With the summer season here, many individuals are looking to travel and explore various parts of the world. Some individuals want to escape the heat while others gravitate towards exotic locations. Regardless of where you choose to travel, it is important to recognize that legal systems differ across nations. Although nations may uphold similar laws, their repercussions may differ drastically.
Many travellers overlook the importance of familiarizing themselves with a nation’s law because they feel they are ultimately protected by their country of residence; however, there are cases where the government will not intervene. A recent example of this practice was a hostage situation of John Ridsdel in the Philippines. Prime Minister Trudeau had refused to pay ransom to the terrorists who had kidnapped Ridsdel which resulted in Ridsdel being beheaded.
Furthermore, a couple that had travelled from Brampton, Ontario to Punta Cana found themselves in a helpless situation after wrongfully accusing a man of sexually harassing two women. The accused, a man of the military, was later found innocent but wanted the travelers to be charged for their false accusations. The woman was charged with swearing while the man was charged with falsely accusing an innocent person. The man was then ridiculed by police officers during his four hour stay in the local jail. The couple had contacted their family in Canada to assist them with obtaining government assistance but was advised that the Canadian embassy could not help. Eventually, a family member had flown to Punta Cana and negotiated a price of $3,000.00 to have the man freed and to allow the couple to return home.
Familiarizing yourself with a nations legal system can help avoid the above – noted issues. Although one may not have the intention of violating a law, the consequences of doing so can be harsh, even if they are committed in ignorance. So before you travel this summer, inform yourself of the nation’s laws.
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Points of Discussion:
Have you had an experience will law enforcement while visiting another country?
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