Is the law always just?

Many people view the law as a system that they can depend on to ensure that justice is served. However, the truth is that the legal system has its imperfections that result in numerous occasions of a miscarriage of justice. In my opinion, in order to ensure that the law is just to the highest possible degree, we have to either obtain perfect information, or allow the decisions made by the law to be reversible.

Firstly, the prospects of perfect information is absolutely alluring. With complete and ubiquitous information about circumstances and the human reasoning behind certain actions, we will be able to carry out prosecutions without ever having to fear convicting an innocent man of a crime. This, however, can only remain a myth unless we allow someone else to know everything about us. Of course this goes against the fundamentals of confidentiality and privacy, which I believe that humans are unwilling to trade for the perfection of the law. This can be due to two distinct reasons. For one, people might not want to sacrifice the freedom they have to do whatever they want in private, and secondly, people might not see the need for absolute justice to be served. I would pursue the discussion of these two questions in a separate post in the future, though feel free to share with me your thoughts regarding this matter.

Clearly, perfect information is not feasible so long as humans are not willing to provide it. Thus we could only try our best to circumvent the fundamental issue at hand and come up with an alternative. In order to ensure that the law is just to the highest possible degree, we would have to allow the decisions made by the law to be reversible, insofar as it does not compromise the deterrent effects of punishment. This is definitely easier said than done as the deterrent effects of punishment usually come with the finality and irreversibility of the punishment. For example, capital punishment, one of the most deterrent forms of punishment out there, draws its deterrent effect from its finality, which in itself can be a disadvantage as it might result in an irreversible miscarriage of justice. Therefore, a balance has to be struck between the deterrent effects brought about by the finality of a punishment and the importance of having a punishment that has effects that hare reversible in order to ensure that the law can be just on as many occasions as possible.

To arrive at a clear conclusion in such a convoluted discussion is a difficult task. However, what we know now is that we should work towards the final destination where perfect, or close to perfect, information can be obtained, and where judicial actions can be reversed without leaving misunderstood scars on an innocent man, as that is where the law can be just to the highest possible degree. Image


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