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SHOULD THE LAW REFLECT PUBLIC SENTIMENT?

By Pete Moore On March 30th, 2020

A radical idea from Singapore.

A bid to overturn a law that criminalises gay sex in Singapore has been dismissed by a court, dealing a blow to the city state’s LGBT movement […]

The presiding judge said the law was “important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs” in Singapore.

The establishmet here long ago threw the idea of grubby public opinion overboard. What the people think and want is usually irrelevant. What they’ll get is determined by the priestly metropolitan caste. You might prefer it that way. It might be a neat solution to the horrible idea of the masses having a say. Or should the law reflect public sentiment if that sentiment is stark and clear?

23 Responses to “SHOULD THE LAW REFLECT PUBLIC SENTIMENT?”

  1. The law should reflect public sentiment as far as public behaviour is concerned not private consenting behaviour.

  2. Wrong
    Torres listened to public opinion and enshrined gay marriage
    Bugger I mean to go to bed working like a dog here
    But there’s always some blind man who needs correcting online lol
    Long gone are the days of hating on lgbt unless you’re in putins Russia and now
    Permanent uptight Singapore

  3. “What they’ll get is determined by the priestly metropolitan caste.” UK law is made by a democratic government, not by a caste. This issue was extensively debated before and early in the formation of the USA. Wisely the founders of the US decided on a form of representative government that curbed mobocracy.

  4. Kurt

    The LGBT folk can thank their lucky stars the general public are as not as intolerant as they are towards anyone who disagrees with them.

  5. Harri

    When was the last time you heard of a heterosexual person being beaten up in the street by a gang of gays ?

  6. A judge’s duty is to follow the law and not public opinion. One of the reasons democracies have courts includes the need to have judges render unpopular decisions at times. This includes recognizing that popular laws may be instigated by elected representatives (more susceptible to public whim) that are contrary to constitutional rights and precedent.

  7. The establishmet here long ago threw the idea of grubby public opinion overboard.

    Yes, a court of law within the legal system is about as anti-establishment as you can get right enough.

    Mahons is correct above, a judge’s role is to interpret existing law not to reflect popular opinion.

  8. I think there are two issues at heart here, when it comes to courts overruling public opinion. The first is what rights exist, the second is application of those rights for minority or at risk groups. I think it is acceptable for the court to take public opinion into account when determining what rights exist. If human rights were universal then they would never change, or need interpreting. They would be clear. But that isn’t the case. Society’s perception of those rights change over time. So what rights society thought should be protected would be different now than they were in the 1950s, never mind the 1850s etc… So “new” rights should come online and “old” rights disappear as society adapts and changes, and the best way to gauge that is by tracking public opinion. If the public think that right should be protected then it should be. If they don’t then it shouldn’t be.

    The second issue is minority protection. Too often, in many cases, people support rights for themselves but oppose the same right for another group. Look at the outrage that certain people on this very site have at the mere suggestion that everyone be searched and inconvenienced going through airport security, rather than just frisking black and brown guys. I have right to privacy and presumption of innocence, but they don’t. That is wrong, in my opinion, and is where the court should overrule public opinion.

    Once society believes that a right exists (and the court should follow public opinion on that) then it is the job of the courts to overrule that public opinion when they don’t want to extend those rights to minority groups.

  9. You only have to look at public anti-Jew sentiment in several European countries in the past, white public opinion towards blacks in the South more recently, and the public panic in the face of Irish terrorism in the UK in the 1970s – all led to grossly unjust rulings because courts either were part of public opinion or felt a need to appease it.

  10. hardly an equal comparison is it harri
    online disagreement with gays vs persecution by the state, inc hangings,torture,imprisonment.
    maybe they are the same in your world-view

  11. Seamus

    Can you give us examples of “new” and “old” rights so we can better understand your position?

  12. Noel

    Good examples of how following public opinion can lead to injustice.

  13. That’s the way to do it… Turkmenistan has zero cases. Not one.

    There is batshit crazy authoritariansm and then there is #Turkmenistan where “state-controlled media are no longer allowed to use the word [Coronavirus] and it has even been removed from health information brochures distributed in schools, hospitals and workplaces

    https://twitter.com/ZarrarKhuhro/status/1245018735385198596

  14. Arrest the lot of them… look they can be what they want, when they want, as long as they keep it to themselves..

    They can all flaunt and mince until their hearts content, but putting others lives at risk doing it is not going to endear many people.. liberals maybe, but not normal people.

    Brighton Pride still going ahead despite coronavirus lockdown
    Brighton Pride supporters fear a public backlash as the massive LGBT+ event has not been cancelled despite the coronvirus lockdown and pressures on the NHS

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brighton-pride-still-going-ahead-21781549

  15. The law should be for the benefit of the populace.

  16. fake news harri

    “With August being several months away, we are following government advice and will continue to review our position on a regular basis and implement plans accordingly.

    that means it might be called off , try reading your own links before posting chum !

  17. Kurt.

    Put it down to boredom

    😀

  18. That’s it, just like nutty Islamic clerics in Iraq, and some barmy right wing fundamentalists in the USA, Harri joins the “ lets blame the gays for Coronavirus “ brigade

    Come on Harri, was it a Gay Chinese bat who passed the virus on , or a couple of mincing Chinese boys on a Grindr date sharing a bat soup 😉

  19. Colm, on March 31st, 2020 at 6:48 PM Said:
    That’s it, just like nutty Islamic clerics in Iraq, and some barmy right wing fundamentalists in the USA, Harri joins the “ lets blame the gays for Coronavirus “ brigade

    Huh?

  20. Come on Harri it’s not Rocket science 😉

  21. lol, be funny if one day harri you had to write an article to the Daily Mail
    “My 3 lesbian daughters and they night they raided and emptied my wine cellar after a weekend party at my quiet provincial farmhouse in posh part of the countryside, by concerned parent Harri xrated version “they tied me to a post and shoved a turnip in both ends 😉

  22. I would feel more sorry for the Turnip that has to block his mouth 😉

  23. lol colm, i still believe Harri runs a car washing business and all this talk of spray paints is just flannel to impress. e knows about buckets, soapy water and turnips, and e stumbled upon ATW cos DV launched some gammon attack on liberals and e thought , i’m in – found my home 🙂