April 05, 2008

Further proof that the Western P.C. Left is akin to the societies they admire

You know, like Cuba, the old Soviet Union, Mao's China ...

The Corner's Mark Steyn writes:

One of the striking features of my current troubles with Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions is the way, in the name of ersatz "human rights", these pseudo-courts trample on one of the bedrock human rights: the presumption of innocence. Instead, you're presumed guilty unless you can prove that you're not. That's why Section 13 in federal "human rights" cases up north has a 100% conviction rate that even Kim Jong-Il might blanch at. So I'm sorry to see the Aussies going down the same grim path:
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma wants the burden of proof in cases of racial discrimination to fall on the alleged offender, instead of the person making the complaint.

Mr Calma said Australia's laws made it difficult to prove there had been discrimination.

A Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission analysis of other countries, including the US, Britain and Canada, shows that in those countries the onus of proof shifts to the person who has been accused of discrimination once the complainant has established an initial case.

In Australia, the burden of proof rests on the person making the complaint...

Mr Calma said if people were forced to defend themselves, it might make them think twice before offending.

But, wouldn't they have to defend themselves anyway if someone brought a complaint/suit against them? Sure they would, but it would -- should -- be incumbent upon the complainant to prove his/her case, not the other way around. This is a fundamental facet of Western law tradition.

And isn't it great that the US is cited as one of the countries where the accused has to prove his/her innocence, and not the other way around? I've read myriad cases where the EEOC has essentially demanded that, for example, employers "prove" they haven't engaged in discrimination because their employees don't "reflect" the general population in which the employer operates.

At any rate, I especially dig what Andrew Bolt says in response to Aussie Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma:

OK, Calma - Iíll start your ball rolling to hell. I accuse you of being a damn racist. Which, under your new regime, means a racist you are until you can prove you are not. In the meantime you should stand down, because a racist canít hold your job, surely?
Posted by Hube at April 5, 2008 10:54 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Australian race commissioner Tom Calma wrongly claims that people should have to prove themselves innocent of racism. What is the basis for this claim?

Well, he falsely claims that is how the law works in countries other than Australia, like the United States, citing an Australian human rights agency report falsely claiming that the U.S. puts the burden of proof on defendants to prove themselves innocent.

That is false. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks (1993) and Texas v. Burdine (1981) that the defendant does NOT have the ultimate burden of proof.

I discuss those cases, and the false claims of Tom Calma and Australian "human rights" authorities, at OpenMarket.org, the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where I serve as counsel.

(I spent years as an attorney handling discrimination cases in private practice, and also worked briefly at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, handling discrimination cases under federal and state law).

Posted by: Hans Bader at April 19, 2008 05:56 PM