Saturday, February 10, 2007

Debtor's Prison

Mankind does not become better so much as he exchanges one manner of barbarities and superstitions for another.

And sometimes he brings back old ones in a different form:

Ex-spouses who cheat on their support payments could swiftly find themselves behind bars, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday.

In a 9-0 decision, the court said that an Ontario lower court judge had acted within the law when he imposed a 45-day jail sentence on a wealthy plastic surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Dickie, who fled to the Bahamas to avoid paying support payments.

Family law experts said yesterday that the ruling gives judges a powerful tool to use against ex-spouses who try to stall or wriggle out of paying support.

Dr. Dickie's three children and his ex-spouse, Leaka Dickie, may ultimately gain little from the ruling, since Dr. Dickie lives beyond the reach of Canadian law. However, experts said that numerous other aggrieved spouses will reap the benefits of her battle.

To think that debtor's prisons had been abolished as a relic of the Victorian age!

Source: Globe and Mail

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