Disbarring a prosecutor from ever holding elective office is about the only thing I have been able to think of, and it's not hardly enough.
Get rid of the ridiculous laws is more like it. Perhaps our Founders had a point when they were trying to create a limited government? Gerry Ford's best ever quote puts it in the modern context, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford#Address_to_Congress...)
A simple way to decide if a law is bad or not is to look at how many people break it each year. Any law that's broken by more than 1% of the population each year should be removed from the books.
Quick question about how it would play out in practice: how would it apply to things like financial regulation? For example, if more than 1% of banks ignore the rules about capital reserves, does that make the law about maintaining capital reserves void?
Or would this type of law only apply to laws enforced against individuals?
The biggest issue I can see here is the "slippery slope" problem. At first parties are a bit louder, but enough people are doing it that we need to set the noise bar a bit higher. Then everyone gets a bit louder, and so on until it's untenable. It's like trying to walk across a street that never has speeding enforcement. People have long ago realized that and now drive much faster as a result. It didn't start like that, it just sort of got that way naturally.
That's one way. I'd go further and say that if the "crime" doesn't have a victim, and involves strictly voluntary / consensual actions & behavior among adults (children may be a bit of a special case) then it is no crime.
I generally agree with Bastiat's sentiments on this:
What Is Law?
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?
If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.
Where I disagree is the whole "from God" bit, considering that I'm an atheist. I consider the rights he is speaking of, as being a fundamental aspect of being a sovereign individual possessed of self-ownership and agency.
A right that you have is one that cannot be taken away. Traditionally this is limited to things that society has agreed not to take away. However we are slowing entering into an age where a new type of right emerges: a right that you seized and society is powerless to take away.
We don't normally think of "PGP'd email can't be read" as a "right", but that is essentially what it is. A right that has been seized, not granted.
These rights are of course vulnerable, just like rights granted by society. Instead of keeping society convinced that the right must remain granted, you instead have to be careful that you remain in a position where society is powerless. In practice, this is quite difficult.
For that matter, this applies even to granted rights. There are plenty of rights that people have that are outlawed by unenforced (and unenforceable laws). Consider for example laws in less enlightened states that specify what sorts of sex two consenting adults are allowed to have. These laws are not enforced, making them little more than monuments to the ignorance of the past.
Irrelevant; it isn't a right if you can't defend yourself in court if you're caught doing it and detecting someone using encryption is not at all difficult. We're talking about rights here, not "what I can get away with". You position isn't defensible.
In this context, the issue though, is what rights should "society" in the large recognize and hold as sacrosanct. I argue that the basic essence of being a conscious, self-aware individual, with agency and self-ownership of your body, entails what Bastiat refers to as the "inherent right to self defense". Others are, obviously, free to disagree.
The laws that are important will be passed again; otherwise, they'll fade away into history as society changes.
It's not like people will voluntarily admit to crimes on the off chance that it may get the law repealed.
In what western country is it a felony?
Also if more than one percent commits fraud you could have a problem.
Yes, it means that the definition of "fraud" is too broad.
Most UK citizens have probably laundered money this year . That does not mean all money laundering should be legalised.
He spends much of his book complaining (with some justification) that people such as securities traders have so much bureaucracy to deal with that they face a heightened risk of criminality through non-compliance. I think that both our regulatory and litigation systems are extremely unwieldy and that what we need is a bit less mechanistic proceduralism and a bit more bureaucratic autonomy and accountability but that's a far cry from the notion that pretty much everyone is a criminal.