Thursday, July 16, 2009

Courts of a United Citizens Nation

One of the first questions people always have about a libertarian-type government proposal is, inevitably, courts. What would such a system do to enforce contracts and to mete out justice?

The answer is quite simple. Everyone will want to subscribe to a court/arbitration/dispute resolution agency. This will help them protect their own business and contracts from anyone who decides, for whatever reason, to not live up to the deal. These courts will not be run by any government, they would actually be operated like competing co-ops.

The Court Panel would be made up of 5 citizens, 3 of them chosen at random and one chosen by each the complainer and the defender. Both sides would present their arguments and evidence and the contract would be studied by the panel as well. The panel would only need a 3-2 vote to decide the case.

In Contract cases if the accuser lost he/she would pay court costs and a nominal amount for the time/lost business of the defender. If the accuser wins, the defender must live up to the terms of the contract or agree with the accuser on a settlement amount (although we expect all contracts would spell out what happens if they are broken).

Oh, you ask, what happens if the defender refuses to abide by the judgement? Who is going to make him, who even has the power to make him in your libertarian-type UCN?

All members of the courts, just about everyone, will likely defend the system because it is in their interest to do so. The community will likely boycott the business of the non-compliant person, shun them and the like until they make some kind of resolution to the case.

OK. What about criminal cases? What about a murder case?

If the evidence proves substantially that a person is guilty of murder that person could be declared "outside the protection of the law". A vengeful family could theoretically kill the guilty man with no reprisal against themselves. This is an extreme example and we think that banishment or forced restitution is a more likely example for lesser crimes than murder.

The people of a United Citizens Nation will not be forced to bear the cost of keeping criminals locked up, fed, cared for and whatever. If there is some kind of incarceration system the families of the inmates would pay for much of it, and their meals and other things.

What about traffic tickets? Well, we would expect the roads to also be owned by shareholders in a consortium, funded by user fees and insurance and such. The consortium will have to enforce its own traffic laws and since it is owned by citizens we would expect it to not be too lenient or too strict.

I realize that to some people this might seem harsh, especially to those who were taught that criminals have "rights" to be comfortable and pampered. This "right" will not exist in a United Citizens Nation. Obey the law or suffer the penalty, it is that simple.

The United Citizens Nation would like to reach out and invite all of our readers to tell us what you think, anonymous responses have been activated.

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