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Re: Shoplifting, concealment, liability presumption

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Shoplifting, concealment, liability presumption
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:08:21 -0000
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
> On 3/10/2010 11:33 AM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> the complainant sumits his complaint in ordinary English

> You make the same error as those who advocate writing computer programs
> in ordinary English. You need lawyers to handle lawsuits like you need
> programmers to write programs, because in each case experience and
> expertise are required to achieve good results.

If that is the case (and it appears to be so at the moment), then the
system is badly broken.  Results should depend only on facts, not

> It is not possible for someone without legal training to even know what
> sort of complaints and defenses are even legitimate.

An ordinary citizen should be able to depend on the expertise of the
court officers.

> The result would be similar to when a non-programmer specifies "make it
> do this when that happens", namely no recognition of all the other
> states and corner cases which must be considered.

You have little evidence for this, even less than I have.  I am told that
in medieval England, disputes were brought before the lord of the manor
(or whatever), who heard both sides there and then and pronounced
judgement.  Apparently this minimally formal system functioned well, much
better than what we have today.

> In any case, if such a process is wanted by both sides, they can (and
> do) go to arbitration instead of court.

Such a process should become the default.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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