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A Note to stimulate discussion on Legal Protection against PEP-NIP Systems

It is important to consider the PEP-NIP systems in relation to the Law and to legal processes. Many NIPS are an inevitable part of the human condition - the everyday disappointments, thoughtless comments, barbed remarks and the like - which every human being experiences almost from birth to death through interactions with others. Even when there is a malicious content in the interactions, providing it is spontaneous, is not part of an overall plan and leaves the parties involved free to move, cut off the association or sever the hurtful relationship, the NIPS can be accepted as an inevitable feature of life not subject to legal processes, redress and so on.

It is when the NIPS are organised into a programme to achieve an objective, as in PEP-NIP systems, that their acceptance as part of everyday life must be strongly queried. There can be and very often is in interactions in which a NIP is used as part of a system, a gross inequality between parties in the interaction in terms of professionalism, resources and means of control. A simple example is a situation in which an individual is being harassed by a powerful organisation; even when such harassment is deemed to be illegal, it is extremely difficult to take action in a court of law for each NIP can be made to look or can be claimed to be spontaneous and the individual does not have the countervailing resources to investigate, explain and bring an action against the offending organisation. Nor should it be forgotten that though PEPS by themselves can hardly be considered undesirable if the recipient is free to disregard them, they can be just as objectionable when organised into a programme along with NIPS.

 

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