The Law is an endlessly evolving body. It is constantly out of date, frequently oppressive and ham handed. It is a brutal and blunt instrument whose primary purpose is to protect property and the status quo for those at the top of the pyramid. There is no question that we all need the protection of the law. It is just that some get a better deal then others.
Justice is frequently for sale to those with deep pockets while the poor end up in prison. People in the middle class encountering the law, are often ruined financially by that encounter.
Justice itself has little or nothing to do with what you and I think of as "right and wrong." Justice has to do solely with enforcing the law. That is where, what the lay person calls, injustice creeps, no races, in.
If you knew that there was a court which exists only to prosecute members of a certain group and that court convicts 85% of those accused who appear before that court, would you believe it? Would you think that court was in the third world or some dictatorship? This court is in Ontario.
Do you know that we have brought back Dickensian Debtor's Prisons in Canada?
Right now there are hundreds, make that thousands, of debtors languishing in Canadian jails. Every day we jail people who do not have the money to make bail or pay fines. It costs Canadian taxpayers a fortune to jail someone who cannot pay a fine. Surely this is the height of economic, if not social, stupidity.
A substantial portion, perhaps the majority, of our jail population is made up of people who simply could not pay fines. or people who could not manage to raise bail even for minor offences. It is also made up of people who are innocent and awaiting trial, sometimes for years. Why?
Why are we paying hundreds of millions of dollars to jail people for being poor? Is that economical or logical let alone fair and just? Why are our jails not reserved for the real criminals? Convicted, violent offenders who are a real threat to society.
The Morins, Milgards and Marshalls are not the exception in this country. Our jails are full of wrongfully convicted innocent people. We just don't hear about most of them because they do not have the money, the media cachet, or some powerful lobby group helping them. It can happen to you, no matter what you think.
We need to change this.
If you are charged with a criminal offense, you must bear the cost of defending yourself against the endless resources of the state. This can ruin most middle class people. If you are acquitted, you get nothing to compensate you for your expenses and losses in defending yourself. Is this just?
Most judges and most lawyers are not malevolent. Some are lazy, some are expedient, some have serious substance abuse problems, some are incompetent. We have even had convicted criminals on the bench in Canada. But most are trying to do good honest work in extremely demanding positions. Yes, they do get extremely well paid for their efforts and yet, neither judges nor lawyers are accountable for their actions in carrying out their functions. Why is that?
Under our current system, it is almost impossible to remove a judge. In fact only a handful, less then ten, have been removed from the bench since Confederation.
- Until judges can be removed from the bench in this country, we will not have justice.
- Until lawyers who knowingly lie in court are accountable, we will never have justice.
Judges are not immune from the corrupting influences of power. Judges are human and they develop massive ego problems. Anyone would who is the object of such fear, deference and obsequious kowtowing.
Why do lawyers bow to judges? If power does not corrupt, it surely breeds arrogance. Why are judges called "Your Honour?"
In fact why are two of the most disliked groups in any country, including Canada, Politicians and Judges (who of course are also lawyers) called "honourable?"
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "The more she proclaimed her honour, the faster we counted our spoons." No fool, that Mr Emerson.
There is a little marine animal called the sea squirt. When it is born or hatched, it looks for a place to live. When it finds a nice comfortable rock, it attaches itself there permanently and never moves again. then having no further use for one, it eats it own brain. Judges also find their lifetime permanent rock and never move again either.
We need to overhaul many areas of the law.
Family law is a disaster for all concerned, except those in the legal and counselling industries. For them it is multi- billion dollar profit centre. Children lose a parent, their extended families and even their homes in divorce. They are often treated as chattels, abused and neglected, and directly or indirectly exploited, not just by divorcing parents, but by the courts, the children's aid workers, the lawyers, the assessors and other "experts" whose liveliehood depends on family law in some way.