Campaign to put justice back as the center of legal systems.
Laws were originally written down because the king of that time — who was absolute ruler — wanted all the people under his rule to get the same justice in disputes. I do not mean to affront the feminists but in late “Dark Ages”, pre-medieval, when Alfred the Great in Britain first started having his laws writing down, only men were kings since their first duty was to fight in hand-to-hand battles. The rights were, by modern standards, very limited but his objective was to impose his rule on the whole kingdom and stop local “Lords” imposing their own laws on the local people.
The object of written law was to bring justice to all the people.
Now, this objective has been submerged and distorted and made to disappear. Now we have application of the law to meet the needs of the law. We have judges, who are lawyers by training, declaring what a law means. Only the people who created the law, the Government, have a right to state what it means; we have courts that exist to decide who has won the legal argument. We have decisions based only on which side has presented the legal case. Justice does not exist, only the law and the lawyers and this is NOT what was originally intended. We have government prosecution services who decide what law should be applied and which party should be charged with an office based on the letter of the law.
In Britain, we have an absurd situation where a traffic offense can result in a poor person paying a much larger amount in fines than a rich person. A fine, say £60, must be paid within 30 days; a poor person can not do so and tries to ask for time to pay. They get told they have to now pay £200 because they cannot pay on time. Eventually, they are allowed to pay in installments but at a cost of over £200 while the rich person, committing the same offense, paid £60.
We have men accused of rape, identified but a woman who makes false accusations and even commits perjury in court, is protected.
A man paints over offensive graffiti and he is the one who gets punished.
Soldiers in a battle risk legal action for shooting the people trying to kill them.
Disputes over who owns which tiny strip of land end up costing the parties involved vast amounts in legal fees. Such disputes should be judges in a local court and such judgment should be final.
Top judges should NOT be lawyers, they should be retired senior officers from the armed services. Women and men who have had to make decisions based on what is right or wrong, what is best for the serving soldiers under their command, what is best for their country; not on what some legal expert has interpreted a law to mean 100 years ago.
Above all, these are people who understand they have been accountable for their decisions. The present systems means judges are not accountable, they do not “suffer” if they make wrong decisions. They do not loose their jobs, they do not pay fines for bad or even wrong decisions.
Appeal courts should base decision on what is “Just” in the particular situation they are judging. The basis for their ruling should not be a point of law, some intricate twisted interpretation of some bureaucratic jargon, it should be on what is right.
People talk of “natural justice” the legal profession, and even some higher ranking police officers, seems to think this is some evil vigilante charter. It is not.
Natural is defined as existing in nature, in accordance with human nature, as is normal or to be expected.
Justice is defined as the principle of fairness that like cases should be treated alike.
So under natural justice, if a bureaucrat behind a desk in a local authority (who should have arranged the removal of the graffiti) decides to impose a fine on the person who painted over it, then this should only be possible if the original graffiti painter was also in the same court being fined and those who failed in their duty to erase it was also being punished in the same court.
Natural justice is not an abstract idea that opposes rule by law, it is the bedrock that underlines why laws were made in the first place. The legal profession should embrace natural justice and seek to ensure all court decisions comply with it.
People will never all agree, never all accept even the simplest of agreements; this is why rules and laws were developed. The communes set up in the 60s and 70s nearly all failed because they started with the idea they would be run by consensus, no managers, no one in charge, they stagnated never getting 100% agreement meant nothing ever got done. We have to have laws and rules especially since we have too large a population. The desire is to ensure these rules and laws are interpreted and administrated to ensure justice is done.