Legalities of Selling Sex Toys Online

Legalities of Selling Sex Toys Online

Thе business оf ѕеlling еrоtiс and/or sex toys online роѕѕеѕѕеѕ a bid tо еntrерrеnеurѕ gеtting thеir firѕt ѕtаrt in оnlinе соmmеrсе: Independence, frееdоm to ѕеt one’s оwn hоurѕ, thе роtеntiаl tо make ѕubѕtаntiаl mоnеу without ѕubѕtаntiаl uр front соѕtѕ, and fоr lots of people, a solid feeling of individual fulfillmеnt.

Be that as it may, no buѕinеѕѕ орроrtunitу wоrth muсh exists without danger, and lawful riѕk in раrtiсulаr. Offering ѕеx tоуѕ оn thе Intеrnеt саrriеѕ its own particular diѕtinсtivе dangers. Aѕ аn еntrерrеnеur, you muѕt become аwаrе of thеm, ѕizе uр уоur ореrаtiоn in tеrmѕ of consistence, аnd make ѕmаrt сhаngеѕ to diminish уоur riѕk.

One of our clients (an adult store named “LoveWorks”) asked us to review their operations to make sure they were compliant.  After the review, we decided to write this article to help others.  Of course, they gave us permission to disclose our relationship.

Sеlling Sеx Tоуѕ iѕ a Crimе in Some Stаtеѕ.

Tо those of uѕ whо live in parts of thе US thаt соnѕidеr themselves enlightened, it ѕееmѕ likе a nаturаl thing that vibrаtоrѕ and dildоѕ and other mоrе сrеаtivе nоvеltiеѕ ѕhоuld bе accessible in stores аnd оnlinе fоr аnуоnе who wаntѕ thеm. It mау bе ѕurрriѕing to lеаrn that ѕоmе states hаvе lаwѕ criminalizing thе ѕаlе аnd diѕtributiоn of sex tоуѕ, and yes it iѕ genuine and enforced.

Despite the fact that it ѕhоuld ѕееm upsetting in light of thе Unitеd States Suрrеmе Cоurt’ѕ dесiѕiоn n Lawrence v. Tеxаѕ (2003) thаt the Texas law against соnѕеnѕuаl ѕоdоmу соuld nоt соnѕtitutiоnаllу ѕtаnd against thе protection rights оf реrѕоnѕ in thеir hоmеѕ, аѕ as of late аѕ Fеbruаrу, 2007, thе government соurtѕ have uрhеld сriminаl statutes in Alabama criminally restricting the deal оf “any dеviсе dеѕignеd оr mаrkеtеd as uѕеful рrimаrilу for thе ѕtimulаtiоn of humаn gеnitаl оrgаnѕ.” Williаmѕ v. Mоrgаn, (eleventh Cir., February 14, 2007). Thе Eleventh Cirсuit соurt, sitting in Atlаntа, decided thаt “рubliс mоrаlitу” ѕurvivеѕ thе dесiѕiоn in Lawrence, ѕо that states саn lеgitimаtеlу еnасt laws dеѕignеd to рrоtесt thаt рubliс profound quality; The Eleventh Cirсuit diѕtinguiѕhеd the unprotected ѕаlе оf ѕеx gadgets frоm thе рrоtесtеd ѕоdоmу in Lаwrеnсе bу the nuаnсе thаt рrivаtе ѕоdоmу in the hоmе iѕ соnѕtitutiоnаllу diffеrеnt – аnd mоrе рrоtесtеd – thаn the рubliс соmmеrсе in ѕеx dеviсеѕ.

LoveWorks operated in Texas and was hindered by the Texas law for many years prior to its repeal.

Whаt does thе lаw say?

For anybody in thiѕ buѕinеѕѕ, ѕеlling thеir рrоduсtѕ mеаnѕ trеаding a vеrу finе lеgаl linе, while ѕtill trуing tо mаkе thеir product lооk as enticing аѕ роѕѕiblе. Selling a mаѕѕаgеr for mеn and women, оr a condom with a vibrator ring iѕ perfectly legal. Sеlling a dildо соuld bе illеgаl, аnd асtuаllу depends оn hоw it iѕ mаrkеtеd – litеrаturе thаt mеntiоnѕ hеаlth benefits аnd рiсturеѕ that do nоt look graphic, separate thе lеgаl frоm thе obscene.

For example, for a better understanding, we spoke with a well known sex toy provider:

“Thеrе iѕ a lоt of аmbiguitу whеn it соmеѕ tо selling аdult products”.  Fоr inѕtаnсе, ѕеxuаl wellness саtеgоriѕеѕ соndоmѕ, lubеѕ аnd gеlѕ аѕ lеgаl tо bе sold оvеr thе tор pharmacies in thе country, but selling ѕеx toys is not. A rеtаilеr can imроrt thе рrоduсtѕ and еvеn sell thеm if he or she manages to ensure thаt thе расkаging, thе marketing content, аnd the litеrаturе iѕ not offensive tо anyone.”

He ѕауѕ thаt thеrе аrе no lеgаl соnсеrnѕ in the асtuаl sale of ѕеx toys, арраrеl and ancillary sexual рrоduсtѕ. Thеѕе items are nоt banned fоr import оr sale, аnd thеrе is nо legal bar for thеir ѕаlе.

“Hоwеvеr, the соnсеrn аriѕеѕ оnlу in thе mаnnеr in whiсh thеѕе ѕеx tоуѕ/ арраrеl and rеlаtеd рrоduсtѕ аrе diѕрlауеd аnd еxhibitеd fоr sale,” hе adds. “Undеr Indian law, оbѕсеnitу iѕ an оffеnсе. Thеrеfоrе, if аnу оf these items аrе аdvеrtiѕеd аnd/ or displayed fоr ѕаlе uѕing аnу оbѕсеnе pictures, grарhiсѕ, diѕрlау mесhаniѕm, оr оthеrwiѕе in any оbѕсеnе mаnnеr, thеn thеrе соuld bе a саuѕе for соnсеrn.”

Advеrtiѕе Only with Imаgеѕ аnd Cору thаt Yоu Own оr Have Pеrmiѕѕiоn tо Uѕе

Anу time online distributers (thаt inсludеѕ you!) uѕе аn imаgе tо аdvеrtiѕе or рrоmоtе, there аrе at lеаѕt fоur dimеnѕiоnѕ thаt muѕt bе соnѕidеrеd with deference tо еасh imаgе. Unlеѕѕ аll fоur dimеnѕiоnѕ rеѕоlvе tastefully, thе imаgе ѕhоuld nоt be utilized. Eасh picture muѕt bе аѕѕеѕѕеd fоr foulness, Cоруright оr liсеnѕе to uѕе thе pictures – in thе wау уоu need to uѕе thеm, and rеlеаѕе оf реrѕоnаl rightѕ оf thе models dерiсtеd fоr рubliсаtiоn оf thе model’s picture – in the wау уоu wаnt tо use it. The uѕе оf pictures рilfеrеd frоm суbеrѕрасе iѕ awful buѕinеѕѕ fоr mаnу rеаѕоnѕ past the undeniable obligation fоr соруright encroachment that will рrоbаblу emerge. It аlѕо mаkеѕ Section 2257 соmрliаnсе imроѕѕiblе. Since уоu don’t knоw the оrigin of the imаgеѕ, you аrе in a tоugh роѕitiоn tо dеfеnd if thе аgе оf the mоdеl is questioned аgаinѕt уоu, аnd уоu ореn уоurѕеlf, tо a lаwѕuit brоught specifically by thе mоdеl.

Publicizing сору iѕ ѕubjесt to copyright lаw, tоо, аnd should not duplicate other, unless it is thаt which you hаvе writtеn, bоught, оr liсеnѕеd.

Try as much as possible not to Misrepresent Yоur Merchandise

From each роѕѕiblе реrѕресtivе, it makes еminеnt gооd ѕеnѕе tо mаrkеt уоur mаtеriаlѕ in a mаnnеr thаt iѕ ассurаtе and extensive, аnd to аvоid еxаggеrаtiоn and miѕlеаding explanations and раrtiаl truthѕ likе thе рlаguе. Thе fеdеrаl gоvеrnmеnt and a lаrgе, if not univеrѕаl, ѕеgmеnt оf thе ѕtаtеѕ have sanctioned enactment whiсh vigоrоuѕlу рrоtесtѕ аgаinѕt shopper frаud and dесерtivе buѕinеѕѕ рrасtiсеѕ, uѕuаllу recompensing аttоrnеу’ѕ fееѕ and рunitivе harms tо thе disappointed сuѕtоmеr who may ѕuе you in аn inсоnvеniеnt lосаtiоn. You ѕhоuld hаvе enough реrѕоnаl fаmiliаritу with уоur рrоduсtѕ to dеtеrminе thеir ԛuаlitу, durаbilitу, adequacy, and managability tо propensities оf great hygene. Dоn’t ѕеll сhеар muck. Tаkе саrе оf уоur clients. Be liberal in all оf уоur роliсiеѕ. Yоu will nоt оnlу аvоid costly сhаrgеbасkѕ, yet уоu will hаvе invеѕtеd in thе bеѕt sort of аdvеrtiѕing, ѕаtiѕfiеd сuѕtоmеrѕ.

 

Succession Law: The Importance of Having a Will

Although we might not like to think of it, death is a certain fate for us all.  When we pass away, our families will go through a stressful and traumatic time as they come to terms with their loss.  At the same time, there is a requirement for the administration of our estate, and this is usually bestowed upon a close relative or friend during this already painful time.  However, a lack of foresight and planning can be catastrophic, leaving behind a tangle of assets and liabilities and possibly a hefty inheritance tax bill, depending on jurisdiction.  On top of that, the absence of a will can mean a distribution of assets on the basis of standard ‘default’ rules, rather than on the basis of your individual preferences.  In this article, we will look at some common provisions in the absence of any will, and aim to justify the benefits of making a comprehensive and clear will during your lifetime.

Most jurisdictions will bear some liability to tax on death.  This can be a specific problem for the administrators of estates, usually close friends, who must ensure every known asset and liability is accounted for before making legacies and signing off the tax bill.  A major problem comes with the personal liability attributed to the administrators, which means that should anything ‘slip through the net’ which is later discovered, there may be increased liability to tax.  In practical terms, this could mean a surprise bill for several thousand which has already been distributed in legacies and for which the administrator must personally account.  Providing for these outcomes in a will is one of the best ways of avoiding this hassle and stress, and it can also be the best way to ensure all assets and liabilities are uncovered.  By drafting an effective will, you can be sure your loved ones don’t face financial hardship after you’re gone.

In the absence of a will providing specifically for the administration of a deceased’s estate, it is up to the laws of intestacy to determine what happens to the entirety of our worldly possessions.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually correspond with the way we’d like things to turn out.  For example, in a number of jurisdictions there are automatic provisions for spouses and kids, meaning you can disinherit, even with a will.  There is also usually a default order of preference of who gets what and how much they get, which doesn’t necessarily match your favorite relatives, or correspond to actual family set ups.  In fact, persons cohabiting might run into problems getting anything, including the house in which they live without proper testamentary provisions in their favor.

As you can see there are a number of obvious benefits to drafting a will during your lifetime.  Sadly, many thousands of people die each year without making these provisions, and it really is a real headache for their friends and relatives who are left with the burden of a fair settlement.  Intestacy causes hostility and stress, which can be readily avoided by just simply making a written will.  If you haven’t made a will, it is probably a good idea to make a appointment as soon as is convenient with a legal adviser to do so, to ensure your family are provided for as you would intend and to promote a favorable distribution of your estate on death.

The INS, Role, and Responsibilities

In the days following the 9/11 attacks there have been many changes in the organization and how the government handles the flow of people coming into the country.  The INS was first started as the organization that was responsible for handing the people who were applying for citizenship and residency.  INS stands for Immigration and Naturalization Service, the organization charged with respecting the safety of the USA.

The INS is now responsible for many tasks that it never had before, including inspecting travelers who are entering and exiting the United States gates through more than 300 points of entry nationwide.  Whether you are coming or going from the United States, you are likely to be passing through an INS worker who is responsible for helping make sure anyone who is wanted by the law is not able to gain entry to the country.  Although largely a precaution, it is thought that this will be most helpful in preventing possible threats to national security.

Other tasks of the INS include handling the residence status of all who apply for residence and citizenship.  They also handle and seek to regulate the status of all permanent and temporary immigration requests.  The INS. also handles tourists, and students, as well as those coming for conventions, special classes, visiting family and all other business.

The INS has also been given the tasks of controlling all of the borders into the United States, especially the borders between Mexico and the United States and Canada and the United States.  This is an extremely large task since the United States shares such large land borders with two other countries.  This allows for an almost daily flow of people trying to enter the country illegally.

INS workers are also responsible for handling and removing all people who have no legal rights to be in this country.  They are responsible for removing the parties in accordance with the laws, and by following all of the standards that are set in place for obtaining temporary status, or returning the person to the country where they came from.

In a report the INS released in 2001, there was 31,971 employees on staff.  This resulted in a rate of 24,233 of these employees being classified as enforcement personal were used to enforce the laws, rulings and policies of this country.  The INS today is a function of the Justice Department and serves mostly as an investigative unit, unlike many other departments, which serve as law enforcement units instead.

In recent years, the borders have had more illegal entry than previously, which has resulted in larger amounts of staff being added to help secure the borders and protect our country.  Without being able to know who is entering our country, we are unable to truly protect our citizens and other people.  Border patrol agents is the one largest area where the INS has seen growth in jobs available.  Due to the increase of jobs in the border patrol, we are able to see much fewer illegal entries into the country.

As we progress into a country that is, more accommodating of people from various cultures it will be quite interesting to see how the INS is changed to adapt and become more friendly to the needs of all people, even those entering the country.

Women’s Rights

In previous years, generations ago women were considered property of the husband or father to whom they belonged.  Now as we have progressed into the 21st century women have stepped up to the plate and are an integral part of society and politics, on an entirely equal footing with men.  In the past, women were considered as belonging to their husbands or fathers, now they are the CEO’s of major corporations.  Women today are a very important part of society, with women in jobs such as judges, Senators, Congress, and even Governors – a feat that would have been highly surprising even twenty years ago.

These positions were not possible previously, with widespread social reform needed to bring about this change.  In previous years, women were only allowed to work on the family farm, or be a teacher, rather than being afforded experience in practical situations.  Women were expected to be married by the end of their teenage years, and were overlooked in conversations as being unable to contribute anything valid.  When elections were first started, women were not allowed to vote, they were barely allowed the right to run their own homes.

As society has progressed, we have seen women moving from the back of the line, to the front of the public eye, occupying more and more positions of authority and respect.  More women now than ever are working outside the home, and proving their own worth without a man to hold them up.  Many women are even choosing to not get married, as well as not have children, although experts are suggesting this will have implications for future generations.

With the push towards women’s rights, there has also been pushes towards expanding the rights for the lesbian community.  More women are stepping forward to fight for the rights that they are owed and due, alongside those already afforded to the male homosexual community.  Women have been taxpayers for as long as men have, at the same rates, and there are daily battles and struggles to overcome the problems and oppression that women are faced with, especially within the homosexual community to level this unfairness.

Even in today’s society and the move away from sexism there is still a notable difference in the amount of money a man earns compared to the amount of money a woman earns for the same job.  This is regardless of experience, training, and education, as many employers still feel women lack the competence to work within a competitive environment.  There are always major differences in the way issues are handled and there seems to be new differences appearing each and every day.

How society adapts is the important part, we are on the brink of the first woman in history winning a democratic party bid for the Presidency and this makes a wonderful time for women.  We are in the days, weeks, months and years following the Clinton presidency, and since then, Hillary Rodham Clinton has set an exception example for women by stepping out from behind her husband’s shadow and making a name for herself in the political arena. With her impact on the forthcoming Presidential elections still unknown, it will be interesting to see the effect this has on women’s rights both domestically and across the world.

Women are fighting and struggling each and every day to prove their worth, but with each day that passes a small victory for women’s rights, we are proving each and every day that we are a force to be dealt with.  Many people are eagerly awaiting the day when men and women are truly treated as equals.  It might be 2 days from now or perhaps 20 years from now, but it is a work in progress and will be accomplished.  By working together with the community as a whole, and avoiding a destructively defensive view point, women can promote their interests, as can men, to create a truly equitable environment.

The Fairness of Limited Liability

Limited liability is one of the most successful commercial creations of all time, almost singularly responsible for the growth and expansion of capitalism.  Encouraging risk and promoting successful enterprise through both small and large businesses alike, limited liability has been the driving force behind economic success in the Western world and is one of the most celebrated legal creations of all time.  But what is it about limited liability that makes it so successful?  Indeed, is the structure of limited liability fair as regards creditors, who ultimately bear the brunt of this mechanism?

Limited liability in general means a sacrifice of privacy in return for the benefit of limited personal liability.  In layman’s terms, this means that the company promoter is not personally liable for any of the company’s debts, thus encouraging risk and promoting enterprise.  For most small businesses, it is a lifeline, and without it the economy would level out and stifle with fewer new start-ups each year.  At the back end, however, these businesses leave behind a trail of debts that ultimately result in financial loss for lenders and those that operate on credit terms.  This raises the general question of whether limited liability as a creation is fair for the creditors it so apparently prejudices?

Limited liability has given life to companies across the world, by providing the reassurances necessary to entrepreneurs to take the risk, safe in the knowledge that personally speaking they should come out unscathed.  From this, more companies have grown and flourished, which has led to more jobs and better state welfare for virtually all capitalist economies.  The strength of this function has gone a long way towards building the great superpowers, and is seriously underestimated as a legal construct.

Limited liability leaves a gap in the pockets of those companies that lend money or offer their customers credit terms during the course of their business.  As a consequence of the promoter’s ability to walk away with his hands clean, many businesses find the squeeze of bad debts too severe, and end up having to take on credit of their own to meet the shortcomings.  In theory, limited liability leaves creditors in a weak situation, with relatively limited powers to regain the full amount of any monies due.

In reality, limited liability doesn’t operate in that way.  Of course, many businesses go under every year as their owners walk free of encumbrance, but generally speaking the economic world does not work between insolvent companies.  However, the flexibility allowed by limited liability has meant debt in a sense has become effective currency, and has helped businesses to survive during tough times, and to seek the financial help necessary without the appropriate risk.

Limited liability might be seen as slightly unfair at the razor’s edge, but it works all round to ensure that everyone has access to credit and the benefits of limitation of damages when it is necessary.  Ultimately, it promotes a more competitive, lower-risk environment within which business can flourish and economies can grow and multiply, providing jobs and economic strength to nations embracing its basic form.  As legal fictions go, the limited company has undoubtedly prove itself to be one of the most popular ever created, and its growth looks set to continue as it is developed and refined across the world.

Understanding Copyright

Copyright is a legal fiction designed to protect the works of artists, inventors and innovators.  In essence, it is a legal bar, allowing exclusivity for those who create works in the form of an intangible asset which can be sold or relinquished, and which expires upon a certain period of time.  With the growth of the internet, and the creation of more and more content, the question of copyright is becoming increasingly more relevant, and one which more and more webmasters are considering to protect their own interests.  Additionally, with the rise of the freelancer market, the issue of copyright is becoming a heated topic of debate for both buyers and sellers at every stage in the production chain, and the effects of not having the relevant rights could be potentially catastrophic.  In this article, we’ll look at what exactly copyright is, and how it relates to the internet in content creation.

Copyright is an artificial concept that gives the creator of a work, or the person he sells the right to, the legal right to use or modify in whole or in part, and to call their own.  It has a different meaning in most jurisdictions, however the basic principle is the same: the creator owns the original copyright to the work in question, and has the freedom to pass this on at will, usually in consideration for money.  Where a creator is working on commission, copyright is designed to act as a lien in his favor, meaning that if he creates and passes on but does not receive payment, he can withhold copyright and sue for breach where applicable.  Of course, he would also have remedies under the ordinary law of contract, but the grasp of copyright is a very powerful tool, which can even be used against the third party buyer from the original commissioner.

Copyright is designed as a tool to cover what is known as intellectual property.  Committing intellectual thoughts and ideas to paper, or making them tangible is usually sufficient to give rise to the copyright protection, which usually lasts for a number of decades in preventing others from steeling ideas.  This is primarily designed to encourage forward thinking and art, and can be a vital tool in protecting the financial interests of those responsible for some of the world’s most vital progressions.  Consider the inventors of the seat belt, Volvo.  Volvo could have used their copyright to prevent other manufacturers from installing seat belts, and this would have been sufficient to protect any other manufacturer from doing so.  Of course they waived their rights for the safety of the general public, which is also a possible consideration for the creator of something new and innovative.

Copyright is an exhaustible right, and it usually expires on a given date, after which all works enter the public domain.  This means that those who create new products have sufficient time to capitalize on their idea before the world at large can join in.  Unfortunately for many musicians, this means their artistic works can no longer make them money specifically, and can be used royalty free; a fact that has caused much uproar and unrest in recent years.

Copyright is a dynamic area of the law, and is particularly relevant to the internet.  As more and more content of more and more varieties is created online, there comes a need to find protection in copyright law to prevent unscrupulous parties from using content without authorization.  In combating this, a number of international legal organizations have been established with a view to tackling copyright violation, and helping those without legal support to fight cases for the protection of their work.  It is undoubtedly an area of law that is on the ascendancy, as lawyers worldwide strive to find a cohesive structure to online intellectual property law, and the protections online authors should be afforded for creating their works.  At least within national boundaries, it is highly possible to rely on copyright laws to protect and govern material.

Natural Law vs. Positivism

The philosophy of law is a complex and in depth study, which requires an intimate knowledge of the legal process in general as well as a philosophical mind.  For centuries, the scope and nature of law has been debated and argued from various view points, and intense intellectual discussion has arisen from the fundamental question of ‘what is law’.  In response, several major schools of thought have been born, of which the natural law scholars and positivists are two of the most notable.  These two camps hold strictly contrasting views over the role and function of law in certain circumstances, and have provided in themselves platforms for criticism and debated which continue to be relevant today.

Although the classifications of natural law and positivism are frequently used, it is important to remember that they cover a very wide range of academic opinion.  Even within each camp, there are those veering towards more liberal or more conservative understandings, and there is also naturally a grey area.  Having said that, academics and philosophers can be enveloped by one of the categories on the basis of certain fundamental principles within their writings and opinions.

Natural law has always been linked to ultra-human considerations, that is to say a spiritual or moral influence determinant of their understandings of the way law operates.  One of the founding principles is that an immoral law can be no law at all, on the basis that a government needs moral authority to be able to legislate.  For this reason, natural law theories have been used to justify anarchy and disorder at ground level.  This had lead to widespread criticism of the natural law principles, which have had to be refined and developed to fit with modern thinking.  On the flip side, natural law has been used as a definitive method of serving ‘justice’ to war criminals and former-dictators after their reign.

Some of the strongest criticisms of natural law have come from the positivist camp.  Positivism holds at its center the belief that law is not affected by morality, but in essence is the source of moral considerations.  Because morality is a subjective concept, positivism suggests that the law is the source of morality, and that no extra-legal considerations should be taken in to account.  Positivism has been criticized for allowing extremism and unjust actions through law.  It has also been suggested that positivism in its strictest sense is flawed because it ignores the depth and breadth of language in legal enactment, which means the positive law can be read in different lights based on differing meanings of the same word. Despite this, positivism has been seen as one of the fundamental legal theories in the development of modern legal philosophy over the last few decades, and is winning widespread favor through a contemporary academic revival.

Natural law and positivism have been the subject of an ongoing academic debate into the nature of law and its role within society.  Both respective legal schools have criticized and built on one and others theories and principles to create a more sophisticated philosophical understanding of the legal construct.  Although the debate is set to continue with a new generation of promising legal theorists, both natural law and positivism have gained widespread respect for their consistency and close analyses of the structure of law.

Straight Marriages – Gay Unions

The debate of gay marriages has been a very hot political topic for many years and with being such a hot topic it is almost astounding the number of places that have come out publicly either for or against the topic.  While there are few states who allow the idea of a gay or same-sex marriage there are those more liberal affording almost equal rights.  Massachusetts is the only state currently in the United States that allows same-sex marriages.  The state of Rhode Island is generous enough to recognize as legal marriage any same-sex marriage that is performed in Massachusetts, which is a major victory for many same-sex supporters.

The elections of recent years have seen this as a very hot topic button, and with the White House, stressing that marriage involves a man and a woman only, not same-sexes many states have been very reluctant to allow the same-sex marriages. However, a few states have come forward and allowed same-sex civil unions, which are very similar to a marriage.

These states are California, Hawaii, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont.  The District of Columbia also recognizes same-sex unions and soon the Governor of New Hampshire has stated publicly that he will sign a bill giving the ok to same-sex unions.  This is a major victory for those who are supporting the movement.

While many states have not given the green light on the same-sex issue, there are states who are sitting around discussing the issues.  Many couples who are fighting for their rights have argued that there is no difference in the way they run their households compared to their heterosexual counterparts.  They have also stated that while they may be with a partner who is the same sex as them, they do still love their partner and should have the right to get married.

This has always been a hot topic, and likely will continue to be a hot topic for many years to come.  With the issues raging within the states and at the national level it will likely be a very long time before the gay and lesbian rights groups are able to truly declare a victory for their cause.  Nevertheless, there is some solace to be taken in the small victories as they occur, and another Governor of a state being willing to allow a civil union is at least a step in the direction towards a victory.

The fact remains that often the views of the individual states tend to reflect the views of the President.  With a President in office who is a staunch opponent to the concept of same-sex marriage as well as civil unions it is unlikely to allow much room for many victories until a more accommodating, or rather liberal, President is in the White House.

Once the bill passes all of the channels, it can go into effect as early as next year for the New Hampshire residence who have long been awaiting this victory.  With each state that gives this right to its residents, it opens the doors to more states to start becoming more tolerant of all their inhabitants.  Finally, this is paving the way for America to join the bulk of Europe in recognizing the legal inequalities between straight and gay couples nationwide.

What Does The Law Mean To You?

Although we all have an understanding of what law is, and generally why it’s appropriate that it should be in place to serve and regulate our conduct in society, we seldom think of what law actually means in an everyday context.  What is law for the average Joe in the street?  How does law impact on our lives from day to day?  Indeed, is the law a distant concept with which we find it hard to relate?  In this article we will look at some of the fundamental ways law operates in society, in addition to the nature of the law as we know it.

For some people, they feel as though the law is there merely to protect their interests, and that they have no need for daily interaction.  However, they assume that if the day comes where their behavior is called into question, the law will operate, the course of justice will be run, and the will of the people will be fulfilled.  This is perhaps a naive interpretation of the function of law, and indeed the way it operates in our lives throughout the day.  For instance, at the top level we have the constitution, establishing parameters within which the government can and cannot act to protect the citizens of our nation.  That has an overwhelming effect on the way in which our government and indeed our country is run, which has a knock on effect on everything we do throughout the day and how we do it.  Even at a local level, the law interacts with the services we are provided, the jobs we work and pretty much everything to do with the lives we lead.  A distant concept?  I don’t think so.

The law does not just operate in criminal spheres, nor is it confined to merely constitutional matters and the distribution of power.  Law is a significantly more sophisticated tool in the orchestration of the day-to-day organization of society, through regulating not only personal conduct but also the way we act in business situations.  Take for example the everyday task of boarding a train.  The law regulates many aspects of this feat: (1) the criminal law and the constitution permits us to board public transport.  (2) The constitution permits us to make contract with another.  (3) The laws of contract permit us to form a contract for transport with the train company,  and ensure that that contract is fulfilled.  (4) The laws of contract and tort allow us to board without fear of injury, or with remedy should the worst happen.  Finally the law of ownership and currency allows us to hand over money in consideration for this service, which is of value to the other contracting party.  In fact, the law regulates just about everything we do, and is vital in doing so to ensure the smooth running of community and every aspect of our lives.

The law is not some abstract notion that can and will protect us when we need to rely on it.  The law is an integral part of democratic life, and something which regulates our conduct, and in essence allows us to act according to our own desires within reason.  Some may think the law is too restrictive in certain areas, but it works.  The law serves its function as regulating our behavior very well, and if it doesn’t?  We can change it.

The fact is, law has been an important part of society since it began, with implied legal and social orders and boundaries that could not be crossed.  Today, it is a sophisticated network of guidelines and regulations which is adapted to shape the way we live our lives from one day to the next.  There is no doubt that the law is important to the citizen, and plays a profound impact on the lives of the people on a daily basis.

Assisting your with Local or International Representation

The European Convention on Human Rights has seen vast changes to the legal framework of countries across Europe.  By imposing fundamental freedoms and liberties in an indefeasible form, it has created a host of legal problems and issues for courts to tackle in an attempt to improve human rights.  Distinct from the US, which already retains fundamental freedoms through its definitive constitution, much of Europe in particular the UK doesn’t have the same codified provisions for its citizens.  This has now been revolutionized by the ratification of the European Convention (ECHR), which sets out certain primary standards that must be attained in relation to each individual citizen.  In this article, we will look at the advantages of the ECHR, and the wide-ranging impact it has had on the various constitutions around Europe.

The European Convention on Human Rights was established as an international treaty to afford a uniform standard of human rights treatment across Europe.  Covering basic freedoms like the right to life through to trickier issues such as the right to liberty and the right to marry, ECHR has had an astonishing impact on Europe both legally and politically.  In passing legislation, European governments have to as a matter of law legislate in accordance with the provisions contained within the ECHR.  This means parliaments of signatory countries are being bound by their predecessors to legislate in a particular way, which has ruled out a number of would-be pledges and meant the reversal of certain national laws.

One area where this has caused problems is in abortion.  The perpetual morality debate aside, abortion has been held to contravene the right to life provision in certain European countries.  Although there is still great scope for challenge, this could potentially cause problems in the coming years as more and more cases of this nature are brought before the European court.  Another major problem area is that of same sex marriages.  The universal right to marry means that any provision stopping same sex marriage anywhere in Europe could potentially be struck down as illegal, requiring nations to actively realign their current provisions to avoid any discrimination.  For this reason, the UK, amongst others, have taken proactive measures to permit same-sex marriages to avoid the embarrassment of a public ruling against them.  This obviously raises problems of national power and freedom: nations are now utterly bound by the principles of European ‘liberty’, whether they like it or not.

Thankfully this social and legal upheaval is working towards a more liberty-orientated Europe.  It is certainly taking time, and given the fact that the ECHR is over half a century old, its impacts are becoming more and more apparent as time wears on and as courts are presented with modern challenges located within the context of the original ECHR provisions.  Additionally, the European Convention on Human Rights is being regularly updated and amended to provide a steadfast constitution for the citizen whilst retaining the flexibility to adapt to contemporary situations.  Although the ECHR and the provisions contained within it have met stiff opposition throughout their lifetime, most would now agree that the level of individual certainty provided by these fundamental freedoms is making for a better quality of life and reducing the scope for discrimination and prejudice across Europe.