John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, June 30, 2006
  Rule of Law vs Rule of Person
One thing that was interesting about the last demonstration that I attended was that George Galloway did not turn up.

It was a demonstration about unjust systems where people are punished because allegations are made against them not because they are actually found guilty.

Yes, it was the demonstration by about 100 Bankers and Directors about the extradition of the NatWest 3.

This is just the same issue as parents whose children are stolen from them because of false allegations; teachers punished because of false allegations; a Brazilian shot because people thought he was a terrorist; Muslims in Forest Gate whose main crime appeared to be having a beard.

The underlying issue is that the processes that society uses are important. We cannot simply jump on people becase someone thinks that they are a terrorist/fraudster/paedophile * (delete what is not applicable).

The interesting thing about this demonstration is that I thought it was the second demonstration I have attended in contravention of SOCA 2003 (the law about demonstrations near parliament). The argument was, however, that because there were no placards it was not a demonstration. That cause the Green Party supporter who turned up with a placard some problems.

Not every businessman is a fraudster, not everyone with a beard is a terrorist.

It is not sufficient for people to have good intentions, they need to get things right. To get things right requires proper procedures. That does not guarantee that things will be right, but it goes a long way.
 
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