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  • The meaning of JUSTICE is very straightforward. Fairness, morality, even-handedness. Righting of wrongs. Punishment of bad actions. Reward for doing good things.

    LAW? That's more difficult. Law can be justice, but in wrong hands, it very often becomes a tool to impede it. The law-makers at the courts of the Borgias or the Doges reguarly sent innocent men to their sordid dungeons (or worse). After the Socialist French leader Jean Jaurès was gunned down in 1914, the assassin was cleared of his murder. Not so long ago, Berlusconi-appointed judges would throw away any case against their benefactor. In Britain “independent” commissions appointed by the Prime Minister regularly arrive at risible conclusions.e.g. the infamous Hutton Inquiry into Blair’s incursion into Iraq. The list is very long.

    As an example of how the Law, supposed to protect the innocent against predators, fails to do so, I can only give a fictional example:
    One day, a man- let’s call him Mr Gull- received an e-mail from a friend we shall call Damselind, telling him that whilst holidaying in a country I shall call Corridastan, she was mugged, robbed of her passport, credit cards, phones and money. Could Gull urgently send her some money. She advised to use an agency whose name Gull is not allowed to say here, for reasons you will understand later. So I shall name it the Eastern Inc. In the last years, branches of Eastern Inc. have appeared all over the place; not far from Mr Gull’s home, there are two branches facing each other.

    Gull does the transfer, but is informed soon after that Damselind had not been to Corridastan, and adding two and two, for once he arrived at the result four. It seems certain that Eastern Inc. has delivered the money to a third, fraudulent party. He swears, beats his chest, and when the situation is not remedied by these, he takes a number of actions and these demarches finally end up with Eastern Inc. agreeing to a complete refund.

    Has Justice been done? No, but the Law has prevailed. Gull can only get his refund if he signs an undertaking that he will not mention the undertaking not to mention the aforesaid undertaking to anybody. Would it not be only justice for a civic minded person like Mr Gull - I omitted from mentioning this trait - if he could inform as many people as possible of what happened in order to stop them becoming victims too, and in case they did, what to do in order to reclaim what is theirs? The Law stops him.
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