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30 December 2009

WUDC Round 6 motion

That this house would prosecute communities for complicity in honour killings.


  1. Andy Hume3:29 pm


  2. Skanda Prasad4:44 pm

    Phuey!! I'd hate to be the OG on this one!

  3. Just out of curiosity, how do you prosecute a community?

    Not something I've ever heard of before, so far as I know.

  4. Anonymous12:12 am

    Does anyone know of any 1st Props which took a first? How did they run it?

  5. Anonymous12:46 am

    Communal punishment has some precedent... just do what Israel does I guess...

  6. Andy Hume4:25 am

    Well, gee, thanks for that Anon.

    Yes, I think we all know how to "punish" a community. "Prosecuting" them is a bit trickier. I mean, you could prosecute local religious leaders, but isn't honour killing as much a cultural issue as a religious one?

    Not wild about this one.

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  8. Skanda Prasad6:11 am

    I can think of a very very long shot analogy in the Prevention of Sati Act in India, which allows for prosecution of all people present at the burning, both due to the societal nature of the act, as well as the view that not preventing the crime from occurring itself constitutes abetment.

    However, unlike sati, which is, by nature, a very public act, Honor killings are much more private, and I doubt the same model can be applied here.

  9. Check this AFP story:

    Daughter pregnant by rape, killed by family
    DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - A Turkish court sentenced five members of the same family to life imprisonment for the "honour killing" of Naile Erdas, 16, who got pregnant as a result of rape, activists said Monday.

    In its verdict Friday, a court in the eastern city of Van sentenced the murder victim's brother to life in jail for the 2006 murder to cleanse the family honour, the Van Women's Association said.


    (I got this from a footnote under the section on honour killings in national legal codes in Wikipedia article on honour killings.

    If this story or something like it was the inspiration for this motion, then the article gives some of the arguments for a government case. Critically, it says, "In "honour killings", generally prevalent among Turkey's Kurdish community, a so-called family council names a member to murder a female relative considered to have sullied the family honour." I suppose that if a government side knows about this fact it can try to reasonably interpret "community" to mean those who form the family council (and support it?). In fact, I really don't know what these "family councils" are, so perhaps their very composition would lend to a government case for this moot without much further interpretation?

    Without knowing that, though, I don't see how a government side could argue for this motion.

  10. Skanda Prasad6:55 am

    Antillean, if so, that still doesn't explain "communities" on the motion, which indicates a far wider scope for penalization than "family".

    Indeed, if any OG had tried to argue the case with the background you provided, wouldn't that hand OO the initiative to attack them on squirreling away from the motion's wording? Indeed, the above action can also apply under present law as direct culpability (From sitting on the council which handed the 'death sentence'), which would also be an easy line of attack.

    Closing's job is simple in that they can argue the issue on a general principled level and appear to take the level of debate higher.

    It'd be very interesting to see the breakup of Rank 1 and 2 teams with this motion. Perhaps the tabs should include this breakup too. That would definitely increase the focus on setting motions that provide fair opportunity to all four teams in the room.

  11. Anonymous7:14 am

    It isn't as bad as that "assassinate Putin" motion...

  12. Skanda, that's why I said it depends on what a "family council" is. From the article it sounds like it is composed of members of the family. Is that always the case? Is it sometimes composed of members of the community who aren't family members? And what about cases where the community is primarily composed of members of a family (say, a clan)? Depending on the answers to these questions it may or may not be squirrelling.

    But yeah, I figure that the majority of argument about this would not have been along those lines, if only because I suspect that not many people would have known about this case.

    And I, too, would like to know the rank breakdowns for this motion.


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