As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
There are, broadly, two strains of liberalism in this country. The first is less a political philosophy than an exclusive club. It assumes that all wisdom was born in Europe and North America and that the truth is kept alive here by the mainly white suburban middle classes, who alone know what is best for the rest. It is far more interested in what political philosopher CB MacPherson called “possessive individualism” — the right of people of property to hold on to what they believe to be rightfully theirs — than in building a free and just society. This strain of liberalism is intolerant of all views but its own and its adherents, ironically, share many of the attitudes of Stalinist Marxists — only they know the truth and to disagree is not to hold a different opinion but to be plain wrong. Inevitably, its view is usually communicated in a sneer designed to show superiority and so it does more to antagonise than to persuade. This strain is destined, for obvious reasons, to wield little influence over our future — a prospect that perversely pleases those who espouse it as it confirms their belief that they are surrounded by Philistines. – Steven Friedman in Business DayBACK TO TOP