The World Forum - April 21st, 2024

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Giving the middle finger is a ‘God-given right’, Canadian judge rules


Giving your neighbour the middle finger may not be polite but is protected as part of a person’s right to freedom of expression under the Canadian constitution, a judge has ruled.

In a 26-page decision, Dennis Galiatsatos dismissed a case against a man accused of harassing his neighbour in a Montreal suburb.

“To be abundantly clear, it is not a crime to give someone the finger,” he said in a ruling dated 24 February. “Flipping the proverbial bird is a God-given, charter-enshrined right that belongs to every red-blooded Canadian,” he added, referring to Canada’s charter of rights and freedoms.

In his decision, Galiatsatos launched a stinging rebuke of the neighbour and complainant, Michael Naccache, whose grievances, he said, were “nothing more than mundane, petty neighbourhood trivialities”.

“It is deplorable that the complainants have weaponised the criminal justice system in an attempt to exert revenge on an innocent man for some perceived slights that are, at best, trivial peeves,” Galiatsatos wrote.

Naccache had previously accused Epstein of assaulting his parents in March 2021, a claim the judge dismissed outright.