Justice a la carte (National Post March 26, 2008)
Barbara Kay, National Post
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Rowan Williams, Anglican Primate of all England, shocked Britons recently, stating that because many Muslims don't "relate" to the British legal system, "constructive accommodation with some aspects of shariah law" is "unavoidable."
Widespread anger rudely reminded the Archbishop that it was not his job to advance the claims of Islam, but to defend the interests of Christendom.
Once again, standing in for many other cultural elites (his General Synod rewarded Williams' statement with a standing ovation),Williams has proved himself a biddable servant of multiculturalism and its evil twin, moral relativism.
Contemplating the prospect of a two-tier legal system, this confused soul, who believes the 9/11 suicide bombers had "serious moral goals," is not one to tremble at the immolation of our civilization's moral citadel: the equality of all individual citizens under the law.
Canadians shouldn't feel the least bit smug. Ontario came within a hair's breadth of a "constructive accommodation" to shariah law two years ago, and for much the same reason. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and the slippery slope of religious legal separatism was blocked.
Which isn't to say Canadians actively oppose group-rights bias within the prevailing system. Encountering no significant public censure, on hot-button issues our courts routinely sacrifice individual rights to collectivist principles, favouring Quebec nationalism over individual non-francophones' rights, motherhood over individual fathers' rights and aboriginal culture over individual non-natives' rights.
But amongst ideological dualists, for whom life is an unending struggle, with their valiant group's innocent vulnerability eternally pitted against the superior forces of an imperialist/patriarchalist/ colonialist oppressor, de facto privilege isn't enough; only de jure entrenchment will validate their group's moral superiority.
Preparing the way: A rogue band of feminist law professionals and academics have formed the Women's Court of Canada (WCC). Their mission -- already in evidence in the current issue of Canadian Journal of Women and the Law-- is "to rewrite key Supreme Court of Canada decisions," and indeed "any judgment that could benefit from a gender-specific analysis."
WCC co-founder, University of Toronto law professor Denise Reaume says members want "to get to the point where we've got a kind of parallel set of judgments about every Section 15 case [the Charter's equality guarantee] that the Supreme Court has ever dealt with."
(If Ms. Reaume's name is vaguely familiar, it might be because, back in 2000, she was the law professor who suggested that her students adopt a "protest strategy" -- whereby they submit fictitious straight-A grades to prospective employers -- in order to confound law firms' meritocratic hiring methods.)
The WCC's March 6 press release generated no controversy. Apparently, when members of the politically "correct" sex openly mock and publicly subvert the justice system they are professionally pledged to serve, it's dog bites man in the news cycle.
Ditto for the "correct" race in Canada. Take, for example, these excerpts from the Winter 2008 University of Ottawa Common Law Bulletin, entitled "The First Peoples of Canada: Impacting Legal Perspectives:"
-David Nahwegahbow, celebrated as the common law section's "first aboriginal graduate," declares (obviously, with the law school's approval): "The notion that we have been espousing within the Indigenous Bar Association is legal pluralism -- not just the Canadian civil law system and the common law system but indigenous legal systems."
-Tracey Lindberg, a new Doctor of Laws, "has begun the immense task of educating non-aboriginal lawyers and scholars about aboriginal legal traditions. It will be sobering for all of us to realize how deeply our laws and practices violate traditional aboriginal ways of being."
-Metis Master of Laws candidate Danielle Nicole Rodych Lussier enthuses: "I will ? propose an alternative framework for dealing with the issues of appropriation of voice and culture."
There's much more in this tediously "racialized" vein. The Bulletin's disturbing cumulative message is that it is the legitimate role of tax-funded law schools to advocate race-based legal separatism.
Inside our law schools then, the very institutions mandated to uphold and transmit reverence for our civilization's most precious convention, a cadre of sex and race-obsessed social engineers is overtly normalizing group grievance with a view to the permanent entrenchment of legal separatism.
Yet in throwing down these gauntlets, feminists and aboriginal activists have, to use a legal term, "opened the door": If sex and race, why not shariah? Or Wicca, or black liberation "theology" --or, like, whatever?
A Christian cleric who champions doctrinal relativism merely betrays his spiritual vocation. He has no political power. But mischievous law professionals do. Those who would privilege group identity over individual rights, hiding inside the trojan horse of a bogus "equality," are democracy's enemy, and with our legal academic elites' complicity, are already within our gates.