Here is Article 8 of UDHR with my original commentary:
- Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 8 makes a bill of attainder an illegal act internationally and protects all people from punitive treatment without a fair trial.
I am sorry to say that I had completely misread Article Eight, and I now offer a new understanding of how the United States abuses expats under this article.
Article 8 does not protect people against a bill of attainder, i.e., a legislative punishment of a citizen without the benefit of a trial. Rather, Article 8 requires that that everyone have a means to file an effective grievance against the abuse of constitutional rights, i.e., access to “competent national tribunals”.
This does not appear to be something that is a “right” available to everyone. It is possible, to be sure, to launch a lawsuit against a government or to appeal fines and criminal charges, but for that one requires deep pockets. To my knowledge, there is no free service in the United States available to any person, rich or poor, which can address human rights abuses. We have in Canada, Human Rights commissions, for example, to which any resident of Canada may file a grievance.
This means that the US government systematically abuse human rights without having to face to scrutiny. Take the outrage of the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) and its attendant fine structure. This is a human rights abuse. It abuses privacy clauses of 4th Amendment, the due process , self-incrimination, and double jeopardy clauses of the 5th Amendment, the venue and impartial trial clauses of the 6th Amendment, the right to a trial by jury for amounts exceeding $20 as provided by the 7th Amendment, and the excessive fines and of the 8th Amendment. Yet specialists are quick to tell you that challenging the constitutionality of the FBAR law is hazardous and expensive. Phil Hodgen writes to OVDI victims:
Ponder this as you’re raging against the insane penalties handed out by the IRS like stale Girl Scout cookies: it is constitutional for the government to kill you.
Don’t waste your time thinking about this unless you’re willing to dump a couple of million bucks into a lawyer’s wallet to fight this up to the Supreme Court. And that lawyer is not me. I don’t have that skill-set.
Mention a constitutional argument against the OVDI or FBAR penalties and the IRS Commissioner is going to choke on his martini laughing at you.
In a free country, a citizen should have a tribunal which will hear human rights grievances–at least this is what Aritcle 8 of the UDHC requires. But today in the United States, the officers of local, state and federal governments may even confiscate your money and and possessions, and the citizen must pay a lawyer to get be able to challenge these acts of civil forfeiture without due process. Rights that are available only to the wealthy are not universal rights at all, but lofty ideals that don’t mean a thing in day to day life. The prophet Amos wrote against the nation of Israel in his own day (Amos 2.7; NIV):
They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.
These words apply to any country, including the United States, where only the rich can afford justice.