The relationship between the ways in which Canadian and U.S. common law and classical Roman law treat blackmail, as d...

Kenji on March 19 at 03:51PM

question 19

I still don't quite understand the analogy. Is the passage suggesting that in the US and Canada it is only considered if a blackmailer seeks something in return for not revealing certain information. Meaning simply revealing the information would not constitute as a crime. While in the classical Roman law, it would be a crime if the information harms the victim?

1 Reply

Ben on March 19 at 04:41PM

Hi Kenken, thanks for the question.

This is a more difficult RC question, so I'm happy we are looking at it.

Based on the passage, blackmail is illegal in the US and Canada, while the separate acts that constitute blackmail are not (revealing information and seeking payment).

In classical Roman law, it is the harm caused by revealing the information that makes it illegal. Revealing info about others was only lawful if there was a real purpose that involved public authorities. One couldn't legally disclose embarrassing or damaging information about another person if it didn't involve the need for public authorities' involvement.

Answer choice D parallels the relationship between both ways of dealing with blackmail in the following way.

US and Canada directly prohibit blackmail.
Classical Roman Law makes it illegal to reveal info that does not require public authority involvement.

One country directly prohibits felons to own guns.
Another country indirectly prohibits it by allowing gun ownership only if that person is police or military.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.