24 August 2005

Reflections on the Draft of the Iraqi Constitution

Today on Swerve Left, I thought we'd turn our thoughts to the once more, and glance over the shoulders of the Jeffersons and Hancocks currently drafting the Iraqi Constitution:

Article (17):
1st -- Each person has the right to personal privacy as long as it does not violate the rights of others or general morality.

"General morality" sounds so general that you could drive a general's truck through it. Oh, well. Privacy is like so-o-o twentieth century anyway.

2nd -- The sanctity of homes is protected. They cannot be entered or searched or violated except by judicial decision and in accordance with the law.

Now here's a novel idea. Perhaps we can institute this in the U.S. with the repeal of the Patriot Act. (Or would that be unpatriotic...)

2nd -- There is no crime and no punishment except by the text (of law).

What will they do with the teenagers held at Abu Ghraib? Does the Army have a retraining program for their former torturers?

3rd -- Trial by judiciary is a right protected and guaranteed to all.

Another novel idea. I bet Padilla wish he could be in after the Constitution's signed.

4th -- The right to defense is holy and guaranteed in all stages of investigation and trial.

Maybe Padillo can slip out of his cell and across the Iraqi border to the land where "defense is holy." (Or will this be amended to the American version--"defense is wholly a fiction.")

5th -- The accused is innocent until his guilt is proven in a just, legal court.

This could lead to the demise of the U.S. Army's international prison system! Where will the U.S. build its international prisons? The prisons back home are already filled up.

6th -- Every individual has the right to be treated in a just manner in all judicial and administrative procedures.

Will "just" include electrodes and suffocation, or will such measures only be used "just" part of the time.

7th -- Court sessions will be open unless the court decides to make them secret.

I'm glad they included this. In other words, court sessions will be open, or uh they'll be secret. Hmmmm. And this whole enterprise will be a success, or perhaps a failure. And tomorrow we'll have sunshine, or clouds.


Glen Dean said...

Good post. The vague wording reminds me a lot of our own constitution and just about every statute passed by Congress. I wonder how they will react when judges start to define that vague wording.

Karlo said...

I guess the wording will shift responsibility for what the Constitution means to the judges who interpret it. Of course, this eliminates much of the usefulness of the Constitution as a higher law setting the parameters of the legal system.

denisdekat said...

O yeah, freedom is its last throes, I mean, is on the march!!!!

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

General morality is just another way to say Islamic law without actually saying it.