Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Museum To A Forgotten Concept On The Ile De La Cité

A gilded exterior and a hollow heart; that's my impression of French justice after this trial (more about that, of course, later). And I discovered, while doing a little research, that this building has another history, one that reflects especially ironically on the failed promise of the slogan carved outside its portals.

The Palais was long the residence of French monarchs and aristocrats (and it's appropriate, as you will see, because present-day French justice is loaded with respect and recognition of the newer aristocrats, those movers and shakers of influence and power).
Neo-neocon, a groovy American poses the following about the France2 case and wonders just why it is that the court is selectively defending the right to lie when libel remains illegal.
What sort of liberty is it that produces a legal system that allows a well-known reporter a cause of action against a private citizen for calling his news report a lie? And what sort of liberty is it that produces a legal system that does away with the presumption of innocence for that defendant? (See pages 13-14 of this document for clarification; it appears to be up to the defendants here to prove Enderlin lied rather than for Enderlin to prove he told the truth and that they acted maliciously, as in the US.)
The Court acts in favor of a state operated establishment, even if the evidence is in tape. Richard Landes quite rightly calls this aristocratic justice:
... I happen to believe the evidence is strong that both France2 and Enderlin may have done exactly what Lurçat and the other two defendents have accused them of doing (at the very least the plaintiffs almost certainly lied in their original allegations that the Israelis deliberately killed the boy, and about the amount of footage they had and what it showed; I've written at some length on al Durah/France2 before, here and here.)
[ ... ]
I'll be writing more about the many issues involved in these cases (Landes has written a piece on the "justice" involved in the verdict from the first trial, that of Karsenty; he rightly calls it "aristocratic justice"--which, of course, is an oxymoron--and likens it to that initially extended to Dreyfus). But for the moment, I merely stand in awe of the colossal arrogance of France2 and Enderlin, and the contempt they show for freedom of speech and for the right to demonstrate peacably, by the mere act of bringing these lawsuits.
Ah, but the essence of a better truth is there, the “Social” Justice crowd would say!the fuse is lit!

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