Friday, August 7, 2009

"Human Rights" Commissions — Silence Is Their Weapon

Neil Dykstra sheds some light on what hides behind the "confidentiality clause" in HRC-mediated settlements:
Imagine the following scenario. You are accused of a petty crime of which you are innocent. Without any more than a cursory investigation, you are compelled to meet with your accuser and a mediator. There, they tell you that you can either give them five thousand dollars in a settlement, or they will haul you into court and prosecute you for the crime. Even though you would most likely be proved innocent in a court of law, you are not eligible for legal aid and would be on the hook for over twenty thousand dollars in legal fees.

Trapped, you accept their demands. As they push the settlement document forward for your signature, there is a condition on the bottom stating that you are forbidden to talk about any aspect of this agreement. Nobody would ever know about the wrongs you have suffered. It’s the cherry on the top of a sundae of injustice.

Does this sound like third-world justice to you?

It’s not. Each one of Canada’s federal and provincial Human Rights bodies employs some variation of this mediation procedure. It is usually undertaken upon receipt of a complaint, before any investigation has taken place. A cursory screening process removes complaints only if they are beyond the scope of applicable human rights law, so factually baseless complaints can easily proceed to this mediation process. Once there, the deck is stacked against the defendant. If mediation is unsuccessful at finding a mutually acceptable agreement, the complaint moves forward to an investigation, during which defendants almost always find themselves hiring lawyers at their own expense. Meanwhile, the government covers all of the complainant’s costs and fees at every stage, which removes any deterrent for baseless or frivolous allegations.
That's how Liberal bureaucrats understand human rights. They trample your freedom of speech, they take away your right to a fair trial and they want you to shut up and never tell anyone about the injustice done to him.

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