Citizens should be able to understand the law. They should be taught what the laws are, and know what the punishments are for breaking them. An entire
industry (lawyers) have arisen because people are uniformed of the law. In court, Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Even lawyers not represent
themselves in court!
I am a Star Trek fan. I have been, always will be
Perhaps Gene Roddenberry's vison for the future is where we should still aspire to?
Picard's speech in "The Drumhead" rings poignantly:
I love the United Federation of Planets Constitution as it's been drafted here
It's simple, clear and concise. Obviously it was based, and stands of the shoulders of the Constitution of the United States of America. I understand
it's not official cannon, but here is the arguably nerdy preamble:
The representatives of the people of the United Federation of Planets, organized as the Supreme Assembly and the Federation Council, believing
that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of Sentients are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have
determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of Sentients and all citizens.
Here are the first seven (7) out of 15:
1. Sentients are born and remain free and equal in rights. The law must in all cases respect this principle.
2. The aim of all government is the preservation of the natural and irreversible rights of Sentients. These rights are liberty, property, security,
conscience, expression, intimate association and resistance to oppression.
3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No individual may exercise any authority that does not proceed directly from
4. Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything that injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each Sentient has no limits
except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.
5. Law can only prohibit such actions as are demonstrably and objectively hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law,
and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
6. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation.
It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities
and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents. The law
may not designate any group of citizens and deny them equal benefits, standing, privileges or protections based solely upon their membership in said
7. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Any one soliciting,
transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any arbitrary order shall be punished. But any citizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law
shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense. Under no circumstances may any person be compelled to provide evidence or testimony
Obviously, this not official canon, but is in the spirit what Mr. Roddenberry would have wanted.
edit on 24-4-2013 by MystikMushroom because:
(no reason given)
At only 44 secs. I loved it. Straight out and to the point. I think Mr. Roddenberry along with many others had it right. I always hate the
"slippery slope" argument, but there are some things it applies to that nothing else will say as clearly IMO. Forfeit one of your rights or one of
someone else's and it starts a dangerous trend indeed.
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