79 At this point a fundamental issue has to be grappled with. What in our society today, looking to the approach of parents generally in 2012, is the task of the ordinary reasonable parent? What is the task of a judge, acting as a ‘judicial reasonable parent’ and approaching things by reference to the views of reasonable parents on the proper treatment and methods of bringing up children? What are their aims and objectives? These are questions which, in the forensic forum, do not often need to be asked or answered. But in a case such as this they are perhaps unavoidable.
80 In the conditions of current society there are, as it seems to me, three answers to this question. First, we must recognise that equality of opportunity is a fundamental value of our society: equality as between different communities, social groupings and creeds, and equality as between men and women, boys and girls. Second, we foster, encourage and facilitate aspiration: both aspiration as a virtue in itself and, to the extent that it is practical and reasonable, the child’s own aspirations. Far too many lives in our community are blighted, even today, by lack of aspiration. Third, our objective must be to bring the child to adulthood in such a way that the child is best equipped both to decide what kind of life they want to lead – what kind of person they want to be – and to give effect so far as practicable to their aspirations. Put shortly, our objective must be to maximise the child’s opportunities in every sphere of life as they enter adulthood. And the corollary of this, where the decision has been devolved to a ‘judicial parent’, is that the judge must be cautious about approving a regime which may have the effect of foreclosing or unduly limiting the child’s ability to make such decisions in future.
Geh mit der Zeit, aber komme von Zeit zu Zeit zurück
'Go with the time, but come back from time to time'
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Liberal individualism comes often under similar attack. The ‘individual’ of liberal individualism can be so conceptualized as to lack the true individuality that makes real people real to us—and to themselves. Likewise, the abstract equality of all rational agents or legal persons before moral or economic principles or before the law ignores or obscures the huge inequalities that divide and differentiate different members of class- and gender-divided societies, to say nothing of differences of skin colour or ethnicity. The promise of equal and identical human rights for all is hollow mockery in real societies whose institutions, including those articulated around legal rights, constitutional rights, and human rights, have evolved and been designed under the guidance of the dominant groups of the societies whose institutions they are.
—Questioning Sovereignty - MacCormick
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