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I’ve been reading this thread almost since the beginning but this is the first time I’ve responded.. To start I obviously don’t know Laura Dekker or any of the other people involved with her. I don’t read Dutch and so can not really know what the details of the courts have said and why -- and believe me the devil is invariably in the details. Further I have no idea whether Laura Dekker is capable, physically and/or psychologically of making this trip or whether it was actually her idea or a scheme dreamed up by her father for money and publicity and sold to her.
The being said what I do wonder whether some really believe that a government has no business in regulating any aspect of the parent-child relationship. If that’s not the case, and some regulation is permissible, then where do they draw the line.
Yeah it seams incongruous that at 18 a person can vote and join the military but cannot buy a drink. Should their be a drinking age, if so what? I know why the drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 , it was the same reason that males under 25 are charged much higher rates for auto insurance. And what about the minimum smoking age? Then there’s the driving age, school requirements, vaccinations, any of the age-of-consent rules. Should the government set minimum ages for anything?.
In addition, courts in the U.S. have consistently mandated medical care for children when their parents believed such care was against God’s will. And look at the outcry when a child is killed or severely injured because a social service agency didn’t take the child away from the parents.
Western civilization has a long history of involvement in regulating children’s behavior. Admittedly the rules sometimes seem arbitrary and at best have a one-size-fits-all statistical basis and they are almost always judgment calls. Reasonably, the judges usually are influenced by what they think is most likely to happen.
Are the judges experts in sailing? I doubt it. Was the ruling correct? That certainly can be argued. But when you get down to it, under the law, the judges had not only the right but the obligation to hand down a ruling – and that’s what they did.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
S/V Enchantress -- Morgan 45