Our Sponsor Sideshow Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
A discussion of "Law and Arda" by Douglas Kane
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 Next page Last page  View All

CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 9:07pm

Post #76 of 101 (446 views)
Shortcut
I wonder if close familial ties helped Smeagol hide his crime [In reply to] Can't Post

If someone you don't know too well disappears on a fishing trip with you, it's harder to explain that away. But if you say, "My dearly beloved brother/cousin was swept away by the river," and you burst into tears, people are more likely to believe your story.

I like the fact that Deagol's murder haunted Smeagol centuries later. It says a lot about the resilience of a hobbit's conscience, and that there's a sort of moral justice subtly at work in MEarth.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 9:44pm

Post #77 of 101 (443 views)
Shortcut
I am hexed by Gollum [In reply to] Can't Post

Great point, Ardamire, which I missed entirely. I was talking as if the Ring was Gollum's (since he'd had it for centuries), but it wasn't his legally since he stole it via murder. Can we say that Isildur "stole" it? He claimed it as compensation for the death of his father, and there are old legal traditions like that (you kill a man, and then pay his family in money or cows or whatever). Was that legitimate?

I still hold Bilbo responsible for knowingly withholding it from its owner but only in a technical sense; I'm not morally blaming him. But it seems like Deagol is the only one who clearly took the Ring without any legal or moral crime at all, isn't it? Because I would say finders keepers when clearly there was no one around on their fishing trip who could claim to have just dropped it . He didn't know it was Sauron's, as Bilbo knew it was Gollum's.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 10:07pm

Post #78 of 101 (438 views)
Shortcut
I can see it playing that way CG... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If someone you don't know too well disappears on a fishing trip with you, it's harder to explain that away. But if you say, "My dearly beloved brother/cousin was swept away by the river," and you burst into tears, people are more likely to believe your story.

I like the fact that Deagol's murder haunted Smeagol centuries later. It says a lot about the resilience of a hobbit's conscience, and that there's a sort of moral justice subtly at work in MEarth.




...especially as with only JUST having acquired the Ring, and being fearful I am sure of the consequences of his action (possibly still a bit shocked by his own actions?), he may have given quite an Oscar-worthy performance when he came home alone. Yes, that perseverance of conscience, that even the Ring could not fully exterminate (doesn't Gandalf say that Gollum retained a little corner of his mind as his own? I don't think the Ringwraiths did for example- I think Men once taken, were taken completely) speaks volumes to that spiritual resilience that Gandalf always had the wisdom to see within those little people.

Good points all.Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 10:19pm

Post #79 of 101 (437 views)
Shortcut
I see a parallel in Ardamire's point [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Great point, Ardamire, which I missed entirely. I was talking as if the Ring was Gollum's (since he'd had it for centuries), but it wasn't his legally since he stole it via murder. Can we say that Isildur "stole" it? He claimed it as compensation for the death of his father, and there are old legal traditions like that (you kill a man, and then pay his family in money or cows or whatever). Was that legitimate? A parallel to Smaug: possession of their treasures as the result of crimes rather morally negates their right of ownership? Criminal Possession of Stolen Property for them both? Though its a modern charge, I think the concept is probably fairly universal. In which case, as far as Smaug goes, Thorin's decision to reclaim the Mountain and its goods are the 'enforcement' action of an unenforceable principle - as Furuncurunir pointed out, the only option in the circumstances is to 'bring home the curses' yourself. As far as Gollum goes - I like your 'hexing' term...! He's a complex little patch of misery. As JRRT says, the Ring never would have snared him if he wasn't a mean little being to start out with. He certainly had no legitimate claim to it, having murdered for it...Bilbo thankfully was saved from doing murder due to his conscience. Not as sure on Isildur, as the action taken was in battle during a declared war...so does that provide a different interpretation?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 10:28pm

Post #80 of 101 (450 views)
Shortcut
Bilbo knew. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Suddenly Gollum sat down and began to weep, a whistling and gurgling sound horrible to listen to. Bilbo halted and flattened himself against the tunnel-wall. After a while Gollum stopped weeping and began to talk. He seemed to be having an argument with himself.

“It’s no good going back there to search, no. We doesn’t remember all the places we’ve visited. And it’s no use. The Baggins has got it in its pocketses; the nassty noser has found it, we says.”


So, at this point, Bilbo knew that the Ring belonged to Gollum, that Gollum was in great distress over its loss, and that Gollum knew Bilbo had it. Weaseling about whether it was the Ring or something else that Gollum was fussed about isn't credible. Bilbo knew. It's additionally incriminating that Bilbo initially made up a different story about the episode.

So, I don't know what the letter of the law says, but not returning it at this point certainly seems like theft to me.








(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jun 3 2013, 10:29pm)


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jun 3 2013, 10:46pm

Post #81 of 101 (444 views)
Shortcut
What is theft? [In reply to] Can't Post

According to one definition I found, it's the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use (including potential sale).

Is it necessary to prove that the person who takes something knows that the person from whom it was taken owned it legally in order to call it theft? We presume that the original possessor has legal ownership unless there is some strong indication to the contrary (i.e. the guy running down the street carrying a sack of money just exited a bank pursued by cops).

If I see a wallet lying on the ground and pick it up, open it, and see a clear ID with name and address, I am morally bound to attempt to return it to the owner. If I do not, is it theft? What about the money in it? Suppose I say that I don't know that the wallet owner acquired that cash legally. Does that let me off the hook?

As I indicated in my other recent post, Bilbo knew the Ring belonged to Gollum. He knew that Gollum missed it, and was deeply distressed about its loss. He had no way of knowing how Gollum came by it or anything about its history, but I can't help but think that if you meet someone deep underground who is profoundly attached to an object and grieving its loss, the appropriate presumption is that it belongs to him.








Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 4 2013, 5:06am

Post #82 of 101 (437 views)
Shortcut
Last Bleak House East of the Sea. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say Bilbo is guilty of "theft by finding", which he commits again with the Arkenstone.

Determining ownership of the ring might be dicey. It's Sauron's ring, but one can argue it was created with stolen technology, in which case it belongs to Celebrimbor. But then it seems to have been awarded as legal weregild to Islidur, so it would belong to Aragorn. Then again, it is an article of Elven antiquity so it could be claimed by Celeborn and Galadriel. But it was found on Stoor land and Gollum would be the last clear descendant of the Gladden Field settlement. But it was found *in* the northern reaches of the Anduin and other inhabitants of the Vale of Anduin were Beorn, Radagast, and the Northmen of Framsburg so.....

Obviously Tolkien missed the far longer, more darker, and much less happy tale of "The Lawsuit of the Ring".

******************************************
Brother will fight brother and both be his slayer,
Brother and sister will violate all bonds of kinship;
Hard it will be in the world, there will be much failure of honor,
An age of axes, an age of swords, where shields are shattered,
An age of winds, an age of wolves, where the world comes crashing down;
No man will spare another.

-From the Völuspá, 13th Century


imin
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 8:42am

Post #83 of 101 (450 views)
Shortcut
Sauron taught Celebrimbor [In reply to] Can't Post

Not the other way around.

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 11:43am

Post #84 of 101 (432 views)
Shortcut
Yes, I think the Ring is undeniably Sauron's [In reply to] Can't Post

He taught the Elves how to make Rings of Power, then made his own.

This is when you hate the law, when it legally turns to the advantage of someone evil like Sauron.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 4 2013, 1:02pm

Post #85 of 101 (422 views)
Shortcut
So then... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it was Celebrimbor who secretly used proprietary information and processes to make the Elven rings, Therefore it can be argued that legally the Elven rings were Sauron's and that he was fully justified in trying to reclaim his rightful property.

******************************************
Brother will fight brother and both be his slayer,
Brother and sister will violate all bonds of kinship;
Hard it will be in the world, there will be much failure of honor,
An age of axes, an age of swords, where shields are shattered,
An age of winds, an age of wolves, where the world comes crashing down;
No man will spare another.

-From the Völuspá, 13th Century


imin
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 1:23pm

Post #86 of 101 (420 views)
Shortcut
Well kinda [In reply to] Can't Post

But he freely gave the information, he went there to do that. So it's not like they stole the information or there was an agreement that only Sauron could use this technology.

I am sure he sees them as his rings, but it's not like he put a patent on the tech and he freely gave it to them, showing them how to make the lesser rings, so i would go with they are not his but made with knowledge he taught them - he was their teacher.

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 2:57pm

Post #87 of 101 (426 views)
Shortcut
War booty or weregild, some interesting Law points [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree Darkstone, that a significant legal change of ownership occurs as the result of military action. As weregild, it conforms to ancient European traditions to compensate for the loss of a loved one - in this case a King. Not of course that any compensation causes the party to cease their efforts to destroy the offender: so in that sense it is not the usual application. As a 'prize of war', I found this information on the Geneva Convention in regards to War Booty, and although a modern interpretation it has evolved from long standing traditions: http://www.icrc.org/...g/docs/v1_rul_rule49 Rule 49. War BootyRule 49. The parties to the conflict may seize military equipment belonging to an adverse party as war booty.SummaryState practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in international armed conflicts.International armed conflicts
The rule whereby a party to the conflict may seize military equipment belonging to an adverse party as war booty is set forth in the Lieber Code.[1] It reflects long-standing practice in international armed conflicts. It is also implicit in the Hague Regulations and the Third Geneva Convention, which require that prisoners of war must be allowed to keep all their personal belongings (as well as protective gear).[2]
This rule is also contained in numerous military manuals.[3] As Australia’s Defence Force Manual explains, “booty includes all articles captured with prisoners of war and not included under the term ‘personal effects’”.[4] The rule has also been referred to in case-law.[5]
According to the Lieber Code, war booty belongs to the party which seizes it and not to the individual who seizes it.[6] This principle is reflected in numerous military manuals.[7] It is also supported in national case-law.[8] As a result, individual soldiers have no right of ownership over or possession of military equipment thus seized. Some manuals explicitly state that it is prohibited for soldiers to take home “war trophies”.[9]
Practice also indicates that booty may be used without restriction and does not have to be returned to the adversary.[11]

Interesting application if we class the Ring as 'military equipment'. It would belong presumably, based on such a code, to the House of Isildur (as the 'party') and has no restrictions in its use - too bad because trying to use it didn't work out so well for them...if it's a 'personal effect' the implication is that it still belongs to Sauron. Of course in any case, although very fond of making his own rules, Sauron would have no patience with any else's rules - so form his side, a moot point.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 3:48pm

Post #88 of 101 (410 views)
Shortcut
That's a fascinating passage, Breth [In reply to] Can't Post

I had no ideas such rules existed. As they apply to Sauron, I would say that the Ring was primarily created to seek dominion over others, so it counts as a war weapon, so seizing and using it was justified. Hence when Frodo said to Aragorn at the Council of Elrond that it belonged to him, not only was he (sensibly) trying to get rid of the thing, he was right.

Frodo should have tried to get rid of it as a mathom on his birthday.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 5:30pm

Post #89 of 101 (404 views)
Shortcut
Isildur [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been thinking about this, and I really don't know what to make of Isildur. In one sense I want to say that he's legally wrong for taking it from Sauron, but I can't bring myself to say that Sauron should have been able to keep it. I think Deagol is the only one who is guiltless.

As for Bilbo, he didn't know it was Gollum's until after their riddle game, right? By that time Gollum was freaking out and I can't see any good coming to Bilbo by offering it up. That would probably only make Gollum angrier. I don't think there's a good solution for Bilbo at all.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 5:37pm

Post #90 of 101 (404 views)
Shortcut
I read the other post. [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't remember that, so I was just going by what I'd read in this thread. As it is, I guess I have no option but to agree that Bilbo knew it was Gollum's. But as I was just saying to CuriousG, I don't think any good would have come to Bilbo for returning it at that point.

I wouldn't liken the scenario to finding a wallet with ID in it. I see it more as finding a twenty dollar bill on the ground with no one around to claim it. It's only later that Bilbo realizes it's Gollum's twenty that it becomes stealing, right?

I still stand by my assertion that Gollum doesn't have any more legal right to it than Bilbo does though, even if Bilbo didn't know that at the time. At least Bilbo didn't kill Gollum for it, a fact which later led to it's destruction.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 5:39pm

Post #91 of 101 (408 views)
Shortcut
I see it as a weapon as well [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I had no ideas such rules existed. As they apply to Sauron, I would say that the Ring was primarily created to seek dominion over others, so it counts as a war weapon, so seizing and using it was justified. Hence when Frodo said to Aragorn at the Council of Elrond that it belonged to him, not only was he (sensibly) trying to get rid of the thing, he was right.

Frodo should have tried to get rid of it as a mathom on his birthday.




So I would agree with the seizure by party rule.

As it concerns Bilbo, as Elizabeth correctly points out at some point he did know what it was that Gollum had lost - so there is some aspersion cast upon his retaining it for that part; as Doug said in Law and Arda, Bilbo *potentially* has the claim of self-defense in retaining it once the information came to him, as retaining it may have saved his life, and he did no violence to Gollum despite threats of violence towards him. All in all, with the holders of the Ring, ultimately Sauron and Deagol have the least amount of question to their possession: Sauron did make it (sorry there CG - the law serving Sauron!) and Deagol simply found it with no reasonable way to return it to a previous owner.

And perfectly true, when Frodo says 'it belongs to you' he is quite right, in the war-booty sense. Hmmm, giving it away as a mathom...suddenly we have the Nine incognito at a Hobbit birthday party (Sam..pssstt...who's that over by the buffet? Tell then to stop hogging all the deviled eggs....)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on Jun 4 2013, 5:40pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 5:44pm

Post #92 of 101 (401 views)
Shortcut
The self-defense idea [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've been thinking about this, and I really don't know what to make of Isildur. In one sense I want to say that he's legally wrong for taking it from Sauron, but I can't bring myself to say that Sauron should have been able to keep it. I think Deagol is the only one who is guiltless.

As for Bilbo, he didn't know it was Gollum's until after their riddle game, right? By that time Gollum was freaking out and I can't see any good coming to Bilbo by offering it up. That would probably only make Gollum angrier. I don't think there's a good solution for Bilbo at all.




Very true Ardamire - potentially that is where the self-defense idea comes into play! Agreed! It would have cost him his life I think, at that point. So even with the knowledge that it was Gollum's, is there anything else you think he could have reasonably done?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 5:47pm

Post #93 of 101 (396 views)
Shortcut
One solution [In reply to] Can't Post

He could have just put it back where he found it (or thereabouts).

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 6:10pm

Post #94 of 101 (393 views)
Shortcut
Does an art teacher... [In reply to] Can't Post

...own the art produced by his/her pupils?








Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 6:17pm

Post #95 of 101 (394 views)
Shortcut
A semi-relevant tale: [In reply to] Can't Post

I have some friends I keep up with online, whom I met here years ago. One lives in OK but went to grad school in Irvine, the other lives on SoCal. Once the SoCal friend was reminiscing about having found $60 cash in an ATM many years ago. The OK friend confessed that he had lost it. They didn't know each other at all at the time. She offered to repay him, but he declined.








Ardamírë
Valinor


Jun 4 2013, 6:28pm

Post #96 of 101 (396 views)
Shortcut
Weird. [In reply to] Can't Post

Weird how things work out like that!

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 4 2013, 7:38pm

Post #97 of 101 (382 views)
Shortcut
Wow....! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have some friends I keep up with online, whom I met here years ago. One lives in OK but went to grad school in Irvine, the other lives on SoCal. Once the SoCal friend was reminiscing about having found $60 cash in an ATM many years ago. The OK friend confessed that he had lost it. They didn't know each other at all at the time. She offered to repay him, but he declined.




What a karmic tale Elizabeth!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 4 2013, 7:53pm

Post #98 of 101 (387 views)
Shortcut
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

Generally no, although recently one or two schools have proposed taking ownership of work developed by teachers and students for school. (From course syllabi to first grade fingerpainting.)

Of course the ring is more technology than art. Again speaking generally, colleges and universities allow professors and students to retain ownership of their inventions unless faculty or staff involvement is substantial, the work is part of a larger school project, or the use of school facilities, equipment, etc. is substantially in excess of what is normal for educational purposes.

******************************************
Brother will fight brother and both be his slayer,
Brother and sister will violate all bonds of kinship;
Hard it will be in the world, there will be much failure of honor,
An age of axes, an age of swords, where shields are shattered,
An age of winds, an age of wolves, where the world comes crashing down;
No man will spare another.

-From the Völuspá, 13th Century

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 4 2013, 7:54pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 5 2013, 12:23pm

Post #99 of 101 (360 views)
Shortcut
Noruas Inc. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But he freely gave the information, he went there to do that. So it's not like they stole the information or there was an agreement that only Sauron could use this technology.

I am sure he sees them as his rings, but it's not like he put a patent on the tech and he freely gave it to them, showing them how to make the lesser rings, so i would go with they are not his but made with knowledge he taught them - he was their teacher.




I think that despite the teaching of the technology, the other rings seem to me to belong to their crafter - Celebrimor. I think the One was legally Sauron's - of course the issue being with Sauron as a business partner is that no matter what agreements may have been made he will never honor them anyway. So I do agree, that although he contributed knowledge he does not actually own them; maybe the rights become 'public domain' if he shared them with the Elves, and physical manufacture decides ownership?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 5 2013, 3:34pm

Post #100 of 101 (356 views)
Shortcut
International law? [In reply to] Can't Post

What do people think about international laws on diplomacy in Arda? I can only think of two examples:

1. Right after their return to MEarth and their first battle with Morgoth, the Noldor agree to a parley over peace. Each side justifiably suspects the other will send more troops than agreed on, so they both cheat and send more. Did they make up the rules on the spot (both Noldor and Morgoth had just come from war-free Valinor), or was there some longstanding agreement on legal proceedings for negotiations?

2. The other one that strikes me is the conversation with the Mouth of Sauron at the Morannon. He starts off by insulting everyone, then Aragorn holds him with his eye and seems to telepathically harm or threaten him, since the Mouth recoils and says he can't be harmed, claiming diplomatic immunity. Gandalf replies that where such laws hold, diplomats are supposed to be more, after all, diplomatic. Then the Mouth presents peace terms, which do sound like a rather typical peace treaty after a war in real life (no matter that they were lopsided). If there were no diplomacy and no laws, there would be no talk of treaties, and the Mouth would just say at the beginning, "You are all going to die."

Were there other treaties in the past with Sauron? What rules of diplomacy existed between kingdoms of Men? If Gondor fought Harad and the Easterlings in its prime, were there peace treaties afterward complete with diplomatic immunity? Were these treaties mere pieces of paper, or were they considered binding legal documents? I'm not really talking about fealty, since that's different (Rohan swearing to come to Gondor's aid seems more an oath of fealty than a treaty between equals). Or maybe I'm wrong and fealty is a treaty too.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.