The great e-commerce boom has had an unexpected side effect – the rise of digital courts.
eBay has long relied on its Resolution Centre to solve petty disagreements between buyers and sellers, and the model has become surprisingly popular among others who do business online. So much so, in fact, that one Swedish company has applied it to all kinds of consumer complaints.
Swiftcourt, based in Lund, allows individuals to file small claims. For one client – who wishes to remain anonymous – Swiftcourt turned out to be very handy. After receiving a second-hand motorbike from an online sale, he realised that it was not as described. It was 450cc, not 540cc, and some parts were missing.
Initially, the seller refused a refund, but the two had previously agreed to use Swiftcourt as an arbitrator in the event of a dispute. A few weeks after the arbitration process was started on the Swiftcourt website, both parties were handed a verdict – the plaintiff’s case was upheld and a full refund following return of the bike was arranged. The seller also had to pay both parties’ Swiftcourt fees. (1)
We want justice.
We believe in higher ideas.
We believe that these ideas can be served on their own.
We still believe in God.
We just don’t know where He is hiding…
Thirty years ago, Judy Johnson, a mother in Manhattan Beach, Calif., took her 2 1/2-year-old son, Matthew, to the pediatrician, fearing he had been sexually abused by his preschool teacher.
By today’s standards, the medical evidence in Matthew’s case was inconclusive: He had a rash on his bottom and rectal bleeding. But at the time, his symptoms were viewed as serious cause for concern. And so Matthew’s trip to the doctor began one of the longest, most expensive and notorious criminal investigations in American history. As other parents at the McMartin Preschool heard about Ms. Johnson’s suspicions, the investigation expanded to dozens of families. A Los Angeles grand jury charged Raymond Buckey, a 25-year-old teacher at the preschool, and six others with 321 counts of sexual abuse involving 48 children.
The accusations mounted, and went wild. Children said they’d watched McMartin teachers dig up corpses, that they’d been forced to drink rabbit’s blood. At a hearing before the trial, a prosecutor observed, “The kids are falling apart”.
In the end, after seven years and $15 million, the case fell of its own weight, ending without a single conviction.
McMartin was the first of a series of prosecutions in the 1980s that have come to be seen as a collective witch hunt, in which panicked parents and incompetent investigators led children to make up stories of abuse by adults at day care centers and preschools.
But what if the skeptics went too far? What if some of the children were really abused? And what if the legacy of these cases is a disturbing tendency to disbelieve children who say they are being molested? Those are the questions that frame this new book by Ross E. Cheit, a political scientist at Brown University who spent nearly 15 years on research, poring over old trial transcripts and interview tapes.
His conclusion about the McMartin case is that the outcome was “doubly unjust.” While he acknowledges that some defendants were falsely accused, he argues that Mr. Buckey was probably guilty, meaning that some of the children were not only sexually abused but “have been demeaned by the witch-hunt narrative’s assertion that the entire case was a ‘hoax.’ ”
It’s a provocative notion, that the debunkers deserve a debunking. Professor Cheit, who himself suffered sexual abuse as a child, criticizes the skepticism that helped bring down the prosecutions of McMartin and other day-care providers, calling it a “crusade to promote the witch-hunt narrative.”
The parents of actually abused children lost their chance to justice because of getting into the court with others who did not share the same cause.
It reminds me of a brilliant motto by Schiller: The strong man is strongest when alone.
Seek your right on your own.
Seek justice by your self.
You may think that sometimes this is the only way. But you will be wrong. It is ALWAYS the only way.
I recently watched “The Vanishing” with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. … The movie promotes the idea of personal vengeance as so many other american movies. It shows a hero who is just in so great danger that he must kill the bad guy on the spot. [Valia]
Think about it. How many times have you seen the bad guy go to court? How many have you seen him dead by someone who is NOT a law officer?
What we actually think is hard to hide. And the Americans do not even try to hide their cowboy roots. Our duty is at least to achknowledge it. To know it. To consciously pay attention to it. Justice is NOT killing someone. Justice is a institution which has grown to full maturity for thousands of years in Europe. And it is time for the US to learn that simple fact.
Think hard every day. Try to understand what you actually see. You are an active citizen. Not a passive reciever!
Αn animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court in an attempt to get a judge to declare that chimpanzees are legal persons and should be freed from captivity. (1)
A woman with psychological problems was shot dead. She was not carrying a weapon. She was just a woman with psychological problems. (1)
Yes, she ran away with a car ignoring police who chased her. But can that justify the killing? It is a custom in the US to “shoot first and NOT ask any questions later”. You cannot be democratic AND a super-power at the same time.
Any deviations must be cut out of the sample immediately. Statistics is good only when it calculates a good median…