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Thursday, July 25, 2013

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Chanson de Roland

Naill Ferguson, has noted that the sacrifice of the rule of law to the imperial exigencies of the state marks the progress from republic to empire. And so it has become with the United States, for there is no law when law is secret.

Along with learning how to read a case, the first lesson that you learn in law school is that to reach a determinative legal outcome, you apply the law to the facts, which, of course, requires that you know both the law and the facts. Among the laws are U.S. Constitution, the principles of common law, statutes, regulations, and the decisions of the courts and tribunals. All of that, especially the decisions of courts and tribunals, is supposed to be public, including the factual record that the courts and tribunals used to reach its decisions, and must be public for: Lawyer to advise their clients as to what the law is and what their rights and obligations are under the law; for citizens to know what the law says about their rights and obligations; for people with standing to appeal courts or tribunals' decisions which adversely affect their interests; for the legislature to perform its duty to improve and correct the law and to monitor the executive and judicial branches of government; and, of course, for the people, in whom the ultimate authority of democratic government resides, to debate the laws and to express their will regarding the law in elections and referendums.

Secrets courts are not courts, and the decisions are not law, at least not in a democracy, because they are secret, which of necessity means that democracy cannot function in any of the ways set forth, supra, that is, there is no monitoring, debate, and/or ratification or amendment of law by either the people or their elected representatives; thus, the will of the people is not merely frustrated; it is irrelevant, as the dictionary defines “irrelevant.”

Secret courts are not court bur are simply star chambers, which was an English court of civil and criminal jurisdiction that developed in the late 15th century, trying esp. those cases affecting the interests of the Crown. It was noted for its arbitrary and oppressive judgments and was abolished in 1641. (emphasis added.) New Oxford American Dictionary.

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