Legal Wit — Down the Rabbit Hole

Legal Wit — Down the Rabbit Hole
As I listened to [the defendant] attempt to explain his theory I found it hard not to feel that I was being invited on a trip down the rabbit hole: 

"When/use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

It is clear that [the defendant] acts as a semanticist who is empowered to define the meaning of the terms in the ITA and hence their application to him. Clearly he is wrong. And yet, despite his wrongheaded behaviour, he is an accomplished businessman and, based upon the character evidence called, an otherwise productive citizen. Assuming these beliefs are held by him in good faith, how then to explain such serious and criminal claptrap?

I venture that the answer lies in an aphorism credited to Ben Franklin: "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do."

R. v. Mori |
2016 CarswellOnt 6860 |
Ontario Court of Justice
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