Posts Tagged ‘Law’

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Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl dead at 77

In Law,Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

The first and so far the only person to ever hold the office of the so-called Public Defender of Rights (a.k.a. ombudsman) Otakar Motejl died on Sunday. He was 77.

Motejl was one of the most respected Czech public personalities. He assumed the office in 2000. He also was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic (1993-1998) and he held the office of the Justice Minister in the government of then-PM Milos Zeman. Prior to the Velvet Revolution he was also defense attorney in several cases where noted dissidents were on trial.

He was a heavy smoker but according to the most recent information his death (he died in a hospital) was not related to smoking and any related consequences thereof.

The Czech ombudsman is a symbol of the last resort in the Czech Republic, as hundreds of people who feel great injustice in dealings with authorities and their decisions turn to him. And since Motejl was one of the most respected personalities, the claimants felt that “they will accept whatever he would say”…

According to the iDNES.cz news server he was considered as one of the potential candidates for the office of the president of the Czech Republic (in the Czech Republic, presidents are elected by both chambers of the Parliament)…

Articles

Wife of comatose man wanted CZK 8m, but got only CZK 4m

In Health,In The News,Law,Life,People on March 30, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

(c) Denik / Pavel Sima

Seven years ago Mr Antonin Trbola worked in an excavation pit when the soil around him collapsed and he was buried underneath it. He has been described as comatose ever since and his wife has to take care of him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He can breathe, his heart beats and his digestive system works “normally”. That’s all that is left…

The district court in the town of Hodonin, western Moravia, ruled that the employer pay four million in damages. The family wanted eight million. However, according to a statement of the family’s attorney, the family will not challenge the verdict…

In the Czech Republic, similar verdicts are usually subject to special legislation (Health Ministry regulations) that stipulate and “calculate” the value of damage to one’s health. For example, if one loses their leg in an accident, the law “says” they are entitled to CZK 180,000 ($10,000), etc. However, there have been some exceptional cases in the recent years where judges ordered the payment of damages that was not subject to the statutory regulations…

The defendant (former employee of the victim) has some time to appeal the verdict. If the family actually gets the money, they want to purchase a special wheelchair, on which they will be able to take their husband and (grand)father outside…

Articles

Gowns will be mandatory for Czech defense counsels

In Law,Life on February 9, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

So far a suit is enough.

But quite soon thousands of Czech attorneys, defence counsels etc. will have to wear gowns in courtrooms. They will be blue and they will be mandatory in criminal proceedings or before the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court, the Aktualne.cz news server wrote.

The new regulation according to which the gowns will become mandatory was okayed by the Parliament and the Constitutional Court. The court recently dismissed a petition of a certain lawyer according to whom the “dress code” was illegal. The justices also commented that an attorney, if wearing a gown, will respect their profession and the case more – i.e. they will do their job better…

According to the news server, Czech(oslovak) defense attorneys used to wear gowns in the past: between 1904 and 1948.

Articles

First Czech sentenced to “house arrest” to do time

In Law on February 2, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

House arrest is a new form of “sentence” in the Czech penal code. The first Czech “convict” to be sentenced to house arrest started to do time yesterday. However, his sentence is limited to curfew between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., the Blesk daily reports.

Mr. Stefan Rolnik was sentenced to one-year house arrest for battery. Furthemore, the court also ordered the man to refrain from drinking alcohol for the same period of time, as he was intoxicated during the attack.

People sentenced to house arrest will be supervised by probation officers who will make sure the convicts comply with the conditions of the sentence. In case of any violation the person must automatically go to prison. Rolnik, who has two children, was quoted by the daily as saying that he is of course happy to be with his family under the defined circumstances…

According to the daily, the inspections must be frequent since the digital bracelets are not available yet.

Articles

Man who protected his property faces attempted murder charges

In Law on November 10, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , ,

shotgun

(c) isifa.com

Fifteen years in prison. This is what may happen to you in the Czech Republic if you try to protect your humble property with a firearm. Mr. Karel Basta from the town of Ivancice near Brno is charged with attempted murder … for shooting at burglars in his scrap yard, the Brnensky denik daily writes.

According to the prosecuting DA, “the defendant took his rifle and shot twice at a vehicle in which [a man and a woman] were sitting, attempting to drive away. The man was shot in the thigh, and the woman was wounded in the face, which subsequently resulted in her losing one eye”.

As usual, both the Czech Penal Code and the Rules of Criminal Procedure fail to acknowledge one thing: the two had entered the man’s premises with the intention to steal his property. Basta had experienced three previous burglaries.

Basta maintains he wanted to shoot at rear wheels and that the injuries to the occupants of the vehicle were an accident. On the other hand, the DA argues that the injured woman was “calling for help”, which Basta ignored.

It is a huge disadvantage for Czechs who want to defend themselves and their property that the Czech legal system does not acknowledge the Castle Doctrine principle.

Nope, the principle that the Czech police usually stick to is “let them get away and we will find them. MAYBE”. Czech victims of burglaries often hear shocking statements from the police who come to investigate the breaking and entering: “We will document the crime, but let me tell you, there is almost no chance for us to find those who did it”.

This case (and several previous ones) clearly prove that people who grab their guns to protect their property are frustrated with the way their previous burglaries had been handled…

The injured woman testified that she didn’t even want to enter the premises. She said she had been brought to the scrap year by the man who was originally supposed to give her a ride home. Why she remained there without calling the police was not explained.

She was responsible for her actions and she will have to live with the consequences. But Karel Basta should not. If he is sent to jail, all law-abiding citizens will get the feeling that they are not protected, while the bad guys are: by short sentences and stupid court rulings like this one…

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Pointless vandalism: when idiots need to sign a wall on a train

In Law,Life on August 22, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , ,

(c) Petr Bokuvka

(c) Petr Bokuvka

I generally hate people who commit crimes but lately I have been thinking I have more “understanding” for people who rob passengers in trams than for individuals who commit what may be qualified as misdemeanors — but totally pointless ones.

There is a difference between a graffiti “artist” and a person who steals a wallet: they might desperately need the money to buy food or illegal drugs, or to repay a loan to a loan shark. And so, often the crime is the last resort. It is illegal, but they “must” do it.

The son of a bitch who writes his tag on a train wall deserves his hand to be cut off. There is NO way to excuse or explain this behavior. It is pointless. It is a sport they do for FUN, so it is not like they can not live without it, and they do not do it to resolve some kind of life situation…

I know there is no way to fight this. These SOB’s always make sure noone is coming, they do their thing within seconds and they leave (which is the case of the writing on the left). But there ARE some Asian countries that have very strict forms of punishment for this and it does seem to work.

The worst thing is that these vandals damage private property (usually newly renovated facades of privately-owned buildings where all apartment owners had to chip in!!!). If there was a draft law according to which anyone who is caught damaging anything with graffiti tags would have their two fingers cut off, I would support it. But if the police brought the robber who stole my wallet to me to decide about the punishment, I would not insist on pressing charges if I were told that he was, let’s say, a homeless person who just needed the money.

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Cops disclosed the locations of their traffic radars. On purpose

In Cars,Law on August 12, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , ,

I have always been a big fan of strict measures towards drivers who think they own the road or who think that the 50 kph speed limit is for everyone but them, because they “drive safely”. So I didn’t mind the police hiding in bushes and clocking cars this way, even on streets where it may seem “safe enough” to go 60 instead of just 50.

(c) Wikipedia

(c) Wikipedia

The Municipal Police of the City of Brno disclosed the locations where they placed their radars. The MP website features a map of the places and the stretches of the roads/streets are even marked by a special traffic sign.

The irony is that the streets where the Municipal Police radars are being used MUST be marked with the sign, otherwise the municipal cops would not be able to do so in the first place. So I don’t see the point. Reckless drivers will check the list of locations, they will be particularly careful there — and they will step on it once they have left the clocked location and they might cause an accident somewhere else.

The MP claims that there are many locations where the radar “might be” and so the reckless drivers who enjoy speeding in the city will pay extra attention where the police want them to pay extra attention.

A map showing (in blue) a stretch of a street where the municipal police frequently place their radars. (c) MP Brno

A map showing (in blue) a stretch of a street where the municipal police frequently place their radars. (c) MP Brno

That might be true, but on the other hand the amount of fines from “surprised” drivers is always higher than the amount collected from “prepared” drivers.

Besides, “outsmarting cops” is a favorite Czech sport which includes special services provided by radio stations that have listeners call and report road accidents and traffic jams — and police patrols. In other words, drivers like to warn one another that police patrol cars are parked at particular locations and collecting fines from drivers who do not obey speed limits.

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