This afternoon. Over CBC radio. BC Attorney General Michael de Jong was like butter rolling off hot biscuits as he answered questions from a radio audience worried about why they can’t get a judge’s court order serviced. Citizens called in complaining that in situations where people are suing other individual people and have a court order from a judge ordering that this person pay up, or show up, or do something, or refrain from doing something important to the person complaining, these orders can be ignored with impunity and are, more often than not. The complainants’ are left holding what is essentially a worthless piece of paper even though it is a judge’s order. Judge’s order or no, if the person the order is against doesn’t want to comply, the order itself means nothing. People who called in questioning Mr. de Jong wanted to know why nothing happens in these increasing number of cases; shouldn’t a judge’s order be worth something?
From my own experience, I know that a judge’s order will be worth a lot if there is a lot of money and/or power involved. This usually means corporations suing other corporations or sometimes citizens. But ordinary people are just not that important to the court. It’s the way the laws are interpreted by the judges and the unwillingness of courts to order an arrest for non-compliance of a court order by an individual person…unless that person is interfering in some way with the fortunes of a large corporation and then, of course, the full force of the law is brought to bear. Citizens who say no to environmental destruction or to privatization of public assets by refusing to move when ordered by a judge’s order, will find themselves branded as criminals, handcuffed, leg ironed, and unceremoniously shuffled off to a increasingly privatized prison.
You need lots of money to even get into the court room. The Campbell government has cut back or cut down what little leverage there was for ordinary people. Enter Minister de Jong with his slick, forked tongue. He’s telling us that everything is just fine, not to worry. He’s going to fix the few little things that need fixing. In a pig’s eye.