Ain’t the freedom of contract a lovely thing?

“It was a commercial agreement to tie up and stroke a semi-naked man in his underpants with a broom,” the lawyer said.

Imagine the horrors of a Roman Law system where you may only contract for what the State has already decided you may contract for.

Spotter, Arthur C.

33 thoughts on “Ain’t the freedom of contract a lovely thing?”

  1. Off topic but another example of Murphy’s split personality.

    “John Peterson says:

    The government’s doing very well right now.

    Reply
    Richard Murphy says:

    You must be on another planet”

    The problem being that in an opinion piece Murphy wrote for AccountingWeb all of two days ago, he says:

    “The government’s doing very well right now.”

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    You can’t make a legal contract to do an illegal deed. Doesn’t this look a little like prostitution?

    That is, isn’t it legal to stroke a man with a broom in your underwear if you are a teacher and doing it for educational purposes, but not OK to do it if you are a paying customer who is enjoying it too much?

    Common law, isn’t it?

  3. AC – even for the Spud, wow.

    Tim, which version of Roman law would that be? I think the Romans are with us – no punishment without a prohibition is even a principle. You might be thinking of the Germans. I think the Romans would totally understand strong men and broom handles.

  4. Prostitution is legal.

    There are offences associated with prostitution that are illegal such as soliciting but prostitution itself is perfectly legal.

  5. Ringing a doorbell with machete in hand is assault. A crime.

    The judge is a Richard. Or the prosecutor charged him with too much, instead of simple assault.

    Note that the person who answered the door was not a party to the contract. What the perps had agreed to is irrelevant.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew C May 28, 2020 at 12:21 pm – “Prostitution is legal.”

    1. It is?

    2. *Now* you tell me?

  7. @Gamecock: “Ringing a doorbell with machete in hand is assault. A crime.”

    No, hitting someone with a machete would be assault. Merely ringing their doorbell with no malicious intent, because you believed it was what they had paid for, isn’t. Actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, as the m’luds say.

  8. “Ringing a doorbell with machete in hand is assault.”

    Really? Lets say you employ someone to come and hack down your overgrown garden, and they get the wrong house. Is it assault if they ring next door neighbours bell while holding the tools of their trade? Many pieces of gardening equipment could be used for assaulting someone, if you ring someone’s door bell while holding a sledge hammer is that assault? Or a spade? Or an axe?

    Surely a crime requires a criminal intent.

  9. @SMFS: “Doesn’t this look a little like prostitution?”

    Interesting legal question. Does satisfying a paraphilia like this case or foot fetishism class as prostitution? Any (genuine as opposed to barrack room) lawyers here?

  10. “In Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland), prostitution itself (the exchange of sexual services for money) is legal, but a number of related activities, including soliciting in a public place, kerb crawling, owning or managing a brothel, pimping and pandering*, are crimes.”

    *Pandering in this context is apparently the act or crime of recruiting prostitutes or of arranging a situation for another to practice prostitution.

  11. Dennis, A Septic To His Very Bones

    Headline in wog countries: “Man acquitted of entering a home with a weapon after successful sex fantasy defence”

    Headline in ‘Merica: “Homeowner shoots machete wielding intruder to death. No charges expected”

  12. Headline in wog countries: “Man acquitted of entering a home with a weapon after successful sex fantasy defence”

    Headline in ‘Merica: “Homeowner shoots machete wielding intruder to death. No charges expected””

    And you think (in this specific case) your version of events is preferable?

  13. Dennis, A Septic With Woggish Tendencies?

    And you think (in this specific case) your version of events is preferable?

    I was simply doing a bit of compare and contrast. From that angle, preferences don’t enter into it.

  14. “Is it assault if they ring next door neighbours bell while holding the tools of their trade?”

    Any contractor I hire will have the good sense to show up dressed. Showing up with a typewriter and being undressed could be assault.

    If the neighbor’s wife answered the door, she’d call it assault and the cops would respond.

  15. And if her husband saw him come in the house, BLAM! H/T Dennis

    Wring your hands all you want, Jim.

    “Surely a crime requires a criminal intent.”

    If he survives, he can make that plea.

  16. Andrew C said:
    “Prostitution is legal. There are offences associated with prostitution that are illegal such as soliciting but prostitution itself is perfectly legal.”

    Legal in the sense that it’s not (in itself) a criminal offence, yes.

    But when I studied contract law, it nevertheless had a whiff of illegality about it, so that (for example) the courts would not enforce contracts for, or even connected with, prostitution.

  17. The Meissen Bison

    Jim: Surely a crime requires a criminal intent.

    My understanding is that It Ain’t Necessarily So (© G&I Gershwin) thanks to strict liability which can produce weird outcomes like this one.

  18. On Roman law, an alternative novel by Helen Dale, Kingdom of the Wicked.
    “784 ab urbe condita—31 AD. Jerusalem sits uneasily in a Roman Empire that has seen an industrial revolution and now has cable news and flying machines—and rites and morals that are strange and repellent to the native people of Judaea.

    A charismatic young leader is arrested after a riot in the Temple. He seems to be a man of peace, but among his followers are Zealots and dagger-men sworn to drive the Romans from the Holy Land.

    As the city spirals into violence, the stage is set for a legal case that will shape the future—the trial of Yeshua Ben Yusuf. Intricately imagined and ferociously executed, Kingdom of the Wicked is a stunning alternative history and a story for our time.”

  19. “Imagine the horrors of a Roman Law system where …” Every now and again you say this and every now and again I point out that Scotland runs on a Roman Law system that has none of the features you allude to.

    It’s almost as if you picked up a few prejudices about Roman Law as a laddy and have never given them any thought since.

    Could you perhaps be confusing it with Napoleonic Law?

  20. dearieme, have you listened to the delingpole’s podcast with Helen Dale, see my post above yours. IIRC, she says it is a mixture of Roman and Napoleon law in Scotland. I may remember wrong. Very good interview regardless. That 2-part novel is quite heavy-going though, must make another effort.

  21. @Jussi: the Scottish system is a mixture of Roman Law and Scots Common Law. No Napoleon at all.

    In my day – devolution may since have buggered it up – it was reckoned a manifestly superior legal culture by everyone I knew who had been involved with both English and Scottish lawyers. And lo, we moved to England to find that solicitors were just as dilatory and incompetent as everyone had warned us. And expensive!

  22. @Jim
    What about opening door before bell rung while holding a sledgehammer & 3ft crowbar and finding a startled TV Licence twat?

  23. @Gamecock
    What are Ikea Friday, Saturday and Sunday giveaways?

    Are peeps Qing for chance of a free bag of tealights, hotdog?

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