THE DUTY OF CARE
There is a Universal Law of social behaviour which always applies, to any group of creatures, at any time; in the past, and in the present, and in the future; in any place, in any possible universe.
The Universal Law is quite simply that any creatures living in a group do not, as a general rule, injure each other.
If the members of a group injure each other, then that group will get smaller and smaller, until, at the end, if the members continue to injure eachother, there is only one creature left, which is not a group!
It is quite natural in many groups for members to establish pecking-orders and during this process some injury may be done, but once the pecking-order has been established and each group member knows hir place, very little further conflict is seen.
This Law may be applied to any group of creatures, living at any time, in any place; anywhere, in any conceivable Universe.
Therefore, if we are to believe in a Divine Architect who created the Universe, this is a Universal and Divine Principle Of Law, which any religious, political, financial, or industrial leader HAS TO AGREE WITH, or look very foolish!.
Even if we do not believe in a Divinity of any kind, the principle still holds good according to both common-sense and simple logic, so atheists, anarchists, and agnostics have to accept it too…
In British Law today there is a “Duty of Care” which states that:
“YOU MUST TAKE REASONABLE CARE
TO AVOID ACTS OR OMISSIONS,
WHICH YOU CAN REASONABLY FORESEE,
WOULD BE LIKELY TO INJURE YOUR NEIGHBOUR ”
This reasonable standard of care,
as outlined in the “Duty of Care” above,
is applied to all persons in the UK
including the Government, the Bankers,
and the Legal System itself…
The failure to uphold the ‘Duty of Care’ is either:
which is doing something likely to injure your neighbour in circumstances when you would not reasonably be expected to know that the thing you are doing is likely to injure your neighbour, (this is not a criminal offence, one may only be liable for damages in a civil court),
which is doing something you KNOW is likely to injure your neighbour and yet doing it anyway (which IS a criminal offence where one may be arrested, and fined or imprisoned and be liable for damages),
which is to intend by your act or omission to injure your neighbour (this is the most serious type of criminal offence which is generally punished with the full weight of the criminal law ).
Not only is the Duty of Care arguably a Divine Principle of Law, it is also used in legal practice today to create precedent or new law. If you can show that your behaviour is “reasonable, prudent and well-intentioned” in the circumstances which you find yourself in, then you are not generally guilty of any crime even if you have broken a particular statute or statutes.
For instance, there are times when it may be seen as “reasonable, prudent and well-intentioned” to disregard a particular law “in order to serve a greater interest.” Therefore we may argue that the Duty of Care is both the most fundamental and underlying principle of British law and also that it will over-ride any previous precedents or statutes in certain circumstances.
Indeed we may argue that the Duty of Care is the Law!
THE DUTY OF CARE – EXAMPLES
The Duty of Care is used in court every day to determine the guilt or innocence of every defendant who appears in the dock. Two examples will serve to clarify the point.
(a). A person is driving a car who has no mechanical knowlege, this person has had the car serviced and maintained by qualified personnel and has the service history in the glove box of the car. The tax, MoT and insurance are all up to date. This person has done all that can be REASONABLY expected to ensure that the car is safe, yet when stopped by the police in a routine road check, it is found that they have defective brakes. This is doing something which is likely to injure their neighbour yet having taken all REASONABLE steps to insure that what they were doing was NOT LIKELY to cause injury. The person is still responsible in a civil court for the payment of damages should they injure someone as a result, but they have NOT behaved CRIMINALLY.
(b). The same person is driving the same car along the same piece of road at the same speed and is stopped by the same police officer who, this time, forms the REASONABLY HELD BELIEF that the person KNEW that the brakes were defective. This time the person will very likely be tried in a criminal court for doing something which is likely to injure their neighbour KNOWINGLY, if it is found that the person DID KNOW that the brakes were defective, this is RECKLESS behaviour as such is CRIMINAL.
(c). The same person is driving the same car along the same piece of road at the same speed and is stopped by the same police officer who, this time, forms the REASONABLY HELD BELIEF that the person was AIMING TO HIT someone. This time the person will very likely be tried in a criminal court for doing something which is likely to injure their neighbour INTENTIONALLY, if it is found that the person DID INTEND TO HIT SOMEONE WITH THE CAR then this is obviously a SERIOUSLY CRIMINAL matter.
It may be seen from the above that not only does there have to be an unlawful ACT (the ‘actus reus’) COMMITTED (i.e. driving the car with defective brakes); for a defendant to be found guilty of a crime, the MENTAL STATE (the ‘mens rea’) OF THE ACCUSED PERSON HAS ALSO TO BE OF A CRIMINAL NATURE.
(2). The other example is rather heavy, but it does prove the point:
In the case of Micheal Ryan, who you may remember shot around 30 people at Hungerford a few years ago, and then shot himself (rest his soul!); if a REASONABLE, PRUDENT, and WELL-INTENTIONED person had been present and had shot him, (to prevent him from shooting anyone else), they would NOT BE FOUND GUILTY OF A CRIME, even if the person had had to use REASONABLE FORCE to take a gun from someone else or from a shop. In ordinary circumstances, a person who stole a gun, and then shot someone with it would (almost certainly) be found guilty of assault, battery, theft of a firearm, unlawful posession and use of a firearm, and murder, and would receive a heavy gaol sentance (around 30 years).
It is therefore apparent that:-
(1). From the first example: For a defendant to be convicted of crime there has to be both:
(a) an unlawful act or omission, (the ‘actus reus’) AND
(b) the state of mind (the ‘mens rea’) of the accused has to be of a criminal nature,
(2). And from the second example that:
Reasonable, Prudent Well-Intentioned Behaviour is not criminal, (notwithstanding any acts of parliament, previous case law, or common law).
Or to put it another way, if a person can show that they upheld the Duty Of Care In the circumstances they found themselves in, then they are not guilty of a crime.
There have been many cases which are relevant on the eco front, the most dramatic of which was that of the Ploughshares Women who broke into British Aerospace and damaged combat aircraft which were to be exported to the Indonesian Government in order to subjugate the natives who were (and still are!) trying to resist the encroachment of western hotel complexes (etc etc) into the forests which are their home.
Normally, to break into British Aerospace and damage combat aircraft would, I believe, be a treasonable offence which is still punnishable by death. However, when it was found that prior to this action the women had taken all REASONABLE steps to make their point known (they wrote petitions and staged peaceful demonstrations etc), and it was realised that the matter was genuinely felt to be of sufficient urgence to justify such an action, the women (after serving several months remanded in custody) were found NOT GUILTY of any crime.
Another case in point is that many thousands of eco-activists have been arrested under the Criminal Justice And Public Order Acts, eg. for “Criminal Damage” to GM modified crops, yet only a very few have been found guilty of any crime.
This is because it is unarguably the case that in the face of the threat due to UUEDD being of a similar magnitude to the threat that a war would pose, it is REASONAVLE, PRUDENT AND WELL-INTENTIONED and thererfore NOT CRIMINAL to take Non-Violent-Direct-Action on Environmental Issues.
THE DUTY OF CARE APPLIED TO Unnecessary Unreasonable Environmental Damage & Destruction
Bearing in mind the huge increase in public awareness of UUEDD over the last five or ten years, it is no longer possible for anyone in a position of responsibility to claim that they are unaware of the threat of UUEDD to the nation’s (not to mention the planet’s) well-being and security.
Therefore, any acts or omissions leading to further UUEDD, committed by person(s) in positions of responsibility are done in the full knowledge that such acts and omissions are already injuring all of us, on a massive scale, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
THEREFORE ANY ACTS OR OMISSIONS LEADING TO FURTHER UUEDD
COMMITTED BY PERSONS IN POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY
ARE RECKLESS AND
THE ‘DUTY OF CARE’ APPLIED TO GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
It would appear that successive Governments have (knowingly) both acted, i.e. passed UNLAWFUL ACTS OF PARLIAMENT (which are supposed to be enactments of the law) to allow UUEDD, and have omitted to control it, which they ought to have done according to law.
Therefore it would appear that such Governments are manifestly reckless and CRIMINAL, by act and omission in their duty of care for us and our environment.
The British Government is voted in, and paid, by the British People to serve the best interests of the British People. To this end therefore the Government is the servant of the British People, and the People are the Masters of the Government.
It is UNLAWFUL for a master to employ a servant to commit a reckless act (the vicarious responsibility of a master for the act of a servant); so if the British Government is reckless in it’s duty of care for the environment, then it is unlawful for the British People to employ -i.e. pay tax to- the Government as long as the Government continues to be reckless.
Our intention is not to persuade people to withhold their taxes (desirable as that may be to a great many of us); to do so would hardly be seen as reasonable, prudent and well intentioned.
It is our intention to inform the people of this country of the facts and thereby to exert as much political pressure as we may upon the Government to cease their apparent recklessness.
The only way the government can cease this apparent environmental recklessness is to provide:
ALL REASONABLY AVAILABLE RESOURCES FOR GREEN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT,
-anything less being an omission which is reasonably foreseeable as likely to cause further physical, emotional, mental and spiritual injury to us, the neighbours of the apparently reckless government.
The question which then arises is `What are these “all reasonably available resources”?’
When asked, most people will agree that the threat of UUEDD is of a similar magnitude to the threat of war, therefore, we may assert that the resources reasonably available to fight such a threat are of similar magnitude to those which would be made available if we were to have to fight a war.
In other words, it would appear that according to law we should declare a state of national emergency in order to mobilise (without unreasonable financial constraint) our collective resources to fight this most serious threat to our well-being and security; after all, we cannot have a healthy economy when our workforce is suffering from the effects of an unreasonably unhealthy environment!
PARLIAMENTARY SOVEREIGNTY MAY BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The ‘Divine Right of Kings’ was a doctrine which asserted that the King at any given time was naturally God’s Representative on Earth.
As time went by the Kings started to abuse their powers and this gave rise to discontent in the country and eventually the King’s ministers grouped together and over-ruled the King, forming the first Parliament and thereby ending the Divine Right of Kings.
The original purpose in creating a Parliament was thus to end the Divine Right of Kings.
Therefore, even though we do not have a written constitution in Britain, it would seem that it must be unconstitutional for Parliament to assume what would appear to be a “Divine Right of Parliament” by enacting: the Public ‘Order’ Act; the Criminal ‘Justice’ Act; and now the Anti ‘Terrorist’ Act, which effectively say that Parliament can now make up any further acts they choose, and we are only allowed to protest against the acts if the Government allows us to do so.