Saturday, June 8, 2013

Phrase of the Day: “noxal liability” (expanded)

I happened to be browsing in Roscoe Pound’s classic work, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law (1922, 1954), and noticed the following definition:

            noxal liability  for injury done by a child or slave or domestic animal

Light-bulb!   This directly addresses the dilemma that was high on the news this morning:  Who is liable for accidents caused by the proposed new “driverless vehicles”?   So here we have a long history of case-law addressing (in effect) that very question.

Irrelevant footnote:   I despise the idea of these free-will-denying automata.  They all too explicitly evoke the dystopia of “Wall-E”.
Nor is it an accident,  that that same laboratory entity,  which has been pushing these juggernauts upon us,
is the source of the now widely spreading infection known as "G**gle Glasses".
Moloch delendum est !!


Only just now did a further analogy occur to me,  useful in that it casts some at least analogical light into a grey area that is seldom discussed in legal (or indeed rational) terms.   Suppose the United States, say, supplies massive amounts of advanced weaponry to Country A (either free of charge, or with sales heavily subsidized), on a basis of near exclusivity;  and suppose that Country A then invades and devastates its neighbor.   Does the US bear any noxal liability?
It is a sociopolitical fact (and here, as usual, we are not presenting any brief for one position or another, but simply presenting the facts in the light of logic)  that most countries in that region of the world answer with a vociferous Yes;  whereas most American citizens either don’t know what is going on, or don’t care, or can’t be bothered to think about it.

[Update 27 Nov 2015]  The question is quite timely:

More re the vexed question of national vs. "international" law:


[Footnote]  We here at at the World of Doctor Justice  are ever-vigilant in looking out for the interests of the nation’s struggling poets.   How often have you, stumped for a rhyme for Vauxhall (pronounced VOK-s’l), been tempted to quit poesy altogether and go into something easier like life insurance?  Yet now, by adding noxal to  your vocabulary, we have provided you with a precious resource.  Why, the poem virtually writtes itself:

There once was a lady from Vauxhall
who (jiggity-jiggity)  noxal.
da dum da da dum …

On a more sombre note:   For the third rhyme, you’re on your own.  Fo’cs’l won’t do (the o is long)…

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