Kazuaki Shimazaki comments

Posted in: 72-year-old man arrested for threatening to kill ‘noisy’ tenant living above him See in context

I'm more on the Oversensitive Neighbor side. I live in Hong Kong, but our family does have an apartment in Japan. During one of the periods I went to visit, the guy under us complained about noise. No, I don't even play music, so that isn't it. But I have to use the toilet, including at night sometimes, and my door is on rollers. That small noise, which is insufficient to wake my parents in their sleep, apparently penetrated to our neighbor's apartment.

The only thing I can say is darn it I have to use our premises. If Japanese insist on making paper-thin walled apartments (and I'm not even living in a cheap apaato, but a "proper" 2LDK mansion), they should learn to acclimatize themselves to the noise of their neighbor's regular movement.

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Posted in: Man arrested for using smartphone to film up teenager’s skirt See in context

FFS. Stop calling it a "public nuisance". It's at minimum, sexual harassment and the penalty for indulging in such disgusting behavior should be harsh to discourage would-be predators from finding more victims.

Public nuisance is actually correct. Rape and indecency are, in the modern age, Crimes against Sexual Autonomy. From that viewpoint, a camera pointed up your skirt which you are not supposed to even know about, like it or not, does not infringe on that. All that can be said is that the Defendant is infringing on public order - the right of a citizen to feel safe. Thus public nuisance.

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Posted in: 60% of people with foreign roots questioned by Japanese police: survey See in context

There is a side of the puzzle that's concealed by this article:



The other way to put it is that these questionings have a 23% hit rate even by the self-admission of these "victims".

No technique will always be hits, and for a low intensity technique that has a quarter hit rate (which might well be increased to half once the other side's story is in), the justification will be for why it should be stopped.

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Posted in: WHO director in Asia accused of racism, abuse indefinitely put on leave See in context

I'd feel better, but only b/c I'm in denial that he might well have been using an euphemism to avoid the I-word. I can keep my happiness by effectively pretending he said nothing, even though he might well have.

Which of course is a completely different thing than just qualify those cultures as "inferior".

If Culture B is indeed weaker in some things, and has no countervailing advantages in sight, insisting on not saying it is inferior is just delaying the inevitable.

It makes as much sense as saying one color is "inferior" than another

Even with colors, while not every color can be said to be inferior to another color, there are some real candidates for "inferior" color. Consider the color 204,204,0 on the RGB scale. It's not bright, it's not dark. Not cheery, not sharp. I doubt it is anyone's favorite color. At least I can't think of how I might defend it if someone called it Inferior.

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Posted in: WHO director in Asia accused of racism, abuse indefinitely put on leave See in context

@virusrexToday 07:42 am JST

As a person who previously made a broadly similar statement on this point, I think this goes to me too, so:

Your excuse would work finely if he said "different" culture, race and socioeconomic levels, but he said inferior

I must admit that the value of this distinction is lost on me. Once you acknowledge that there are such things as different cultures, that without denying there is overlap each country's average or spread is different, it's hard to deny that some cultures are better placed to resolve certain problems than others, and some cultures may really just be inferior (or superior) in most things.

To use a COVID example, it's not hard to understand that a culture that encourages the firing of lawsuits to resist collective measures to prevent spread of disease shouldn't be shocked if his country is doing poorly in stopping said disease spread. In that respect at least, it is inferior.

There's only so much you can do to put a wrapper on it, and perhaps you shouldn't, because only by coldly identifying problems with candor can you hope to solve them. If you can't even admit that you are a particularly lawsuit loving people and that it may be interfering with your ability to control disease, you can't make an intelligent decision on whether you as a people want to keep your lawsuit loving habit.

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Posted in: WHO director in Asia accused of racism, abuse indefinitely put on leave See in context

@divindaToday 07:38 am JST

Sad it was uncovered by AP, and not the J-media.

In this instance, one reason is that even if they noticed it, they probably didn't even think it was a big deal. Based on the accusations:

Documents and recordings showed Kasai made racist remarks to his staff and blamed the rise of COVID-19 in some Pacific countries on their “lack of capacity due to their inferior culture, race and socioeconomics level.”

Let's dig into this. What's the complaint? Obviously, there are some jurisdictions that did better than Japan: Taiwan, Korea, New Zealand. But are there ones that did worse? And if there are, is it really that unthinkable that it might be caused by "inferior culture, race and socioeconomics level"?

Of course, committing to such a course would mean you have to eat egg when the statistics turn against you.

But is it wrong in principle to recognize that the averages are not the same in all countries, that for example a country with poorer hygiene practices (taking the average) might be a more likely spreader? We can certainly argue had Japanese been more self-disciplined as a whole, numbers in Japan would be lower.

If you are willing to take the lumps when the numbers are against you, I don't see a problem when the numbers are on your side.

Several WHO staffers working under Kasai said he improperly shared sensitive coronavirus vaccine information to help Japan, his home country, score political points with its donations.

To be blunt, I call this one of the expected perks of winning an office like this. Why should I even donate one of my best people if I can't even take home a connection?

In essence, supposedly Kasai found out which countries needed vaccines most desperately and slipped a word to Japan, who donated vaccines to buy itself a few political points. We may also infer that had he not done so, Japan would either not have sent vaccines or it would have sent them to a less needy country. How is THAT a better outcome?

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Posted in: Europe prepares for a winter without Russian gas See in context

Well, Europeans. You made your bed, now you must lie in it.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

Stop being an American apologist. There's no reasonable doubt at least based on the currently available facts. He killed two people, definite. He had warning and refused to take it, admitted. He either was fatigued and fell asleep or he took his family to a dangerous altitude - either would be neglect of his duty of care. His negligence conviction is a done deal at that point.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

@browny1Today 12:15 pm JST

Are you intimate with the known causes of altitude sickness and it's accompanying variances of symptoms?

I think it is sufficient to know that millions of fly passengers annually are evidence that the chance of it happening to Alkonis, to the extent he needs it to significantly change the verdict, are virtually zero. How many passengers every year complain that they fainted due to the aftereffects of airliner air? That divided by the number of passengers approximates the probability of that being Alkonis' story.

That's the key point of my commentary. The judge decided he fell asleep.

To be more precise, the prosecution peddled the idea that he fell asleep, and the judge decided it was MUCH more likely than the defendant's version. Considering the millions of airliner air breathers that don't faint every year, I can't see a strong case for their being "reasonable" doubt.

First hand witnesses stated otherwise.

Family members are only next to the defendant in the probability of them telling the truth in this situation. The expected probability of a defendant telling the truth is so low he's actually excused from having to do it in Japanese law even in theory.

Strange that anyone claiming to have had a medical episode - and supported by family members - was not examined.

There's no strangeness if we consider that it is far from clear from available information that Alkonis even started his medical episode story until later on (perhaps after receiving advice from legal counsel and the United States Navy). All we can be reasonably certain on is that this is the story he brought to court, which is not the same thing. Further, there's the "small" factor of the sheer improbability of his claim.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context


Are you intimate with the "objective characteristics" of the roads and their relationship to altitude sickness?

I have explained the roads in Aug. 17 12:53 pm JST:

I still hadn't seen a report that concretely states Alkonis' maximum altitude, or the time he stayed there. However in general terms, It's actually HARD to reach an altitude in a car where altitude sickness is a problem on Fuji. The state roads end at just over 2200m, and while it is possible to go on a bicycle to 2700m, that's on private roads where Alkonis should not have been driving on.

Re "altitude sickness", or "acute mountain sickness" as Alkonis claims:

Symptoms of altitude sickness usually develop between 6 and 24 hours after reaching altitudes more than 2,500m above sea level.


Further, it is common knowledge that cabin pressure is usually 8000 feet, or 2400m

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabin_pressurization and also:

Currently, most airliners have cabin air pressure equivalent to that of an altitude of 8,000 feet. For the Dreamliner, Boeing cut that down to 6,000 feet.


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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

@browny1Today 09:35 am JST

This finding is

1) Much more likely than the story Alkonis tried to tell, simply because of

a) the objective characteristics of Fuji's road network, which leaves a person of all but the worst health practically zero chance of suffering from mountain sickness

b) That unconsciousness isn't a usual symptom among people who suffer from mountain sickness.

c) Another reduction for sudden unconsciousness.

2) harmless error even in the adverse case because the key point in a negligence case is duty of care, and a person who had five minutes warning of a mental deviation sufficient to send him off his lane simply cannot be considered not-negligent for failing to stop, regardless of whether the cause is fatigue or hypoxia.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

@bokudaToday 06:21 pm JST

Lt. Alkonis standpoint he had a total blackout right after feeling some sudden weakness, and came back to conscience after some time ignorant of whatever happened on that spam of time.

His duty of care was to stop upon the bolded part. And according to him, it wasn't "right after" - he had FIVE MINUTES.

@kurisupisuToday 06:23 pm JST

Don’t talk nonsense about a duty of care...it’s meaningless when unconscious.

Yeah, if he indeed blacked out w/o warning. It was never a high probability proposition, and as you can see, he himself refuted it. He had a duty to stop when he was given the warning, before he goes deeper off the drink or fully unconscious. He didn't. That caused the death of two people.

I genuinely don't understand why you believe he deserved mercy.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

Did you copy that from https://www.americanbar.org/groups/criminal_justice/standards/

The victims are free to use whoever they wish as their counsel. Re the procuracy, even that document only demands the prosecutor HIMSELF avoid Conflicts of Interest, not everyone who happens to be in his office (should we make many small offices with only pairs of Prosecutor + Assistant to avoid this problem?)

It's almost impossible to say there is prosecutorial misconduct because the decision to not prosecute is entirely discretionary.

And there is no sign bias (the document seems to be mostly considering racism, sexism ... etc) has any significant role to play in the current outcome. Alkonis just has a weak case and is unrepentant.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

I just found something interesting:

I felt my body get weak, and my car drifted out of the lane, but I was able to quickly correct it,” he said in court. Five minutes later, Alkonis said, he began to talk with one of his children when he “lost his memory,” and the crash ensued.


Oh, so you didn't conk out all of a sudden, just as all the Japanese believed. if you didn't make the call to pull over this moment, what happens afterwards is on your head.

The most important thing in this case isn't the exact reason he lost consciousness (whether he fell asleep from failure or blacked out from altitude sickness), but whether he had a fighting chance to avoid this incident. And here, Alkonis just admitted he did have a chance, and he didn't take it. That violated his duty of care.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

I read it. PHF is a partisan organization whose stated purpose is not to be fair, but to defend servicemen. That aside, PHF is clearly making invalid claims:

One of the victim’s daughters is an attorney who represented all of the victims and refused to accept any letters of apology by Lt. Alkonis as customary under Japanese law, which directly resulted in the dismissal of his appeal and request for a suspended sentence,

Does PHF wish to contend that the victims are obliged to accept a letter of apology, and that letter of apology must play a role in reducing Alkonis' sentence?

PHF's writeup shows a clear problem with Americans - they think of these apologies not as genuine, but as tactics or transactions. I wrote a letter of apology, so you MUST accept it and you MUST reduce my sentence. They aren't repentant at all. They just want a trade.

information has been revealed that the son-in-law of one of the victims works at the same office that prosecuted Lt. Alkonis.

Oh, and what does the PHF believe should have happened if that wasn't the case. If the family moved the son-in-law to move the procuracy, it will be because they hadn't forgiven Alkonis, haven't reconciled with him. If that's so, why should he qualify for any advantages that require reconciliation?

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

I won't guarantee that the Japanese system is not discriminatory. I will say this is one case that not only does not advance this line, but suggests that a big reason Gaijin get "discriminated" against is because of their own mis-steps.

In this case, Alkonis' family tried the "Japanese" tactic of pleading guilty, but like Griner in Russia, tried to fight the facts on a low probability variant. This suggests they see it as a tactic to get off lightly, rather than a true submission to the law and admission of fault.

They also seem to treat the Jidan as a cold, mechanical settlement - I pay you and I get off free. No it it is not.

These two combined together objectively suggests a clear lack of any repentance. Repentance is at the core of any chance a defendant has of getting off lightly, and is a quality Alkonis is not effectively demonstrating.

His sentence reflects that. I would assume the Japanese in your cases did not make that mistake. They at least successfully faked repentance.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

@AntiquesavingToday 03:00 pm JST

No, it's a contest between two versions.

Prosecutor: The guy just didn't get as much sleep as he claimed he had, and fell asleep at the wheel. Anything else is just him and his family BSing an excuse. He didn't even get high enough to get altitude sickness, not if he is of normal constitution anyway.

Defense: I'm of this very rare breed that not only gets mountain sickness on airliner air, but suffers from it so badly I will instant-conk when millions upon millions of people, including both the young and the elderly, are exposed to similar conditions every year without suffering ill effects. Somehow, I never noticed my weakness to airliner air through all my years growing up and having taken an airliner at least once in my life.


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Posted in: U.S. seeks resolution for naval officer jailed in Japan over fatal car crash See in context

@browny1Today 08:57 am JST

External doctors & experts determined that he suffered from a delayed altitude sickness episode - not rare at all.

Alkonis doesn't only need to suffer from delayed altitude sickness. He needs to get the variant that makes him conk out instantly. If you scour the world, such cases do exist but they are extremely low probability compared to the odds Alkonis and his family just lied with the help of lawyers and all the medical advice from the United States Navy.

I still hadn't seen a report that concretely states Alkonis' maximum altitude, or the time he stayed there. However in general terms, It's actually HARD to reach an altitude in a car where altitude sickness is a problem on Fuji. The state roads end at just over 2200m, and while it is possible to go on a bicycle to 2700m, that's on private roads where Alkonis should not have been driving on.

He was almost certainly not faced with air more severe than that available on an airliner, and supposing he somehow made it to a dangerous altitude, now he's confessing to taking his kids to an altitude where a sudden conkout is a possibility. Either way, that's not the way to show he did his duty of care.

Doctors are not like prosecutors in that they generally assume the patient is honest. He can be mistaken, but he's sincere because his priority is on getting fixed. When, however, he is facing criminal penalties and has no immediate problems to fix, the possibility of dishonesty go way up. It's within the discretion of the judge to just not believe it. And this guy would have access to the required knowledge to make a good lie - the US Navy surely has substantial institutional knowledge regarding hypoxia.

The family raised over $1.5 million as compensation to the family - which would likely be at least 10 times more than normal in Japan. Yes - I know money can't bring back life, but.....!

Two things. First, by American standards, $1.5 million for two lives is dirt cheap. Didn't we just have a case where over some defamation, the payout was EIGHT POINT TWO MILLION?


I don't think anyone is blind to this reality. Second, *jidan is a thing but your mental attitude is a problem. Jidan assumes the defendant is genuinely sorry. The payout is not because he is trying to escape prison, but an extra from genuine repentance. If this mental attitude is real, it arguably eliminates the need for a conviction and that's the basis for exercising prosecutorial discretion*.

It is very different from trying to escape a conviction by handing out some money, far less than it would have cost him in his home country, too.

Of course, we understand that Tatemae and Honne are different, but Alkonis' family clearly isn't interested in putting up even the Tatemae.

And as a throw-away, I believe a member of the judiciary involved in the case was coincidentally a member of the victims family.

OK, let's say it is true. We'd also say that the immediate family pushed this member, who pushed the judiciary. In this specific case, so what? If anything, that would mean the Victims hadn't voluntarily reconciled with the Defendant. Which means even to the extent a reconciliation with the victim can excuse a defendant, that condition wasn't reached as a matter of fact.

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Posted in: Sri Lankan family seeks Japan panel review over detainee's death See in context

@AscissorToday 11:06 am JST

I'd like to know which study you got that figure from.

I'd like to know too. What is clear, however, is that Wishma did not help her chances by a) violating the terms of her visa, b) overstaying her visa, c) trying to evade the law until she cannot, d) at that point making a knowingly bad refugee claim - her boyfriend supposedly assaulted her ... in Japan ... so she wants to uh, stay in Japan rather than return to Sri Lanka and e) first agreeing to be deported then reversing her stance after influence from a "human rights group".

Objectively, this is not a reliable person acting in good faith. This is a habitual liar and despite the unfortunate result I cannot blame them believing she's faking it.

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Posted in: Lawyers decry ban on 'menacing' eyewear at Japan prison See in context

The style of eyewear in question "could have a bad influence on his incarcerated life, by triggering undisciplined behaviour such as fights and bullying," it said.

Good. He can be used as a filter. Anyone unable to hold back because of supposedly "menacing aura" cannot be released safely into society.

Give him his glasses. They aren't optional.

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Posted in: Japanese junior high school girl removed from class for three days for grooming her eyebrows See in context

@Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne Today  12:28 pm JST

Don't nitpick - we all understand when a person says "most X", he is at most expressing a belief that "most X" have a property on the basis of the ones that he did meet. It can get worse from here.

@KariHaruka Today  07:10 am JST

Your kid clearly has a lot of bandwidth. But what if your kid is just barely passing her studies? You would not at least consider limiting her other activities?

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Posted in: Man gets 2 years in prison for assaulting 17-year-old boy who asked him to stop smoking on train See in context

@DisillusionedToday 08:15 am JST

2 years seems a bit light for a serious assault on a minor.

For Assault, two years is the statutory maximum. The judge is taking it seriously, but the prosecutor didn't want to go for Injury so that's that.

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Posted in: Ex-TEPCO execs ordered to pay ¥13 tril in damages over Fukushima crisis See in context

Should be overturned on Appeal.

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Posted in: Top court upholds damages ruling in Japan's #MeToo symbol's rape case See in context

You might want to consider how you would feel if you are the victim of defamation, and granting you have to eat What Is True, being forced to eat "freebies" as well.

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Posted in: Top court upholds damages ruling in Japan's #MeToo symbol's rape case See in context


If that's the inference you got, that's fine. Shiori should have stuck to the facts. If readers infer from the facts she was drugged, fine. But she shouldn't just tell them unsubstantiated facts.

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Posted in: Top court upholds damages ruling in Japan's #MeToo symbol's rape case See in context

@browny1Today 12:33 pm JST

I was explaining the reasoning behind the addition of the public interest test. In Shiori's case, she fell at the Truth test - just like in the vaunted West.

The court had no problem accepting that Yamaguchi committed a tort. However, even then, it's necessary to state the tort accurately. There is a significant difference between Shiori having sex w/o consent but Yamaguchi didn't do anything, and Yamaguchi drugging her drink before the sex w/o consent. If the latter isn't true or substantiated, it's not justified to add it, regardless of public interest.

You might be speaking truth about someone being a burglar, but you don't get to add "said someone pointed a gun at the family" if it isn't true, because while both are crimes, there's a significant difference between the two.

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Posted in: Top court upholds damages ruling in Japan's #MeToo symbol's rape case See in context

Blacklabel has it right. Shiori was simply found to have failed the truth test. However...

@AntiquesavingToday 10:21 am JST

Ironically, you just wrote the policy reason why there's a Public Interest test as well as a Truth test.

Maybe it's true that someone has an affair. That doesn't affect his ability to do his job, but people have such an ick against affairs that they'd disqualify him prejudicially. Further, the main motive of the person writing may well not be to "Get the Truth Out" but to smear the man, to take revenge.

That's why there's a public interest test, in addition to the truth test.

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Posted in: Ex-PM Abe in critical condition after being shot while campaigning in Nara See in context

Even the Russians have found out. From:


Shinzo Abe was shot by a former member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

From the Japanese city of Nara, there are reports of a deterioration in the health of Shinzo Abe after the assassination attempt on him. As already reported by "Military Review", the former Prime Minister of Japan received a gunshot wound during his speech on the presentation of candidates for the Senate from the Liberal Democratic Party. Abe received two gunshot wounds. Striking elements from the back hit the lung and, according to some reports, broke one of the arteries.

According to the latest information, 41-year-old Japanese citizen Tetsue Yamagami opened fire on Shinzo Abe. Previously, the man served in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (similar to the Navy). He brought to the square where the politician's speech took place, a home-made double-barreled shotgun. The weapon was made from pieces of a water pipe mounted on a wooden base and rewound with wire and tape. The total length of homemade weapons is up to 30 cm. The

attacker on the former prime minister was arrested. At the same time, during the arrest attempt, he resisted. The motives of the person who carried out the shooting are not reported at the moment.

After his arrest, he was charged with attempted murder and illegal manufacture and possession of firearms.

It is reported that an ambulance arrived at the site of the assassination attempt about 15 minutes after the shots were fired. During this time, Abe's associates tried to help him.

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Posted in: Court rules in favor of French man's wife over child custody rights See in context

I can't suddenly get a law degree, and in any case people who have a law degree generally means they are competent in their jurisdiction - their competence drops off quickly when discussing foreign legal systems,. But I can throw you something in my favor quickly:

In continental European law, no distinction is made between civil and criminal cases with regard to the standard of proof. In both, such a high degree of probability is required that, to the degree that this is possible in the ordinary experience of life itself, doubts are excluded and probability approaches certitude. In the common-law countries the degree of probability required in civil cases is lower than that called for in criminal matters.


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Posted in: Court rules in favor of French man's wife over child custody rights See in context

If I remember correctly, Fichot was able to submit some actual proof the woman was lying. Still, that is his version of the story, and we don't know how both sides pitched their cases to the court.

the court did not recognize that abuse occurred

In the absence of the above information, on general principles, that the court did not recognize that abuse occurred does not mean as much as some people think. Continental Law courts tend to have high standards before recognizing particular findings. If a common law court finds for something at 50% probability, a continental law court will be more like 85% probability. So all we can tell is that the court found Fichot had anywhere between 0 and 84 percent chance of having inflicted domestic violence.

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