June 1, 2012 - To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not To Be
Every statute is written to apply to a person. Read a statute. So are we a person or not? Sure, we use this term on the street as we refer to one or another, but in court they speak a different language. There it's a legal term.

According in Black's Law Dictionary, 4th edition we read:

“Persons” are of two kinds, natural and artificial. A natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation: a collection or property to which the law attributes the capacity or having rights and duties. (emphasis mine)

Notice that both "kinds" are persons

Person is defined in statute law as "'person' includes a corporation" and although only one of the two "kinds" is identified, the courts have ruled that both are legal persons and compelled by the form of law known as statute law. For that reason it is best to avoid arguing a difference and instead, argue your right not to be a person.

Per Hague v. Cancer Relief & Research Institute, [1939] 4 DLR 191 (Man. K.B.):

"A legal person is anything to which the law gives a legal or fictional existence or personality with capacity for rights and duties. The only legal person known to our form of law is the corporation, the body corporate."

Interestingly, article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 16 of the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS state:

Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. (italics mine)

So, if recognition as a person is a "gifted" right that we can have "before the law" then we must also have the inherent right not to be a person—if we so choose. 

Remember, in law a person is a thing we hold up as a front, a facade, a role that we can play or not play for others. To play no role is simple "to be." A role can be a husband or wife, a teacher or a student, a doctor, a driver, a taxpayer, a citizen, a plaintiff or a defendant, etc... These are all roles—some of our making (a natural person) and some created by government (an artificial person)—both a person non-the-less.

TO BE a person then, is to be recognized as a thing over which statute law has jurisdiction—and we have that right, but it's our choice.

Use what you read here as a part of your research to establish your understanding.
Your actions remain your responsibility.
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