Kangaroo courts -- just not as fast as kangaroos
A real court has slapped down a kangaroo court. The Federal Court of Canada has thrown out a Canadan Human Rights Commission decision to award a nine-figure sum to Canada Post workers who were allegedly "discriminated against" based on sex -- based on a complaint made 25 years ago.
Besides throwing out the case on its merits, the judge had this to say about the sloppy procedures at the CHRC:
"The long hearing before the Tribunal is reminiscent of the trial in Charles Dickens' Bleak House over the Jarndyce Estate," Justice Kelen wrote.
"Jarndyce v. Jarndyce concerned the fate of a large inheritance, which dragged on for many generations. The trial finally came to an end after legal costs had devoured the entire estate."
"(The length of) this case offends the public conscience of what is reasonable and responsible," he said.
"Many of the original female complainants working as (clerks) at Canada Post in 1983 may be dead . . . The hearing lacked the discipline required of a court of law."
The judge is correct of course. But it misses the obvious point: the grinding, sloppy, slow, unregulated, arbitrary, costly, one-sided processes of the human rights commissions is not an accident, it's one of their central qualities. The process is the punishment. It's bad enough when that cost is passed on to all of us through our taxes (or, in this case, higher postage stamp costs). But in the case of individual defendants, the cost is crushing.
When the anti-Semitic imam who started the human rights case against me decided he was bored, he simply walked away -- leaving taxpayers with a $500,000 tab, and me with my legal bills (I'm not free yet; the Edmonton Muslim Council has filed an identical complaint against me, and that is still proceeding at the human rights commission).
That's not allowed in real courts, but it's how kangaroo courts operate. What an embarrassment to Canada.