February 15, 2013 § 1 Comment

Don’t you just hate that whooshing sound of a joke sailing right over your head?

Like when the Chinese People’s Daily online reported that the American media had named N. Korean leader Kim-Jung-Un the “Sexiest Man Alive.” >WHOOSH!< It was a joke, man! The American article was published in The Onion. (I hope I don’t need to explain what that means).

I imagine it would be especially distressing to expound in a scholarly fashion on a particular subject only to find out that the authority or data on which that scholarly opinion was a >WHOOSH!< joke.

Like Michael J. Bean and Melanie J. Rowland, who authored a book entitled The Evolution of National Wildlife Law. It’s certainly a worthy subject; I’ll grant that. On page 5, the authors touch on the subject of legal disputes over ownership of new breeds. In footnote 5 on that page, they state:

To illustrate the bizarre results that can sometimes happen when courts consider such questions, see the Canadian case of Regina v. Ojibwa, 8 Criminal Law Quarterly, 137 (1965-66), (Op. Blue, J.), described in United States v. Byrnes, 644 F.2d 107, 112, n. 9 (2d Cir 1981). The Canadian court concluded that a pony saddled with a down pillow was a “bird” within the meaning of a statute defining the term as a “two legged animal covered with feathers.” The court reasoned that the two legs were the statutory minimum, and that the feather covering need not be natural.

Clue: Op. Blue, J. = Opinion by Judge Blue. Or, in Canadian parlance, Blue, J. As in Blue Jay. The bird.

You see, it was a joke. Regina v. Ojibway was a joke, a scholarly one, to be sure, but a joke nonetheless. It was a parody of legal reasoning. I posted about this faux opinion here before, pointing out that ” … scarily, it could easily be mistaken for the real thing.” I guess so. >WHOOSH!<

Thanks to Colette Corr.



  • Colette Corr says:

    Just read this – I didn’t think you’d responded to my email. I’ll let my statutory interpetation lecturer too as that’s where I read about Regina v Ojibway. What a case!

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