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judge retires after reuniting child with father, who then kills the child

The judge was warned by a carer and by 'social' 'services'.
What of the independence of the judiciary?

"Family court judge returned Ellie to her killer father despite knowing he was dishonest and violent - then tied the hands of social workers trying to monitor him.

"Butler previously lost custody of Ellie after being convicted of shaking her
"But, after conviction overturned, she was sent back to live with him again
"Family judge said he was 'exonerated', making him difficult to monitor
"Ellie's grandfather warned judge would have 'blood on her hands'
"Less than a year after Ellie was sent back to him, she was killed"

So does this mean 'judges' can be forced into retirement by 'social' 'services'?

"Ellie had been happy with her loving grandparents, Neal and Linda, who spent thousands of pounds battling to keep her in their care and did not want to give her up.

"A source at the hearing confirmed Mr Gray was so upset by Hogg's decision, he exclaimed: 'You will have blood on your hands.' "

Who owns the child?

Anyone who believes there is a safe and foolproof system for caring for and protecting children is out to lunch.

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france brings back secular morality into the national curriculum

Moral and civic education is returning to the French curriculum. Reintroducing this subject has been brought forward following the dramatic events of January when terrorists shot and killed journalists of satirical weekly paper Charlie Hebdo and shoppers in a Jewish supermarket. The main topics will be "living together, having a critical mind, and fighting against racism".

"The school has a moral function," said the Minister of Education in the wake of January's events. Planned for the 2016 school year, the secular ethics course, wanted by Vincent Peillon, minister of National Education 2012-2014, has been brought forward to September 2015. The events of January makes more urgent the need to "live the values ​​of the Republic".

the return of morality

For Jules Ferry (1832-1893), architect of the non-clerical organisation of public education, morality was a pillar of education. Then, universal morality mingled with the Republican catechism. It was presented in the form of maxims and proverbs within General Sciences. Textbooks had sentences such as "Who insults your country, insults your mother."

Gradually being reduced, ethics teaching survived until the 1960s, but only as the reading and analysis of a fable or tale with "morality" that was written on the blackboard and copied down by students.

After the May '68 wind of freedom had blown, the daily practice of morality in schools was abolished under President Pompidou, to make room for physical education classes. Morality was then replaced by "civic education", the training of the citizen. In 2008, "civic and moral education" came back. In 2011, then education minister Luc Chatel published a circular recommending teachers to impart "moral instruction" in schools, although this was not made a separate subject.

With the Peillon reform, the old "civic education" is replaced by "moral and civic education", to be taught from primary to high school. This will be taught alongside history and geography in a schedule amounting to three hours a week in middle school. Over a student's school education, this will amount to 300 hours.

Republican catechism 1872, Civics textbook, 2015
Left: Republican catechism 1872; right: morality and civics textbook, 2015

and the new moral content?

Published by the education ministry in July 2014, "The moral and civic teaching aims to promote the development of an ability to live together." No more dunce's caps, politeness rules and sermons, now the student will be taught

  • a culture of sensitivity (as defined by self-esteem, capacity for empathy),
  • a culture of the rule of law in a democratic society (knowing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the principles of the constitution of the Fifth Republic, its institutions and their functioning),
  • a culture of judgment (developing critical thinking, with a student arguing their judgments with and confronting the opinions of others in a discussion), and
  • a culture of engagement (civic service, etc.).

In a textbook written by French educational publisher Nathan for use in GCSE-equivalent classes, many topics are proposed. For example, "female trades, male jobs?", aims at discussing gender stereotypes in professions, presenting the profile of Julien "midwife" and Maud, "crane operator". Other debate topics are on racism, discrimination, equality, sexism, solidarity, and of course, secularism.

This looks horribly like political correctness, rather than ethics and morality. It isn't even sound psychological education.

After the attacks in January, the education minister decided to implement a "great mobilisation of the School for the values ​​of the Republic", being the development of a "route to citizenship" built around the moral and civic education. To beef up the latter and reinforce school authority, the minister also prescribed "understanding and celebration of Republican rituals and the symbols of the Republic (national anthem, flag, currency)." Other measures are also proposed: "development of children's councils at primary school", the "day of secularism" celebrated in all schools, the "week against racism and anti-Semitism", "the week of engagement."

[Translated from an article in Le Figaro.]

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ten interesting questions - why juries are needed

Establishment panic as jury probe the meaning of ‘reasonable’

You’ve all had a teacher who blustered when he was out of his depth, or more likely several such ‘teachers’.

[Context: Vicky Price is being tried for supposedly helping her then MP husband avoid additional points on his driving licence.]

Ten questions posed by the Vicky Pryce jury.

Here are the questions and the answers he gave:

  1. You have defined the defence of marital coercion and also explained what does not fall within the definition by way of examples. Please expand upon the definition, specifically "was will overborne". Provide examples of what may fall within the defence, and does this defence require violence or physical threats?

    Mr Justice Sweeney said it did not require violence or physical threats and meant a woman was so affected by pressure from her husband that she was "impelled" to commit an offence and truly believed she had no real choice.

    He added: "The words are relatively straightforward English words which the law does not permit me to go beyond further than I have by way of clear illustration in these directions."

  2. In the scenario where the defendant may be guilty but there is not enough evidence provided by the prosecution at the material time of when she signed [the penalty notice letter] to feel sure beyond reasonable doubt, what should the verdict be: not guilty or unable/unsafe to provide a verdict?

    No recorded answer

  3. If there is debatable evidence supporting the prosecution's case, can inferences be drawn to arrive at a verdict? If so, inferences/speculation on the full evidence or only where you have directed us to do so, eg circumstantial evidence, lies, failure by Vicky Pryce to mention facts to the police.

    The judge said no, adding: "The drawing of inferences is a permissible process, speculation is not."

    "You must not speculate and you could not draw safe inferences from debatable evidence because you need to be sure that your inference, you reasonable common sense conclusion, is correct.

    "In this case, the evidence on which the prosecution relies is largely undisputed."

  4. Can you define what is reasonable doubt?

    Mr Justice Sweeney said: "A reasonable doubt is a doubt which is reasonable. These are ordinary English words that the law doesn't allow me to help you with beyond the written directions that I have already given."

  5. Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?

    "The answer to that question is firmly no," said the judge. "That is because it would be completely contrary to the directions I have given you for anyone to return a verdict except a true verdict according to the evidence."

  6. Can we infer anything from the fact that the defence did not bring witnesses from the time of the offence such as au pair, neighbours?

  7. Does the defendant have an obligation to present a defence?

    To these two questions Mr Justice Sweeney told the jurors: "There is no burden on the defendant to prove her innocence. On the contrary, there is no burden on the defendant to prove anything at all."

    He added: "You must not as I have now emphasised many times, speculate about what other witnesses will have not been called might have said or draw any inferences from their absence."

  8. Can we speculate about the events at the time that Vicky Pryce signed the form, or what was in her mind at that time?

    "The answer to that is an equally firm no," Mr Justice Sweeney said. "There's a difference between speculation, which is not permitted, and inferences."

  9. Your honour, the jury are considering the facts provided but have continued to ask the questions raised by the police. Given the case has come to court without answers to the police's questions, please advise on which facts in the bundle the jury shall consider to determine a not guilty or guilty verdict.

    Mr Justice Sweeney said: "You decide the case on the evidence. That means it is for you to review all of the evidence and decide which of it you consider to be important, truthful and reliable, and then decide what conclusions, common sense conclusions, you can safely draw by way of inference from that evidence."

  10. Would religious conviction be a good enough reason for a wife feeling that she had no choice, ie she promised to obey her husband in her wedding vows and he had ordered her to do something and she felt she had to obey?

    "This is not, with respect, a question about this case at all," said the judge. "Ms Pryce does not say that any such reasoning formed any part of her decision to do what she did and the answer to this question will therefore not help you in any way whatsoever to reach a true verdict in this case.

    "I must direct you firmly to focus on the real issues in this case and thereby to reach a true verdict according to the evidence." [Quoted from bbc.co.uk]

The fossil media is characterising the jury in this case as ‘ignorant’ and lacking IQ for thinking and then asking sharp questions.

However, the more a juror thinks, the less likely they are to accept a simplistic on/off ‘answers’ to complex questions.

The real lack of ‘education’ is that people like fossil media hacks and the ‘judge’ can make errors like this. So many over-‘educated’ people are deluded into imagining that their ‘opinions’ - that is what they believe - just must be correct, and that anyone who believes otherwise must be less intelligent that themselves.

Thank the good lord for the jury system, your only (poor) defence against the arrogance of power.

related document
the Magna Carta

the web address for the article above is

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