Jayden v. Matthew

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Jayden v. Matthew
Essexia Coat of arms.png
Commonwealth Court
Full case nameJayden Lycon v. Right Honourable Matthew

Jayden v. Matthew was a civil court case between Jayden Lycon and the Rt. Hon. Matthew MP involving free speech and the constitution.

Background

During the Essexian by-election of January 2021, the Green and Cooperative Party was campaigning in the "election-campaigning" channel within the Essexian Discord server. One of these adverts contained a green background with a tilted white box stating "GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS". Lycon sent a parody of the advert with two photos later, one saying "AZERBAIJAN" in the white box, whilst the latter saying "AZERBAIJAN MEMES". Petitioner claims that the defendant then replied with a statement, branching the constitutional rights of Jayden Lycon.

In the complaint, the plaintiff's legal representation, the Rt. Hon. Jack Esq. MP, argued that Matthew violated:

  • Article 2 - He [Jayden Lycon] was degraded, or was treated with undue disrespect.
  • Article 3 - He [Jayden Lycon] was unable to live free from degrading treatment.
  • Article 9 - He [Jayden Lycon] could not say and express what he pleased without the persecution of a figure in authority.
  • Article 10 - [Jayden Lycon] Was not afforded the right to protest reasonably.
  • Article 13 - [Jayden Lycon] Was not afforded the right "to enjoy and be involved in arts".

Jack formally submitted the claim to the Supreme Justice, the Honourable Jacob, on the 25th March 2021. He also gave the defence a copy of the claim. The SJ set a date for the first hearing as the 1st April 2020. However, due to a lack of response from the Defence among other issues, the first hearing was continually delayed to the 3rd April, 23 April, and finally the 27th April.

The Trial

The first hearing was held on the 27th April 2020, with the Honourable Jacob as the acting Supreme Justice present and hearing the case, and Jack D acting as the Claimant's legal representation. There were also a small number of Essexian citizens present to observe the hearing online.

Jack argued all 5 claims of Matthew's conduct breaching the Constitution, however the Judge disagreed that any one claim displayed a serious breach of Jayden's constitutional rights.

Stare decisis

  1. "A violation of Article 2 of the Bill of Rights within the Third Constitution of Essexia. The claimant proposes that the article's use of "degraded" and "discriminated" be applied to this case. In this instance, in the interests of protecting the reasonable civil liberties of the citizenry of Essexia, the court cannot find in favour of this element of the claim as it would place undue strain on liberties of freedom of speech and expression such that the article shall be limited in future reading to only be applicable to more extreme forms of this degradation or discrimination in public discourse.
  2. Further to the ruling on the claim regarding Article 2, a claim regarding the violation of Article 3 is held to be similarly not meritorious due to the docile nature of the speech and expression in question.
  3. The third claim is that the defendant violated Article 9, in using their role in Essexian public and political life, persecuted the claimant. The definition this court takes of the "authority" mentioned within the article particularly pertains to the use of powers by those that are accused of breaching this article. The particular case brought by the claimant attempts to hold public figures in general to have some kind of authority and it is on these grounds that a claim of persecution by authority is made. This court cannot support this claim responsibly as placing such a burden on public figures would again be an infringement on civil liberty, and the implied definition of authority within the bill of rights is not suitable for a public figure to be seen as falling within it.
  4. Concerning the claim under Article 10, there was raised the notion, by the claimant, that the attempt to tell the claimant to "shut up" was an infringement on the right to protest. This court finds a distinction between speech and force, and given no force was employed in the actions of the defendant, no violation took place that might have removed this right to protest.
  5. Regarding a claim of a breach of Article 13, there was the case made by the claimant that the defendant infringed upon the enjoyment or participation of the claimant in the arts. Given that there were no steps taken by the defendant that would have removed any access by the defendant to the arts, or by their audience to their produced art, this court cannot currently interpret there to have been a violation of this article.

Therefore, in sum, the claims brought by [Jayden] under the representation of [Jack] are dismissed and I award none of the ¥5 originally sought."

Obiter dicta

Jack questioned the SJ as to whether he believed the outcome would've been altered should the Defendant have been present at the hearing. Jack believed he would've been able to call Matthew as a witness and prove his guilt/liability, and secure a more decisive victory. The SJ "agreed in obiter dicta that if the defendant was present, the outcome of the case had a good chance of being different."

Outcome

Neither the Claimant nor Defendant were awarded the claim. No one was affected by the outcome of the case. Jack never lived up to his promise of recording himself dancing if he was not able to win the case.

Legacy

Strong precedent was set as to the organisation and hearing of cases, as well as practice that would be relevant to future hearings. Jayden v. Matthew was one of Essexia's first true court hearings, and continues to remain somewhat relevant today despite further legal reforms.