Ignorance of the Law

At one time or more in everyone's life they have heard the phrase "Ignorance of the law is no excuse".

For most of us this seems to be reasonable enough. If you commit a crime you shouldn't be able to say you didn't know it was a crime and therefore should be let off with no punishment.

Now if you applied this phrase to a relatively simple document which everyone with a mild education can read, remember, and understand it makes perfect sense. Say for instance the United States Constitution (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html) or if you're beliefs follow certain rules maybe the Ten Commandments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments) or maybe you grew up learning the Boy Scout Oath (http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp) or Girl Scout Promise and Law (http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_central/promise_law/).

The first problem comes in when you have too many rules and regulations of which no one person can read or understand. The second problem comes when those rules and regulations are ambiguous or contradictory. The last problem occurs in finding which ones apply to your specific endeavor.

The United States Legislature and other government bodies have taken it upon themselves as measure of their success to continuously write and pass new lengthy and convoluted laws. From those laws regulation is constructed which in many instances may not be readily linked to the empowering law. In many cases the written regulations reference other regulations by code and section which may reference others making them completely unreadable by any lawyer, much less your average person.

Our governments have made ignorance of the law not only plausible but unavoidable. How can you legitimately enforce that which is humanly unobtainable and expect a positive outcome. Not only do those who come under the laws and regulations not stand a chance of compliance, but those who enforce them can't comprehend them either.

I advocate that the United States legislative bodies spend as much time removing and simplifying existing law as they spend creating it. Each new law and regulation is a direct restriction of someone's freedom and liberty for right or wrong reasons whether they know it or not.

Comments

Law serves as rules and regulations that everyone should follow. Without these rules and regulations there would be chaos. Just like the Ten Commandments, laws are sacred rules that commands people to obey it. However, many of us always believe and follow their own decisions because of their belief and philosophy that everyone has rights and freedom that must be used. But what they don't realize is that every time we use it there are corresponding responsibilities that we must do. Freedom isn't only about doing what you want to do, but rather it's about doing your obligation. Obeying law is one great thing that a citizen can do not only for community but as well as for himself. because law is formed for the sake of the community.

I do not advocate breaking the law and agree that people need to take responsibility for their actions.

I do however believe that the current amount and structure of laws is too complicated and stifling for the average person to even know all the laws that affect their actions. Therefore the laws need to be simplified or presented in a way in which when one endeavors to do something, such as enter a type of business, that they can be presented with all the legal ramification of doing so without hiring a team of lawyers who often can only offer opinion.

Many laws currently on the books are arcane and debilitating to efficient progress and were put into place for nebulous reasons.

Lastly, laws need to exist with the belief that people overall want to do the right thing and the majority should not have their freedoms diminished based on the actions of a few.

I agree that ignorance of the law excuses no one, it is not justifiable that you are exempted for sanction because you don't know the law. One of the responsibilities which people ought to do is to familiarize and abide the law , because there no such thing as exception if you violated what has been stated in the law.If there are some issue with law which has been misunderstod I think it is a brilliant idea to simplify the law.