A couple of law stories – with no comment – simply because I have just read them and found them interesting.
Canon law has allowed abuse priests to escape punishment, says lawyer
The Guardian: Geoffrey Robertson QC calls for end of church law and chides UK government for recognising Vatican’s sovereignty
The system of law operated by the Vatican has allowed serious sex offenders to escape punishment and must be abandoned, says a prominent lawyer.
According to Geoffrey Robertson QC, whose book The Case of the Pope is published tomorrow: “Canon law has been allowed to trump criminal law in countries throughout the world. This is a very serious matter‚ the pope through his pretensions to statehood refuses to acknowledge that child sex abuse is a serious crime as well as a sin.
“The Catholic church must abandon canon law as a punishment for priests who commit crimes.”
The church’s form of law, Robertson argues, “has no public hearings, no DNA test facilities, no enforcement mechanism, and the most severe punishments – excommunication or an order to return to the laity (without entry on a sex offenders’ register) – bears no comparison with the sentences of imprisonment or community service that can be expected under criminal law.”
News Corp. Is Freaking Out
Michael Wolff: “You don’t get it,” a member of News Corporation’s inner circle in London told me last night, about the phone hacking scandal. “If there was a conspiracy in the company, the conspiracy was to keep Rupert from knowing.”
That is called the circle-the-wagons defense. That’s called everybody-else-is-expendable. That’s called a total freak-out.
The company has been caught as unaware, as unprepared, as incapable of responding, as on the ropes, as it ever has in its 60-year history. News Corp. only knows how to be the aggressor; now it’s on the defensive—and it has to defend itself against the very thing that it has always been, that has always protected it, that is the reason for its fundamental pride: Its newsrooms are down and dirty.