ASI asks if Clare’s Law is just:
Though it might now be mistaken for a political class cage fight, the News of the World scandal is really about privacy. Interesting, then, to see another public debate swinging wholly against the right to privacy. This Monday, a campaign was launched for Clare’s Law, a proposal that would force the police to reveal, upon request, an individual’s history of violence to his or her partner.
The law is so-named in memory of Clare Woods, who was murdered in 2009 by a man with previous domestic abuse complaints. The proposal enjoys the support of Victims Commissioner Louise Casey, former Home Office Minister Hazel Blears, and the victim’s father. Reportedly, Home Secretary Theresa May is also reviewing the proposal (though her plate is rather full at the moment).
According to Casey, the law will help women avoid abusive relationships. She says, ''This seems common sense to me. Our priority should not be protecting a perpetrator's privacy at the expense of costing a woman's life.”
Given that women tend to be attracted to douchebags and bad boys, and are thus easily capable of recognizing them, this law seems downright pointless. The women who are supposed to take advantage this won’t, and the ability to request a (male) partner’s history of violence will thus be wasted, and will have no effect on decreasing domestic violence. Also, has it ever occurred to the clowns proposing this law that maybe, just maybe, some women like to be treated violently?
But beyond this, Clare’s Law seems remarkably superfluous in that violence, at least as is evidenced by a criminal record, should be publicly available anyway. I’m not well-versed enough in British privacy laws to know the ramifications of this particular bill, but it appears that this law simply requires the police to compile public information on someone which, if he is a criminal, is something they should have already done anyway. I don’t see how this bill makes the current situation worse.
Finally, note that the outrage over this proposal is mired in the fallacy of a “right to privacy.” The right to privacy does not exist. People can share whatever they want about anyone else. It’s called freedom of speech. If you don’t want people to know you have a history of violence, don’t have a history of violence. If you’re going to get the police involved (or any other government organization, for that matter), what you do is going to be matter of public record.
Incidentally, I doubt that the fine folks at ASI would claim that women should not be allowed to ask private entities whether the men they’re seeing have histories of violence, which would indicate that the fine folks at ASI are essentially saying that the one entity that shouldn’t be open and honest is the government? How, exactly, is that libertarian? Especially in a democratic/representative society like Britain’s?
The simple fact of the matter is that one only has a right to one’s life and one’s property, and any use thereof that does not infringe on anyone else’s rights. If you want to beat up someone else, you have to deal with the consequences. That might mean jail time, that might mean neighbors gossiping about you behind your back, or that might mean your criminal record is made public. One does not have any right to tell others they can’t talk about one’s self because doing so might have negative consequences. One’s rights never impose a negation of another’s rights, which is why there is no right to privacy, at least as envisaged here by the ASI.
Personally, I think this bill is another pathetic attempt by tired, aging
shrieking harpies feminists to capture the attention of alpha bad boys, or possibly an attempt by the aforementioned feminists to deprive pretty young women of the most desirable men. Given the general pettiness of feminists, is most probably the latter. Either way, you can tell this piece of legislation is proposed by aging feminists because it’s pointless and ineffectual, and exists only to create meaningless drama. And that’s enough to buy my opposition.