
I’d like to see the MSM brought to the bench, with reference to “Faux News” and “Aunty” being accused of deliberate disinformation and avoidance of reporting on the scurrilous activities of “one of the New England candidates” in the recent by-elections and how their actions betrayed and distorted the moral and ethical proprieties necessary to democratic governance … as an example.
I’d also like to see “certain political parties in a position of power” using public funds for their own political electioneering by bribing and corrupting voters in certain by-elections to distort the moral and ethical proprieties necessary etc, etc.
I can visualise the court’s proceedings being promoted and reported on in Twitter and Facebook and other instant delivery media to attract attention to the site. It could be a bloody good thing! And to finish with a quote from that most wise advocate, Clarence Darrow:
“The audience that storms the box-office of the theater to gain entrance to a sensational show is small and sleepy compared with the throng that crashes the courthouse door when something concerning real life and death is to be laid bare to the public.
Everyone knows that the best portrayals of life are tame and sickly when matched with the realities. For this reason, the sophisticated Romans were wont to gather at the Colosseum to feast their eyes on fountains of real blood and await breathlessly the final thrust. The courtroom is a modern arena in which the greatest thrills follow closely on each other. If the combat concerns human life, it presents an atmosphere and setting not unlike those cruel and bloody scenes of ancient Rome.” (Clarence Darrow: “How to pick a jury”).
The court is now in session!