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The law and a sense of duty

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24.08.2020

“I am ashamed the law is such an ass” appears in George Chapman’s play “Revenge for Honour” written in 1654. However, this phrase gained popularity in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist in 1838: “If the law supposes that, the law is a ass—a idiot.” Both the law and the English language have changed over time. Perhaps except for the fact that one party, the one that loses a case, always thinks that the law is an ass. While the party that wins, is all praise for the courts and the country’s justice system.

Consider the saying of Emperor Justinian that “Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to everyone his due.” Thus justice essentially means to be just, to be fair. That is the duty of the courts to ensure to be fair and thus help governments in keeping peace by punishing crime and resolving civil disputes so people do not take matters into their own hands. That the law and order is maintained. The idea of justice contains two basic rules, also called the Rules of Natural Justice, which simply mean: everyone is entitled to a fair trial and must be allowed to speak in his defence; and that the judge must be impartial. The Magna Carta, article 40 says “To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” While most systems in the world try their best to uphold the rules of natural justice it is........

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