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Comment: Re:The US needs a loser-pays legal system (Score 4, Informative) 136

by hr raattgift (#47105323) Attached to: Federal Court Pulls Plug On Porn Copyright Shakedown

The current system (in U.S. District courts) *is* loser pays (see U.S. F.R.Civ.P. rule 54(d)).

Where the federal courts differ from most "loser pays" systems is that evidence of offers to settle ahead of a trial is generally excluded as a matter of policy.

Pretty much no loser-pays system (and that includes federal courts and several private law systems in the various states) actually requires that the loser *always* pays the full costs of the other side *in all circumstances*; wide latitudes are given to the courts to assess costs in a way it feels is just, or appropriate to the behaviour of the parties, etc. U.S. district courts have narrower latitude than both, owing in part to statute.

Generally speaking, if no offers to settle out of court are made (and thus also not rejected), then the loser generally is assessed costs unless it would be unjust to do so, thus "loser pays". However, offers to settle out of court are normal and even in district courts are encouraged to avoid unnecessary court costs and time dealing with controversies which can be worked out by the litigating parties outside of court.

In most loser-pays systems costs are assessed against parties who should have ended litigation sooner. For example under most systems that use a regulated offer along the lines of the Calderbank rules (this is definitely untrue of many state systems and U.S. district courts, but is true in some states, such as Florida), a winning party that was made an offer to settle out of court that it rejected and subsequently did not beat in court is usually assessed at least some proportion of the offeror's costs after that point, even if the offeror is ultimately the losing party. That is, even though the party won, it could have achieved the same result with fewer costs to the parties and the courts, and should therefore bear some of those avoidable costs. There are often codified forms of offer which make it even more clear that refusing a well-pitched offer could be expensive (as in Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules (England and Wales)) for a party that does not subsequently better it.

Additionally, most systems allow the parties to agree on how to split costs in order to avoid further litigation on who should pay which costs; the motions under F.R.Civ.P rule 54(d)(1)&(2) are frequently consent motions agreed between the parties after judgement.

http://www.nlrg.com/public-law...

Comment: Re:interesting... (Score 1) 417

by hr raattgift (#46446827) Attached to: School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

Here's a nice bit of history about religious tolerance and liberty in the colonies right in the middle of the American Revolution:

http://books.google.co.uk/book...

"It is difficult to overestimate the degree to which, on the eve of the Revolution, Catholics in America were still widely discriminated against. Several members of the Continental Congress, including Congregationalist Roger Sherman, were opposed to hiring Catholics to fight in the Continental Army. Only three colonies allowed Catholics to vote. They were banned from holding public office in all New England colonies save Rhode Island. New Hampshire law called for the imprisonment of all persons who refused to repudiate the pope, the mass, and transsubstantiation. New York held the DEATH PENALTY [emphasis mine] over priests who entered the colony; Virginia boasted that it would only arrest them."

In Virginia, the birthplace of the separation of church and state, it took *seven years* for Thomas Jefferson to convince the General Assembly to pass the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and debates on the matter bear a striking resemblance to the sorts of thing one might read in YouTube comments.

By the time that the United States Bill of Rights was ratified, the freedom to practice any religion without fear of being barred from holding land, accessing the courts, or holding most professional jobs had been established by law in most of the British Empire.

This is not entirely surprising as many of the most influential people who formed the Federalist faction in what became the United States were in close cooperation with the Foxites in the British parliament from well before the Revolution until well after, and agreed on many -- or even most -- civil liberties and constitutional issues. The American Revolution weakened the common enemy (principally the Northites and Grenvilleites, who are all fairly called Tories in spite of their claim to the Whig mantle).

By comparison, the erosion of Tory (see above) dominance in the British parliament in the wake of the Seven Years' War led to a series of religious Relief Acts relaxing restrictions on Catholics. It's noteworthy that the first major such act, the Quebec Act 1774, was one of the "Intolerable Acts" protested by the Americans (in the political faction sense) that they argued justifed Independence. Additionally, in the thick of the Revolution, the British parliament passed the Relief Act 1778 and the Schools and Bishops Act 1782, in spite of vigorous domestic opposition (there were riots in Britain in the wake of each), and even more vigorous opposition in the parts of the Thirteen Colonies not already in full rebellion, and some upset in several of the others that ultimately did not join the American Revolution.

Comment: Re:if you want a trusted proxy.. (Score 1) 177

by hr raattgift (#46326441) Attached to: Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

Also, by way of self-followup, the internet-draft proposes a mechanism to distinguish between https URIs over encrypted http2 connections and http URIs over encrypted http2 connections, with the goal that only the latter will be subject to manipulation by an explicitly trusted proxy, and that the client, the server, and conforming proxies all take steps to avoid unnoticed manipulation or examination of https URI related data. (The client, server and proxy all have opportunities to "opt out" of the proxy's manipulation or examination of http URI related content).

Comment: Re:if you want a trusted proxy.. (Score 1) 177

by hr raattgift (#46325123) Attached to: Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

Sure, Terry, but what's worse, an MITM DOS ("you don't get to negotiate a [n https] connection") or an MITM that allows full inspection and modification of data that one (typically the server-side) or both ends think is an HTTPS connection?

The server side has lots of standardized and/or developed tools to protect the integrity and privacy of data between the server and the browser that does not rely upon perfect (or even any) HTTPS. The assumption that HTTPS is perfect -- or even close enough -- has been holding back deployments of such tools for more than a decade.

Apart from opening doors to greater network efficiency along several axes (caching and other deduplication and localization approaches, distribution away from single front ends, greater concentration of resources on single NLA addresses), deliberate trusted proxy ought to push people into reconsidering whether only-the-server-side-has-a-certificate TLS is *sufficient* for integrity and privacy. (I don't think it is, and I suspect that view is shared by at least some people behind two-factor authentication etc.)

However, the safer bet is that the proposal is likely to be strangled by people with a very narrow view of HTTPS, or by a lack of engagement on the way deliberate trusted MITM affects the security model of the whole WWW (few people will ask if it can actually *improve* overall security compared to the many people who will argue that it necessarily erodes it). It's a pity, because separating integrity (arbitrary chunks of data with some signed checksum) and privacy is likely to be a clear win on energy where integrity-but-not-privacy-required data are popular enough to warrant being highly distributed and/or highly cached.

Finally, another question that ought to be addressed is that a lot of eggs are in the HTTPS basket, and not all of them have been inherited from everything-over-HTTP. That deliberate trusted MITM exposes this question is not a bad thing, I think. However I would again bet that the consensus will be that the convenience of everything-over-HTTPS will trump that of a standard approach to making (especially) HTTP inside HTTPS amenable to caching, ad-removal, virus-removal, and whatever else a "middlebox" might do with HTTP now. After all, if someone really wants to do that, they can simply disallow (well, "break", even) HTTPS negotiation altogether...

Thus, my own answer to my question at the top: where there is agreement to enable a trusted MITM to act, then an MITM DOS is much worse; but for any other case it's the lesser of two evils. The key thing here is in how to determine agreement and trust; where that's not clear to either the client side or the server side (which is likely a harder problem), surely it's not enormously different from an MITM DOS ("can't establish a valid HTTPS connection" because of anything from TCP port blocking to pinned certificate mismatching).

Comment: Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

by hr raattgift (#45962723) Attached to: Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

They aren't riders in the U.S. sense in any meaningful way because of sec. 54 of the Constitution Act 1867, which gives the government -- even a minority government -- the exclusive right to introduce (into the House of Commons per sec. 53) money bills:

It shall not be lawful for the House of Commons to adopt or pass any Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill for the Appropriation of any Part of the Public Revenue, or of any Tax or Impost, to any Purpose that has not been first recommended to that House by Message of the Governor General in the Session in which such Vote, Resolution, Address, or Bill is proposed

That is, *first* recommended.

The rules of both houses of Parliament impose further restrictions on their members with respect to amendments.

Omnibus bills are a problem, certainly, but it is one fully under the control of successive governments and tolerated by the House of Commons (who would force an election in rejecting or heavily amending a money bill), even during the recent series of minorities and weak majorities.

The federal government further enjoys several powers to veto legislation that one house or even all of Parliament passes anyway, even when they control only a minority of seats in the House of Commons.

Omnibus bills are far from new, and the Canadian system was sufficiently weak that the Australian constitution (which granted similar exclusive rights over the introduction of money bills and the disposition of all bills) added section 55 to their equivalent Act:

Laws imposing taxation shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

                                      Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.

Similar proposals have been debated in Canada for more than a century, however since Omnibus budget bills are under the control of the federal government, there has never been much headway made, and governments have tended to consolidate and split bills according to their own needs and pushback from the Parliamentary committees and agencies who review the bills. "Omninbussing" follows trends, and somewhat reflect the strength of party discipline across the whole of Parliament -- a relatively weak government is often the source of large and complicated money bills, while a government controlling both Houses and enjoying strong party discipline tends to produce more and slimmer bills.

Riders are a wholly different matter.

The U.S. system permits riders since the Executive can only exercise a Presidential veto. The only additional checks on riders -- arbitrary amendments made by majority vote in *either* house of Congress -- are the Origination Clause, bicameralism generally, and the rules of the House of Representative, which all serve to limit the damage any subset of Congress, particularly Senators, can impose on a budget bill. In practice, however, all sides compromise and allow arbitrary changes to be added by various factions on critical bills that the Executive cannot afford to veto, so the system is more a "balance" than a "check" on legislators. Successive House majorities have over *centuries* softened their stance on the exclusivity of their control over the budget process, by weakening their own interpretation of the Origination Clause, by compromising with Senators and House factions, and by continuing to present to the President bills that are difficult to veto. On the other hand, the Executive has adapted by lobbying individual members of Congress directly and aggressively, and various processes have evolved such that the Executive can effectively derail items in money bills that it objects to; most of those exploit the essentially permanent weak party discipline in Congress.

Finally, you wrote, "99% of the time, the regulations and laws enacted through such dirty tactics are things which would never be approved if they were voted on as single items". However, the standing committees in both the House of Commons and the Senate do in fact typically vote on each individual item; contentious matters are further voted on individually in Committees of the Whole rather than splitting the matters out into individual bills (which would require new Royal Recommendations). However, all these votes are won by a majority, and when a government's supporters dominate all of Parliament, they are practically foregone conclusions, as individual internal party factions' disagreements are typically dealt with in advance by MPs and Senators lobbying ministers directly or in caucus meetings.

Things that reasonably could be called "dirty" or at least highly partisan and essentially severable matters did find their way into money bills during several recent minority governments, and survived passing through a fractious Houses of Commons and even a Senate controlled by opponents. All parties agreed to compromise rather than to force an electoral contest over each (or any) such matter, although most of them passed essentially unchanged. Indeed, the motion of no confidence that triggered the 2006 federal election was not triggered by the a conflict over a particular piece of legislation, in spite of collapsed deals on compromises between the government and the opposition parties.

Finally, on the matter of riders and budgets, the Clark government collapsed in 1979 because he had not pleased enough of the various factions of the House of Commons. The formal mechanism was an amendment to a money bill that was insisted upon by a majority of the MPs present, and that amendment was simply a wrecker ("... that this House has lost confidence in the government") in part to avoid running into the Royal Recommendation rule that additionally prevented a potentially saving amendment proposed by a minor opposition party which would have required one in advance. The minor opposition party was, amusingly, obliterated in the 1980 election when the créditistes lost all five of their seats to Liberals. Had the Canadian federal system permitted riders in the U.S. sense, and the sense I believe you mean, the Clark government likely would have continued for perhaps another year, and would have faced a Liberal party led by someone other than Trudeau.

Comment: Re: Advatages of ZFS over BTRFS? (Score 1) 297

by hr raattgift (#44895151) Attached to: OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers

L2ARC is slowly populated from the older ends of the ARC, using a separate thread. Not all blocks aging out of the ARC are guaranteed to get to the L2ARC. This is to avoid slowdowns when the ARC is under pressure, and to allow for the use of cache vdevs on media which are slow to write but fast to read.

L2ARC vdevs are circular buffers.

Each L2ARC entry consumes at least 50 bytes from the ARC, and may consume considerably more. Those bytes are released ONLY after the circular buffer overwrites the L2ARC entry. Therefore a large L2ARC competes for ARC space with ordinary blocks, and the larger the L2ARC the more likely it is that the L2ARC contains stale blocks. Those stale blocks continue to use ARC space.

The L2ARC's big use is to avoid seeks to fetch occasionally-used data. It helps so little with streaming reads that data that was streamed (via prefetch mechanisms, for example) into the ARC are skipped by the thread that populates L2ARC vdevs. Defeating that (forcing the storage of streamed data) typically worsens performance of a pool.

The ZIL is automatically managed areas in storage vdevs in each pool. One can configure one or more separated log vdevs which will be used instead of the ZIL. When synchronous write calls are made, the data is stored in the slog (if available) or ZIL, and the call returns. No other data is written to the slog or ZIL. The blocks written out remain in the ARC, marked as dirty and in need of an asynchronous flush. When the open transaction group closes, the in-ARC copies of what went to the slog or ZIL is written out with everything else in the txg, and then the slog or ZIL is cleared.

Neither the slog nor the ZIL is read except during the import process; if they are non-empty at import, the blocks are written out (synchronously) to the pool's storage vdevs and then cleared.

"With the ZIL in a different drive (SSD or otherwise), you reduce the number of writes required"

The ZIL is the ZIL; the slog is the slog. If you have a slog you don't write to the ZIL, and whether that changes the number of writes of *synchronous* data is configuration-dependent. If you have mirrored slogs, for example, you are probably writing more than you would if you just used the ZIL.

In either case the idea is to write out synchonous blocks quickly and with as little writing latency as possible; writes are linear and are to areas at the start of the vdevs.

"Because you can generally write to a ZFS pool significantly faster than to a single disk"

Actually, it's the other way around, but hinges on what you mean by "write". The more disks there are in the pool the more labels have to be updated at the finalization of each txg. That's not a large extra amount to push out to the rotating material, but it's done synchronously and will *invariably* result in seeks to the start and end of each component device in each vdev in the pool.

Additionally, you can configure a single-disk pool, and there are reasons why you might want to do so, even though that is UNSAFE.

However, system calls return quickly because all writes go into the ARC, and asynchronous write calls can return immediately; synchronous write calls return when the data is committed to the ZIL or slog(s). In the case where there's a slog, write calls practically never initiate actual activity on the device(s) forming the storage vdev(s). Instead, writes will be triggered by timers.

For many workloads, this makes writes to pools seem very fast, since delayed writing allows for smarter scheduling, as well as coalescing of writes to specific physical blocks.

Comment: Re: Advatages of ZFS over BTRFS? (Score 1) 297

by hr raattgift (#44894933) Attached to: OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers

A bit more detail:

The ZIL and separated log (slog, "zpool add pool log ") are slightly different.

All writes of all varities go into the ARC.

From the ARC, synchronous writes are synchronously written to the slog (if one is available) and are then marked *asynchronous* writes.

When the txg is closed, all asynchronous writes are pushed out to the storage vdevs of the pool, and the slog is cleared.

If no slog is available, from the ARC synchronous writes are synchronously written into the ZIL (yes, ZFS intents log), which is automatically maintained at the start of one or more of the pool's storage vdevs, and then the blocks in the ARC are marked as *asynchronous* writes.

When the txg is closed, all asynchronous writes are written to the storage vdevs of the pool, and the ZIL is marked empty.

If on pool import the slog or ZIL is NOT empty then the blocks are written (synchronously) to the storage vdevs before the pool is made available for access.

So, the slog and ZIL are there to make synchronous write calls return quickly and safely. They aren't permanent storage.

The slog does not really need to be a fast drive, just one in which write latency is low; all writes to the slog are linear, so there should be almost no track-to-track seeking even in a rotating drive. It is vital that that slog does not lie about having committed data to stable storage (stable in the sense of persisting across crashes, powerfailures, etc.).

The ZIL lives in the drives that make up the pool's storage vdev(s), so there's nothing special about the ZIL.

The slog (and ZIL) are mostly felt when doing bursts of synchronous writes -- some POSIX operations do this (rm -r, for instance), some database operations do it too, but the case where slogs are most worthwhile is when NFS clients are doing lots of writes to the pool.

They are not write caches in the traditional sense. Their main use is to return quickly from synchronous write calls, without compromising pool consistency.

Comment: Re:all i want is BP-rewrite (Score 1) 297

by hr raattgift (#44894213) Attached to: OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers

"Files" are a concept in the ZPL; the ARC doesn't even deal with DMU objects, it deals with blocks.

You could write a shim beneath the ZPL that maintains a system like you propose, but maintaining file-based caching info is going to eat into the memory available for the L1 ARC. You probably don't want that, really. The existence of the ARC (L1 and L2) is what masks residual latency involved in fragmentation not absorbed in write coalescing and spacemap scheduling, by enabling a place for read-ahead blocks to be cached.

Comment: Re:Excessive level of "democracy"? (Score 1) 430

by hr raattgift (#42622811) Attached to: After Aaron Swartz's Death, the Focus Now Falls On the Prosecutors

This was a federal criminal case, and so was handled by a U.S. attorney and would have gone before a U.S. district court.

The judges and prosecutors in the U.S. district courts are not elected.

The investigation was lead by the FBI. The FBI is a wholly unelected agency.

The federal Executive is bound by statute, internal rules, and customs with respect to exercising control over the federal law enforcement agencies, especially the FBI, and similarly is prevented from interfering in the activities of U.S. attorneys. The usual way of dealing with outright bad apples is not termination but promoting them to Alaska or Guam and hoping they refuse and resign. Firing U.S. attorneys, while often lawful, has led to wider government-crippling conflict among the various interested parties (the DoJ, the courts, the wider federal legal profession, and Congress (notably the Senate, which under the constitution must confirm the appointment of U.S. attorneys)).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy

Removing a federal judge requires an impeachment process involving both houses of Congress.

Comment: Re:LOL, "really inflammatory, inaccurate" messages (Score 1) 369

by hr raattgift (#37114688) Attached to: UK Police Arrest 12 Over Facebook Use Inciting Riots

tl;dr: the notwithstanding clause is hard to use - a good litigator would probably still find the courts enforcing the rights in question, and using it "for real" is (in most cases unnecessarily) politically risky.

You are referring to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That section [a] does not apply to the whole Charter (only to ss 2 and 7-15, although admittedly s 2(b) is the relevant freedom of expression clause, as noted in your parent article); [b] must be enacted by primary legislation; [c] that primary legislation must use specific wording ("declaration") explicitly invoking s 33; [d] the declaration expires no later than five years from its coming into force (and may expire sooner for several reasons, on the other hand further primary legislation can reset the expiration date); [e] the declaration is only valid under an appropriate Head of Power (i.e. it must conform with the ordinary Division of Powers, etc.).

The usual impediments to passing primary legislation apply, and in most of the legislatures, and in the federal Parliament, internal rules and general practice require a Royal Recommendation for legislation including a s.33 declaration -- that is, a government minister (or equivalent) must introduce the legislation with the backing of the cabinet (formally the Governor General in Council per 13 of the Consolidated Constitution Acts 1867-1982, or the provincial equivalents).

The use of the declaration does not shield the Act using it from the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) which also has protections for freedom of expression; a remedy exists in the courts until and unless Parliament amends that Act. There may also be remedies for certain infringements under other statutes, such as the Canadian Human Rights Act (1977). Several provinces have similar "ordinary" legislation which are still in force and which offer various different protections for freedom of expression including remedies for interference by the provincial legislature or executive. Again these are not as entrenched as the Charter, but they also survive any use of s. 33 of the Charter, and most would have to be outright amended by the legislature, and brought into force *first*.

There are also much older protections for some forms of expression in force today in Canada; the Constitution as a whole has been found by the Supreme Court (and this is not surprising or controversial) to include the 19th or 20th century versions of such things as the English Bill of Rights (1689), or the Act of Settlement (1701), and the Quebec Act (1774), all of which may provide a cause of action even in the absence of the Charter protections and its modern statutory predecessors federally and provincially.

International obligations exist under treaty (and enabling or derivative statutes and regulations) that allow the courts to assess liability against the government for breaches of various rights of expression. Changing these would require primary legislation and may also require some advance notification to the other contracting parties.

Finally, there remain common law protections for freedom of expression related to concepts such as quiet enjoyment and public nuisance; people will generally resort to statutes which were written with the then state of case law in mind because they are simpler, more codified, and thus easier to deal with in litigation. However, even in the absence of statutory protections for various forms of freedom of expression, a good litigator is likely able to build a case that may persuade a Canadian judge to provide a requested remedy for some breach by the government. Indeed, this approach was very common prior to codified claims and grants of right, and did not entirely go away afterwards. There is no practical way for a government to avoid the possibility of courts finding against them for breaches of rights (even of uncodified ones) without destroying the independence of the judiciary.

The use of s 33 therefore [a] may not work with respect to shielding from judicial review of and remedies for actions by the legislature or executive; [b] is a huge political risk for which there is a democratic remedy preserved in ss. 3-6 of the Charter, which are not affected by s. 33; and [c] is a much less useful tool in general than the wording in s. 1, which is similar to that found in the French constitution or the European Convention on Human Rights treaty. The s. 1 wording is: "subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society".

That is, a court may be persuaded that a breach of any of the rights guaranteed by the Charter was both lawful and reasonable (courts may also require some proportionality as well). That this is stated explicitly makes case law with respect to human rights much easier to use in litigation than similar case law in the U.S.A. where a similar general rule exists in case law but is not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution or its Amendments. In both systems, case law bounds the general rules in more specific circumstances. [The ECHR treaty administration (the Council of Europe) tries to deal with the "subject only" rules on an article by article basis, keeping up-to-date with respect to case law in the European Court of Human Rights; the relevant wording wrt freedom of expression includes "subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others" (for some) and "subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary." (there are others; this style of codification is a compromise suitable to the various systems of public law (French and German codes, English law, Scots law, etc.). The ECHR treaty also sets out grounds for derogations which operate similarly to the Canadian notwithstanding procedure; that moreover may be reviewed by either the ECHR court (in some cases) or the parliament of the Council of Europe (in all of them).]

A different analysis -- with better editing and more time put into it -- is here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/researchpublications/bp194-e.htm

Comment: Re:Did they 'edit' Britannica too? (Score 1) 767

by hr raattgift (#36359126) Attached to: Palin Fans Deface Paul Revere Wikipedia Page

Gage was not only no fool, he was also acting in accordance with the English Bill of Rights 1689 which said (in the late 18th century; the document has been amended several times and is still in force in much of the former British Empire):

[In the Articles of Complaint, deeming actions of the former monarch and his government unlawful]:

"Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom [...]
"By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law; [...]
"By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law; [...]
"All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm;"

[The Parliament that brought about the Glorious Revolution declares]

"That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;
"That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law; ...
"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void; ..."

[And the price for becoming the Constitutional Monarchs for William & Mary, and more importantly, the price for the Royalists in the coalition with the Parliamentarians that brought in the Glorious Revolution with its central idea that everyone should disband their private armies and argue things out in Parliament rather than fight things out in further civil war]:

"[...] the said declaration are the true, ancient and indubitable rights and liberties of the people of this kingdom, and so shall be esteemed, allowed, adjudged, deemed and taken to be; and that all and every the particulars aforesaid shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as they are expressed in the said declaration, and all officers and ministers whatsoever shall serve their Majesties and their successors according to the same in all time to come."

Gage was an officer; he took his orders from ministers in practice, and they were drawn from and had to placate various factions in Parliament, including several flavours of Whig (the Foxites, most notably) who were very friendly with "American Revolutionaries" (to the point of forcing "kid glove" rules on what Gage and his superiors could do. Parliamentary micromanagement of the military was highly fashionable at the time, and it was frequently party political (see what happened to John Byng for instance)). Lord North, head of the government at Westminster (as "First Lord of the Treasury"; we would call him Prime Minister now) was keen on suppressing social turmoil in general, in England and in New England, and was certainly hostile to the what Europeans now call "subsidiarity" and no fan of grassroots democracy (this is in part because of his conflict with Londoners' electoral support for John Wilkes, whom he opposed and detested), but even he was bound by the (then) British Constitution, including the English Bill of Rights 1689. North had seen what Junius had done to his predecessor, and North had weaker support in the House of Commons.

However, North was good at persuading subordinates to try to interpret laws restricting the powers of the executive very narrowly when suitable. In the case of the gunpowder you mentioned, this led to frictions over jointly held stockpiles, especially those that could be accessed by non-subjects (there were quite a few in the Massachusetts Bay colony, including people who had fled from regions controlled by autocratic European tyrants and who readily accepted the idea promulgated by Charles James Fox and Benjamin Franklin (among others) that George III fit that role), or non-Protestants (ditto, and Gage was certainly aided by several anti-Catholic conspiracy theories in New England in the wake of the Quebec Act 1774's favourable terms for French-speaking Catholics in the former Nouvelle France). Several colonial legislatures and Parliament were also threatening to (ab)use the "by law" conditions in the Bill of Rights to disarm select individuals and an expansive reading of what constitutes a "standing army" to allow for a more general disarmament.

The groups stockpiling the powder did not view themselves as voluntary associations of private individuals. They functioned as de facto provisional governments with the authority to compel anyone to military service

I am not especially au fait with the thinking of all the groups involved, but I think it's fair to say they weren't very homogeneous, and I think your claim in the second sentence is a bit too strong. It seems unlikely that these groups could have compelled Loyalists to do much of anything in the early part of the revolution.

"The government of England is a government of law. We betray ourselves, we contradict the spirit of our laws, and we shake the whole system of English jurisprudence, whenever we entrust a discretionary power over the life, liberty, or fortune of the subject to any man, or set of men, whatsoever, upon a presumption that it will not be abused" -- Letter XLVI, Philo Junius to the Printer of the Public Advertiser, 25 May 1771.

Comment: Re:England (Score 1) 264

by hr raattgift (#36220740) Attached to: Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player

The Royal Assent with respect to Westminster bills has generally been delegated to a commission since the 16th century (this was largely motivated by efficiency issues surrounding Henry VIII becoming the constitutional monarch of Ireland and by Henry VIII being more interested in sports and architecture, and with the fractiousness of English politics which was merely hidden for a while during his father's reign). The monarch personally participated in Royal Assent ceremonies only infrequently for major bills; the last time a monarch was personally involved in a Royal Assent was in 1854.

No bill becomes law until she's signed it

is therefore at least inaccurate.

It is not clear whether the Prime Minister can Advise the Lords Commissioners to withhold the Royal Assent in the United Kingdom. It is an enumerated power of the Executive in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, however, and has been used once or twice, although proclamation and/or bringing-into-force clauses in the Constitution and covering statute are the usual tools the Executive uses to avoid implementing the entirety of Acts of Parliament until it sees fit. In Westminster, Parliament regularly delegates the decision to bring into force parts of Acts of Parliament to government ministers, directly in the Act itself.

Also, the United Kingdom is now effectively a federal state, and one of the ways this `is reflected is in how the Royal Assent works with respect to bills originating in the assemblies for Scotland and Northern Ireland. The monarch has no personal authority in the enacting of bills passed by those bodies; the remedy for apparent conflicts with the Constitution is through the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and the power to refer bills to the Supreme Court is vested in politicians responsible to the respective assemblies.

Bills passed by the National Assembly for Wales are confirmed by an Order-in-Council (in which the Queen or a Regent participates), however this will change to a system more like that of Scotland in light of the 2011 referendum on the extension of the Assembly's legislative competence.

Since Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales effectively allow their respective governments-of-the-day to stall the implementation of Assembly bills on narrow grounds, it is likely that the government in Westminster could do the same if it wanted (for instance, if a minority government were to be unable to stop the passage of a bill through the House of Commons and the House of Lords (where necessary)).

She should really have been including Charles in these meetings for the last 10 years

He has been a Privy Counsellor since 1977, and since his age of majority has acted as Prince Regent when the Queen has been unavailable. He is almost certainly as well briefed as he would like to be. Any differences in the advisory role between President Windsor and Vice-President Windsor is most likely attributable to personality and personal interests.

Comment: Re:I would just like to take this opportunity to s (Score 1) 530

by hr raattgift (#35342520) Attached to: Julian Assange To Be Extradited To Sweden

The most shocking part of the ruling is:

A person’s extradition to a Category 1 territory is barred by reason of extraneous considerations if (and only if) it
appears that:
(a) the Part 1 warrant issued in respect of him (though purporting to be issued on account of the
extradition offence) is in fact issued for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on
account of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political opinions, or
(b) if extradited he might be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his
personal liberty by reason of his race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or political
opinions.
This has been hinted at, but no evidence has been provided and the bar is neither argued nor found.

That Counsel for Mr Assange did not offer an argument or evidence in support of point (b) above is astonishing.
Unfortunately under the relevant rules of procedure, and given the broader workings of the adversarial system,
it seems that Assange's attorneys failed to engage directly with this part of the statute while Mr Assange himself
was saying in public that the prosecution was nakedly political and the punishment would be strongly influenced
to his detriment because of his politics.

The Administrative Court on appeal is entitled to consider an argument on that point even if it was not made in the District Court.
It may not be a terrible disadvantage if a weak argument on that point had been advanced and failed in front of the Chief Magistrate,
as his reasoning on the other arguments which failed in front of him is clear and compelling.

Finally, it is disappointing that the argument focused on technical deficiencies in the procedure that, if the Chief Magistrate had taken
a line opposite the "cosmopolitan" reading of the wording in the statute and Framework Decision, could be remedied simply by having
Ms Ny, or a colleague, immediately reissue a new EAW that would not have these deficiencies. I would think that a judge could
reasonably conclude (perhaps considering arguments from the parties) that requiring that remedy conflicts with
Crim P.R. Rule 1 (the Overriding Objective) and deliberately disregard "picayune" defects in an obviously purposeful and apparently lawfully made
EAW especially when the obvious remedy would quickly place Mr Assange in an effectively identical situation. In particular, I do not think
that autrefois acquit would or SHOULD apply in England or in Sweden if the present EAW were overturned because it identified Ms Ny as "the"
Director rather than "a" Director, or chose a negligibly broader Swedish term of art than the most exactingly precise equivalent to "prosecution".
I also do not believe Sweden would hesitate to reissue a corrected EAW. Consequently, it would be a poor use of resources to require the formality,
along the lines of trying to convince the Administrative Court to find for the appellant because of a macro expansion failure ("M a") or a typo ("Mr Hurtig in an unreliable witness").

I find myself wondering whether Mr Assange will continue using Mr Hurtig as his Swedish attorney (see the paragraphs starting with "10." and "15." in the ruling).

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel

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