Monthly Archives

October 2018

Criminal Law

Employee Theft Charges Under the Criminal Law

October 22, 2018

It would be a grave violation of trust for employees to steal from their employers. In Vancouver and elsewhere, the criminal law is harsh on such individuals. They might need legal assistance from a qualified criminal lawyer to avoid further complications such as imprisonment or a criminal record, upon conviction. If not, the record would be a blot in any of their future endeavor.

Legal professionals consider stealing from the employees as more severe than other related crimes, such as shoplifting. In Section 334, under “Offences against right of property”, it is clearly mentioned that anybody who commits theft “is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, where the property stolen is a testamentary instrument or the value of what is stolen exceeds $5,000”.

Similarly, Section 380, under “Fraudulent transactions relating to contracts and trade”, it is mentioned that an individual “is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 14 years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds $5,000”.

The above notes are only cursory statements related to theft and fraud. In Vancouver, the criminal law might render the guilty individuals unemployed for the rest of their lives. There are also separate sections that directly deal with cases related to theft in different business environments, such as retail stores and corporate houses. It is recommended that those individuals should seek the help of a criminal lawyer in Vancouver to understand the finer details. A mistake or ignorance might prove disastrous, affecting their lives for a lifetime.

A crime is no less serious with the representation of a lawyer. Still, there are ways to cash in on the evidences, which are relevant when the court makes the final decision. For instance, those seemingly little details like the position of the guilty employees in a company, their past criminal record and background can influence the decision.

Sometimes it might take time to charge an individual, yet that could aggravate the condition. If it has taken more than six months, the law requires the crown to prosecute through a more serious indictment rather than summary conviction. Another major role of the criminal lawyers lies in negotiation.

The lawyers can talk terms for an out-of-court settlement. If not, they can further negotiate to avoid imprisonment, remove the criminal record and allow more privileges. It is almost impossible to go to the court unrepresented for such a serious crime such as stealing from an employee.


Gay Lesbian Rights

Gay Rights and Legal Obstacles 8

October 4, 2018

To some extent the legal obstacles were already covered in all the previous articles I wrote about gay rights and obstacles. The legal obstacles are the same as the issues concerning same-sex marriage-acts, financial benefits for married couples, no discrimination laws, etc. Although there are many discriminate laws against LGBT people around the globe, there are also a positive movement to grant more protection for the gay community. One of these positive movements is the proposed International Human Rights Defence Act that was introduced by Senator Ed Markey and is being debated at this very moment. This act asks for a high-level post at the US Department of State to address violence and discrimination against LGBT members worldwide.

That is but the newest example of a movement trying to destroy the many obstacles in the lives of gay people. Throughout the world countries are debating whether same-sex marriages should be legalised and in many countries it seems as if it is only a question of time before it is legalised.

Unfortunately the opposite is also true. More than 40 % of the member countries of the UN still propagate homophobia and have discriminating laws against the LGBT community. There is still an increase in violent behavior against gay people across the globe. In 2013 both Uganda and Nigeria adopted more discriminating laws against lgbt persons and anybody that support them. Although the US proposed to cut funding to countries with anti-homosexual laws, the US itself still have a long way to go in convincing its own residents of the wrongful nature of homophobia. As an example, most of the US states still doesn’t allow same-sex marriages.

The legal rights of the LGBT community differs considerably from country to country, but while only 14 UN countries allow same-sex marriages it should be clear that there still lies a long walk to freedom before us. As a citizen of South Africa I realise that many people believe we are on the forefront of legal rights and yet the law and people attitudes doesn’t always meet. Many South African politicians, including the current president of South Africa, made public homophobic statements in the past that shows that our race is far from over.

Homophobia isn’t only condoned by most governments in the world, it is written amongst their laws. Even in the 14 gay-free countries laws against discrimination aren’t always followed by the law enforces. As an example there are still many homophobic actions done by law enforcement in South Africa. Complaints about these actions aren’t always taken seriously. It is senseless to have anti-discrimination laws if they aren’t enforced.

It should therefor be clear that there are still a lot of legal obstacles in the lives of gay people in every country worldwide.


Civil Law

Custody Laws and Family Court

October 3, 2018

Child custody laws in our system are coded under the laws governing family relationships.  This area of the civil law is known as Family Law.  Child custody statutes are usually found under the laws specifically related to the Divorce procedure.  However, child custody laws are also applicable to separation cases where the dissolution of the marriage is not the final objective.

Like most civil laws, child custody laws are to be considered within their relationship to other laws.  The capacity of a child to make decisions related to his or her care is directly associated with their capacity or lack thereof, to make decisions regarding marriage, suing or entering in a contractual relationship.

The reasoning behind this is that to enter in a contract agreement the person must be fully aware of the kind of responsibilities and duties he or she is engaging in.  Therefore, for a contract to be valid and binding, the parties must have the maturity and the awareness to fully understand the consequences of what they are signing.  This is known as the person’s legal capacity.  The requirement of legal capacity is also applicable to making decisions regarding getting married or filing a law suit.  The capacity to fully understand is the fundamental factor when examining a person’s ability to agree.  It is assumed that a person cannot agree upon anything she or he does not fully understand.  This is called: consent.  Consent is a fundamental element in any bilateral relationship.  We must consent when getting married and we must consent when signing an application or a contract.

In regards to the custody of a child, it is assumed that a minor lacks the capacity to fully understand, thus consent, to accept – in an intelligent fashion – what it takes when assuming the responsibility of taking care of his or herself.  That is where the court comes in.  The judge will be making the decision that a minor cannot make: which parent is better called to be named the primary custodian of the minor.  Which parent is best qualified to protect and secure the child’s best interests.  This is what a child custody case is all about, to provide for the child’s support and education, to secure the child the best possible future regardless of his or her parents decision to separate or get divorce.