‘Shifting Legal Ground’: Law Professor Weighs In on Technocracy Entrenched in Government

by EditorL

A police officer smashes a truck window as they deploy to remove protesters on February 19, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada. – Police in Canada deployed to dislodge the final truckers and protesters from downtown Ottawa, aimed at bringing an end to three weeks of demonstrations over Covid-19 health rules. Ottawa police, who pledged the operation would push ahead “until residents and citizens have their city back,” were still working to clear the capital’s streets. (DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By Isaac Teo and Jan Jekielek

Technocracy, a form of governance where decision-making is left to a group of technical experts, has become deeply entrenched in governments globally and is doing more harm than good for the people, according to law professor Bruce Pardy.

“It’s the crowning achievement so far of that belief—the belief that in order for civilization to carry on and to be successful, that we need experts in a bureaucracy, managing things so that things don’t fall apart. And that is a belief that I think, I’m afraid, is probably widely held, and widely held even across the political spectrum,” Mr. Pardy, a professor at Queen’s University and told the host of EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders program, Jan Jekielek, in an interview on July 18.

Mr. Pardy, who is a professor of law at Queen’s University, is also the executive director of Rights Probe, an organization that researches the “shifting legal ground” of Western democracies. Canada’s experience with the technocratic model over the past while—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic—has shown that “it doesn’t work,” Mr. Pardy said.

Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe.
Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe.

“If anything else, they have shown during COVID their incompetency. They’ve shown that they’re captured by other interests against which they’re supposed to be protecting the public.”

Critics of governments’ responses to the pandemic have said that restrictions such as long periods of lockdowns, implemented to the neglect of human well-beinghave resulted in business bankruptcy, job loss, mounting debt, as well as spikes in suicides, drug overdoses, family breakdowns, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Vaccine mandates pushed by the federal and provincial governments have also divided Canadians, according to a poll conducted by Leger in September 2021.

The poll found that a vast majority of vaccinated people in Canada believed that the unvaccinated “are behaving irresponsibly, are being selfish, and [are] putting others at risk.”

This was against the backdrop that COVID vaccine efficacy was debated among medical professionals. Those holding dissenting views were often labelled as “conspiracy theorists” or “not following the science.”

Meanwhile, mounting cases of vaccine injuries were occurring at the same time as growing efforts by authorities to control vaccine hesitancy by censoring reports and studies on the potential harms of COVID vaccination.

‘Biggest Risk to Us All’

Mr. Pardy challenged the belief that a technocratic government will benefit society.

“If the failure is so obvious during COVID, what makes you think that they’d be any good at very many other things?” Mr. Pardy said.

“I think we can go down a whole long list of things that we think they’re good for, and find out actually, that in many of these situations, it is the state itself that is the biggest danger. The biggest risk to us all is the meddling that the state is able to do.”

He said the Freedom Convoy movement against vaccine mandates and restrictions in early 2022 was the first significant sign in ordinary people that they didn’t believe their government was acting in their best interests.

“The truckers were a moment, a moment in time, where people stood up and said ‘We don’t trust you.’”

Mr. Pardy, however, noted there were also many who supported the government’s stance.

“The biggest disappointment is the support that an awful lot of people gave this program and wanted more of it without seeming to have any significant appreciation for the aberration that it represented,” he said.

‘Licence to Punish’

The professor said one can see “a lot of the problems” across society through the lens of environmental law, the subject he focused on when he first started his academic career.

He cited examples including “the dilution of private rights, … the disappearance of certain kinds of due process, … and the erosion of what we thought were our constitutional rights.”

“The whole thing is sort of veering off the track in my view,” Mr. Pardy said. “It’s a very interesting microcosm, or case study, of the larger legal picture in which the ground really is moving beneath our feet in ways that we don’t suspect.”

The professor also warned about the “pretend diversity” advocated in the doctrine of equity, inclusion, and diversity by social justice warriors being adopted by authorities.

“If the government has a licence to treat people differently, depending upon their identity, then they now have a licence to punish and reward as they wish,” he said.

Mr. Pardy argued that an administrative state and its people “are inclined to see the rule of law as an obstacle and inconvenience” to achieving the kind of society they want.

What they’re failing to understand, he said, is that this so-called obstacle and inconvenience provided by the rule of law is there in fact “to prevent you from managing things on a case-by-case, one-off basis, making up things as you go along.”

“If you are going to adjust your rules for every particular case, so as to provide the outcome that you want, that means you don’t really have a rule at all,” he said.

‘No Accountability’

Mr. Pardy said the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches is crucial within government, and although the idea of checks and balances still exists as a principle, “in practice, it’s just heading out the door.”

“So what happens is, the legislature passes statutes that give broad rule-making power to the executive branch. And the courts defer to the decisions of the executive branch. And the legislature even gives the executive branch the power to adjudicate things … in tribunals, or boards, or commissions and so on,” he said.

“So you have the executive branch now, making rules, deciding cases, and executing. They’re doing the three jobs of the three different branches, all in one branch.

“And of course, there’s no accountability, because you don’t know who’s doing what now. And they’re … all in on it together,” he added.

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