Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Danczuk Imbroglio


The Labour MP Simon Danczuk is in hot water over send sexy texts to a 17 year old. There is nothing unlawful in what he has done but it is a questionable way to respond to a job application. It is totally ethical for him to flirt with a 17 year old and indeed copulate with her. He could wed her for Pete’s sake. However, it exposes the nonsense that surround this paedophilia hysteria. If this girl had been 2 years younger Danczuk would have been committing a crime and many would have denounced him as an ogre. There would have been a small moral difference if she was two years younfer. Danczuk is one of the moralistic witch finders general on this issue.

Molesting children is illegal and unethical. When it comes to someone just under the age of consent the degree of turpitude is small. There are sveral factors to consider such as the age of the older party, the nature of what happened, who initiated it and so forth. Sexual contact with a teenger under the age of consent is ephebophilia which is different from paedophilia. This is not hair splitting. People should regain some perspective. They should stop putting people whi kiss a 15 year old in the same category with those who commit an unutterable crime aganst a small child. Ephebophilia is so little know that even spell check does not recognise the word. We need an age of consent but people should not over react to minor breaches thereof. The trouble ios te slippery slope. If one turns a blind eye to someone breahcing it by one year why not two, or three or four? I am aware that this shades into tolerating grave crimes. The law must have balance and not be unduly harsh. These days tyhe lynch mob wants an overly simplistic and cruelly punitive attitude

Danczuk has been hoisted on his own petard. He has been holier than thou on thos issue. Now his career may be over. I do not want it to do. It does not bother me one jot if he sent explicit text messages to someone whom he can legally have sex with. There is a ludicrously puritanical attitude to such conduct.

In some jurisdictions Danczuk would be branded with the foulest name for what he has done. There is nothing infamous in his conduct.

SOme peopel such as Melanie Phillips want to raise the age of consent to 18. This sort of alarmist bigotry is revolting. She would have the likes of Danczuk labelled a monster and locked up.

Danczuk claimed there was a nefarious child sex abuse ring at Westminster. Real abuse of those who really are children is a crime and rightly so. The worst forms of abuse are abhorrent. This is not something to be belittled or exploited for partisan gain. It should not be confused with adult repartee or misjudged sexual advanced between adults. It is not something that should be misused by neo Victorians to deprive people of their sexual freedom with regard to prostitutes or porn.

So much fear, wild emotion and nonsense surround this vexed question. Many people need to calm down. Panic and fury never lead to fair laws. We should be tough on this issue. The tough thing is to regain a sense of proportion and a level head.

There is no obvious or logical reason why the age boundary should be drawn at a particular age. There needs to be an age boundary but it is an absolutist fallacy to pretend there is some moral principle at stake in setting it at 15 or 17. Tabloid inflamed morons and demagogues will raise a fury against anyone who makes that very basic point. Danczuk has reaped what he has sown. His estranged wife posted sexually provocative images on the internet all the time. This does not bother me one iota. She claims it is her way of reacting to her having been abused as a child. I have no idew a wthere this is true or not. Yet it underlines the point that adults are and should be free to manifest their sexuality. She likes to publish saucy snaps and we boys should be allowed to make suggestive remarks to her.

The puritanical paroxysms on this issue are unedifying. So much drivel is talked about this. I would like us to become tranquil and sensible on this question. All crimes shall always exist. One can reduce crime to a certain level. Some anti crime measures are over the top and end up being worse than the crime since the deprive good people of too much freedom. That is what the puritans would do bu raising the age of consent too much or framing laws that prevent adults from being adult.

Human rights page 111. Amended


Human Rights have to be seen as composed of both civil and social rights. Any meaningful understanding of human rights has to take this into account.



The title statement is spot on. First one must define the two.

Civil rights are more of the earlier generation of Human Rights. That is the say the right to life, the right not to be imprisoned unless convicted in a fair trial, the right to free expression and so forth. These are set forth in the UN Charter.

Social rights were mentioned in the UN Charter but the accent was not on them. Social rights have been developed since. Social rights are the right to a living wage, the right to healthcare, the right to education and so on.

Social rights are more controversial. They tend to be enthusiastically embraced by socialists. Communist countries were usually poor at civil rights but good at providing social rights. In capitalist countries is was often the other way around.

Not everyone accepts social rights. In some ways social rights have gone backwards in some countries such as the United States. Publicly funded healthcare is anathema to many in the US. Even the Affordable Healthcare Act only mandates people to purchase insurance. Higher education in the United States is more expensive than ever before. Many European countries introduced tuition fees in the last 20 years for undergraduates. This was regressive. The UN conventions aimed at the gradual abolition of such charges.

There is a growing disequilibrium in many Western countries between the financial elite and the rest.


The two fundamental issues are here. Agree with both. Sen and Gerwith provide useful quotations on these issues.

These two emphasise that social rights are crucial.

Sen has demonstrated that social and civil rights are mostly the same thing.

The question is what form these rights shall take in the legal system.

Gerwith proves that social rights are vital for an equitable society. He wants to see the economy regulated so as to produce better outcomes for the majority. Trades union rights, the right to education and to social security are the crux of a happy society – so he argues.

The UNDP shows that an understanding of HR in terms of ridding the world of penury calls for social rights to be fully implemented.




Human rights. Page 80. Amended.


Sample exam question

To what extent are rights part of an international legal order?


HR are part of the international legal order to an extensive extent and this is being extended. Many international treaties contain HR provisions. When a state ratifies a treaty if it a monist state this becomes part of domestic law. France is one such example. Dualist states such as the UK require domestic legislation to make such a treaty justiciable in national courts.

The Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention are part of this order. They were cited as reasons to bring war criminals to book in Nuremberg and Tokyo. In his opening address to the Nuremberg Tribunal Justice Robert H Jackson said that the accused were arraigned there for breach of ”international law.”

HR are part of the economic ordering relating to trade and intellectual property. The UN, The World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organisation all give testament to this.

These named organisations uphold rights.

Rights are ever more functioning to international affairs. States have rights such as sovereignty and self determination. These are not untrammeled. There is a growing sense that the international community can intervene in the case of gross abuse. The question remains how bad does abuse have to be before it reaches the required threshold for intervention.

The UN is dedicated to the furtherance of Human Rights since its inception. In the early years sovereignty was privileged over HR every time. Now it is the other way around.

These economic bodies were not about HR at the outset. However, they now have HR as part of their remit.

There is now perceived to be a linkage between HR and economic development. This inter connectivity because both are about bettering the lot of the penurious.

Sample exam question. Human rights. page 55. Amended


The nature of human rights is contested – this is in itself positive. Consensus would prevent the development of human rights.



This is not entirely good. If there were consensus then there would be more concerted action to ameliorate the situation. There are numerous different editions of human rights. There is one for each continent. There is an Islamic one. Some people say Asian values trump human rights. Some reject the entire concept as Western and or hypocritical.

The fact that HR is controversial gets people talking about it. HR plainly matter which is why it is a contentious topic. Very few people would claim to be against HR. HR has become a synonym for goodness.

Is Human rights contested? It is. The Chinese tend to see it as an imperialist machination. They say the US invaded Iraq under a spurious HR pretext and may try doing the same to China.

How universal are HR? That is a hot potato. Are they they same everywhere or are regional variations allowed?The fundamental ones are the right to life. But killing in war is permissible. But that leads to another bone of contention – when is war justified? Is the death penalty allowed. That too is a controversial topic.

Torture is forbidden but what constitutes torture? The US contends that waterboarding does not amount to torture.

The fact that HR are a source of debate allows HR to evolve. HR has not stood still in the 18th century when the very concept was invented. Arguably the idea dates back to Ashok in india or Cyrus in Persia.

There is no agreement on certain questions such as if the death penalty is allowable.

Countries are moving towards a more extensive understanding of HR. This is progress. Yet history is not a tale of unimpeded and irreversible progress. Humankind has gone into reverse at times. There can be retrogression in our notion of liberty and humanitarianism. This is why it is imperative to keep discussing HR and to continue to press forward.

Excessive HR makes law enforcement and disaster relief too difficult. It renders the task of governance overly onerous and is unworkable.

advice not worth following


March application window.
The sooner you apply to a British school the better. The most desirable schools require people to register five years in advance! But supposing you want your child to enrol at a British boarding school in less than a year’s time – there is still hope.
The British School year runs from the first Monday in September to the first Friday in July.
If you want your children to begin at a school in September 2016 you could apply as late as March 2016.
British boarding schools receive many applications from people resident in the United Kingdom (most are British pupils and some are not). These boarding schools deal with these applicants first. Schools usually have a quota for pupils who live overseas (some are foreign and some are British). School rarely have more than 20% of their pupils resident abroad.
UK applicants will have applied by June 2015 for admission in September 2016. They will have sat some initital entrance test in October 2015 for this September 2016. The school will weed out the weak candidates and will have identified the good ones. The pupils who are conditionally accepted in October 2015 to start in September 2016 will sit a test called Common Entrance in May 2016. This will largely be a formality because the girl or boy has passed an initial admissions test, been interviewed and the the target school has seen reports from this child’s current school. Barring any disaster in Common Entrance in May 2016 this girl or boy shall start the desired school in September 2016.
Schools can be very difficult to get into. There is ferocious competition for places at the most illustrious schools. Therefore it is sage to apply to several of them. Parents usually apply to about five schools. One of these will be their favourite and the others will be a back up plan. If the girl or boy is provisionally accepted in October 2015 for admission in September 2016 the parents will declare that this school is their favourite and they will tell the lower choices that their daughter or son does not wish to attend these lower preference schools.
Schools will then have an idea how many places they have to fill. By March schools are making their financial plan for the forthcoming academic year. They need to know how many pupils they will have because then they can make their budget. They do not want an empty seat. Every unfilled place means a loss of over GBP 30 000 per annum. From a financial point of view this is woeful. The school will have to make staff redundant because of it. Believe me the teachers do not want empty places!
In March 2016 apply to schools with a view to your daughter or son starting at the school in September 2016.
Apply in March will not work for the stratospherically highly rated schools such as Eton, Winchester and Wellington College. Parents have been known to tour Eton whilst the wife is pregnant and the sex of the foetus is not yet known. These ultra exclusive schools require parents to apply at least five years ahead.
Applying in March 2016 for schools outside the top ten can and does work.
In March 2016 schools will want to know about your child. What are his or her aptitudes and hobbies? The schools would like to know if this child is a gifted linguist, musically talented, a fantastic athlete, an IT whizz, a budding actor or somehow adventurous. These additional talents and interests can be of great help in securing a place.
What does a potential school want to know about your child? First of all they wish to know that he or she can cope academically. Is the child’s English up to scratch? They know this this child is not a native speaker of English and they shall make allowances for that. They will ask to see reports from the child’s current school. They want to see a decent academic performance and good behaviour.
Mentor and Sons will also interview the child. Mentor and Sons will be able to find out the child’s interests and virtuousities.
In March some British parents turn down school places for September 2016 because they are virtually certain their child has secured a place somewhere else. Remember this key point – maximise your chances by applying to several schools. There is no limit to the number of schools you can apply to. However, there is a small fee for doing so.
The March time window can be highly successful. Applying in March to start in September that same year has worked for notable schools such as Epsom and Ardingly.
It is important to apply by the end of March at the very latest. If you apply after 31 March then you are into the Easter Holidays and little gets done. Almost all the places at good schools have been taken. If you miss the March application window then you could still try. Just occasionally you will strike it lucky.
Brainy, mannerly, multitalented and industrious pupils have a blatant advantage. However, if your child is not as described then he or she still has a chance but less of one.
The important thing is to get into a boarding school in the United Kingdom even if it is mediocre. It is much easier to get into a British school if you are already in one. That is to say if a child starts at a low rated school he or she can transfer to a well rated school later.
The last two years of secondary education are for pupils aged 16-18. This is called Sixth Form. Many pupils move schools at this point.

Why choose =
=s has a unique selling point. It is run by, a British-Russian who went through precisely this experience. He has a bicultural perspective which others do not have as well as possessing family links to Kazakhstan.
Andrei is ably assisted bywho is the former headmaster of Caterham School. Mry had an extremely distinguished career as an educationalist spanning over four decades. Mr Davey is a = consultant. We used his expertise for this article.
Together they see the situation from both points of view. They can connect the wishes of the parents and the talents of the pupil to the ethos of a school. = has the inside knowledge and personal touch that other organisations cannot offer.
It can be daunting and confusing even for British parents to embark on this process. There are hundreds of boarding school all boasting of their excellence. = can cut through the propaganda and tell you what’s what. = acts in the interests of families and not schools. = and Sons does NOT take any commission from schools. Some unscrupulous agencies take fat commissions from schools. They will put a child into a substandard school for which the child is tempermentally unsuited simply to collect the commission. Avaricious and unethical agencies sometimes keep recommending to change schools each years so they can be paid a commission by each school the bring the pupil to. They do not declare their true motive – they keep the fact they are receiving these commissions secret = d Sons tailor picks a group of schools to look at. Mentor and Sons will accompany the parents and child around the school.
The logical thing to do is to choose ==========

Human rights 9.7 Amended


What is the status of the principles that relate to the protection of women and children who are refugees? Are these similar considerations in relation to family reunification?


Both the protection accorded to women and girls as refugees and to family reunification raise similar issues.

In relation to the former concern the main source of principles is the executive committee conclusions which are not binding law

tehy are however important statements of policy and interpretation that also underlie rthe UNHCR handbook

these sources build on the article of the convention that whilst they prohibit discrimination do not go into detail  about the forms of special protection that women and girls require

family reunificaiton raises similar issues

the final act of the conference adopted the convention did address the issue

most states observe this final act even if they are not parties to the convention

as with the protection of women and girls there are also important executive committee conclusions that relate to this area.

A dream of Oxford


I was walling around an Oxford College. It has an ancient stone walll held together by old mortar – not concrete. There were large unkempt fields there  – not sward. This was suppsed to be St Peter’s. In fact Pedro’s has nu such open space. I heard how there had been a mediaeval battle and it has taken place on this site. Maybe because I was telling someone abouttle MacBeth not long ago and a king being slain in battle. I told Kamilla that.

I thought of walking along Merton steet. I remembere Corpus and its bird. Made me think of Jan Morris; book Oxford and blind Bishop Gx being led twice aorund the quad. How I pine for Oxford. Most splendid days of my life.

There was a dream the night before bit I do not know recall it.


Human rights. 6.8 Amended


6.7 Read Alston and Goodman pp 191-205

What does the discussion suggest about the nature of violence against females?

——————-It is variegated and unlovely.



6.8 What is the role of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women?


The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women is a statement of principle of asserts that violence against women is a major abuse of their human rights.

Altough there is no enforcement mechanism contained or suggested in the declaration this os to some extent rectified by the creation of the special rapporteur who can receive individual complaints make country visits and submit reports.


Human rights 6.4. Amended


Read Steiner and Alston  chapter 3 civil and political rights.

This is a extract from an article by Byrne that attempts to assess the work of the committee

a…………..  What are Byrne’s main concerns?

Alston and Goodman have summarised this concluding observations from the Committee’s report on Brazil. There are also summarised general recommendations.


Byrne talks about who is on the committee. He sas that men being among its staff must be placed in the context of the male domination of the UN.

The role of the committee is to consider reports and of late there has been increasingly occupied with drafting recommendations and other tasks.

That the committee’s role in relation to the former is to engage in constructive dialogue.

This means it can be critical of any country.

The committee’s remit it to interpret the treaty and issue general recommendations – there are opportunities to issue CEDAW rulings.

This is where the influence of the committee makes itself known.

Reports do not affect the bottom of society.

There is a connection between the committee putting things on the international agenda and what happens to ordinary folk.

Byrne says that CEDAW operates in an environment where women’s rights face many difficulties



b…………… Do you think they shoow the Committee engaged in constructive dialogue?


Byrne does not talk about this. There are many reservations. Many states have not signed.

Human rights 6.3 Amended


In what ways could CEDAW be enforced? You will need to read some background material in order to answer this fully.


CEDAW ca be enfoorced through reporting. States must submitreports to committee within a year of signing up. Then every four years or when the committee asks for one.

These reports detail what states have done. Once a report has been received the committee discusses it with representatives of the states and ponder more action.

There is an interstate procedure under article 29. State parties can refer disputes to arbitration and to the ICJ.

There is a procedure that relates to CSW but this is an important thing for policy making. It is not an enforcement mechanism.

It is a source of information. It is not linked to the legal framework of CEDAW.

It helps individuals with cases or urgent predicaments.