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Natural Justice and arrogant latte-sipping lawyers

It is of course understandable that those in the legal profession would think that justice actually requires the performance in their own  theatre, with appropriate posturing  from their own stars of that stage. They truly think that the courts and the legal profession have an absolute monopoly upon the dispensing of justice. Personally I think that the claim for justice being the exclusive business of lawyers and judges is  flawed. Firstly  I shall give you the  example of   Geoffrey Robertson who says this in the Age and was very quick of the mark at the ABC making essentially  the same argument:

I do not minimise the security problems of holding a trial or overlook the danger of it ending up as a squalid circus like that of Saddam Hussein. But the notion that any legal process would have been too hard must be rejected. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – also alleged to be an architect of September 11 – will go on trial shortly. Had bin Laden been captured he should have been in the dock alongside him, so that their shared responsibility could have been properly examined.

Bin Laden could not have been tried for the attacks on the twin towers at the International Criminal Court, since its jurisdiction only came into existence nine months later. But the United Nations Security Council could have set up an ad hoc tribunal in The Hague, with international judges (including Muslim jurists), to provide a fair trial and a reasoned verdict that would have convinced the Arab street of his guilt.

This would have been the best way of demystifying this man, debunking his cause and de-brainwashing his followers. In the dock he would have been reduced in stature – never more to be remembered as the tall, soulful figure on the mountain, but as a hateful and hate-filled old man. Since his videos exult in the killing of innocent civilians, any cross-examination would have emphasised his inhumanity. These benefits that flow from real justice have been forgone.

The obsessive belief of the US in capital punishment – alone among advanced nations – is reflected in its rejoicing at the manner of bin Laden’s demise. Barack Obama has most likely secured re-election by approving the execution. This may be welcome, given the alternatives of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee (who have both urged that Julian Assange be hunted down in similar fashion) or Donald Trump. But it is a sad reflection on the continuing attraction of summary execution.

There seems to be a great deal of post facto suggestions that Bin laden should/could have been taken alive but this is absolutely unrealistic. So many of Bin Laden’s acolytes have been willing to detonate explosives when they faced capture that the police and military just do not give the the benefit of the doubt a head shot is the best way to ensure that a cornered Jihadist is the only one sent to meet their maker, it is only later when they have been neutralised can anyone be sure if they posed a real threat to those sent to capture or kill them. In that very short time between entering the room and firing the fatal shots with a full on adrenaline rush there would have been no scope for the arrest of Bin laden. firing the fatal shots would have been a split second decision and fully consistent with the reputation of the target and the expectations of those commandos that the target would not “come quietly”.  When one side does not acknowledge any limits to their behaviour (as the Jihadists have proven so many times by deliberately  killing innocents) and they think that dying for their cause buys them a place in paradise it is unreasonable to expect that they should be captured as a first preference rather than the safest option of them being killed
At its heart the notion of justice requires that someone who acts in an unacceptable manner receives a sanction that is an appropriate recompense for their crimes. What we consider to be a crime in the first place is essentially decided by social consensus and we rely upon the same sort  social consensus to decide if someone accused of a crime is guilty by the use of a jury. Thus it is that the courts and Lawyers like Robertson are really just the proxies for  the people. However there are times when we just do not need such proxies. The man was guilty and his death was just, the fact that there was no convoluted legal ritual preceding his well deserved demise is a blessing because we have been spared the same sort of  evil court room grandstanding  we saw when the Bali Bombers were tried and eventually executed. We all think that there is a justice of sorts evident when bad things happen to bad people. There is merit in this belief because we see that sort of happen-stance as a balancing of the books which is after all what we understand justice to be isn’t it?
The arrogance of the legal profession here is breath taking. Is there really any doubt that Bin Laden was guilty of the crimes that he boasted about to the world?  What sentence would Robertson deem appropriate given his oft stated objection to capital punishment? Anyway this raise the question what precisely is Justice and does it require the theatre that made Robertson a star?
So I’ argue that the killing of Bin laden is just, he got what he deserved, and that would have been the judgement of a reasonable court anyway so in terms of natural justice there is no problem here at all.
Cheers Comrades


  1. Sax says:

    I like Robertson. I used to enjoy his “hypothetical” (I think that was what they called it ?) series.

    They truly think that the courts and the legal profession have an absolute monopoly upon the dispensing of justice.

    Fine. As long as you have the vast amounts of money, demanded by the legal fraternity, to access this wonderful justice they are talking about ? Funny how they never mention that part do they ?

    Also, what happens when that “justice” becomes the focul point of further violence and revenge attacks ?

    The problem here is duality
    Every society on the planet, regardless of religious tendencies, has their own court, and justice system. These people have chosen, for the most part, to live within a certain society. A society, that over centuries, has formulated its own set of laws that seem, for the most part, to work well.

    Only in recent years, have we seen religious interference in this process. The old phrases of I’m a …… your laws don’t apply to me ! now often becomes a catch cry when some tosser gets caught ? If your a female tourist, try travelling to a muslum country, without head wear, and see how far you get ?

    When we travel overseas, we are bound by the laws of the country we are travelling to. That is a given. For someone to jump up, and cry foul, that the laws don’t apply because of their religion is crap, and just an attempt to subvert their own activities. The question therefore becomes, how far must we be forced, to accommodate these people that won’t obey the law ?
    For my money,
    Ignorance is no excuse.
    Relgion is no excuse.
    Lifestyle is no excuse.
    Circumstances are no excuse etc etc !

    There is no doubt Laden was responsible for unspeakable atrocities. For some bleeding heart to come back, and cry foul, at the methods required to stop this tosser, (as well as his financing of other activities), especially using legal minutia, is short sighted, arrogant, and typical of people who have never suffered under the hands of these thugs. They spit at our laws, and us, and then expect all the benefits our system provides when they finally get caught ? Yeah, boooosheeet ! (sorry !)

    There was no way that Pakistan was going to hand overe Laden. For them to say they had no idea of his whereabouts, is a folly at best, criminal at worse. Typical mid eastern arrogance. How bloody stupid does Zardari, and his cronies, think the rest of the world is ? For the yanks to just go in there, do the job, and get out, without consultation or reverence to Pakistan, just shows that the job needed to be done, and the yanks weren’t going to put up with anymore arrogance, lies, or b/s stories from the Pakistani goverment.
    All power to them. This action not only probably saved the rest of us, at least in the interim, more deaths, but quite efficiently, put the arrogant Paki government back in its insignificant little place for a while ?

  2. Sax says:

    BTW, we should be going after his tosser lieutenants with just as much fervour and tenacity ?

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Yes Sax,
    did we shoot five or was it six?
    ask yourself if you are feeling lucky ….

  4. Sax says:

    five or six ? Hmm, me thinks not. Semi autos, if they were steyr’s then thirty odd shots at a time ? Woohoo ! Very effective carnage I would think ?

  5. Luzu says:

    I have seen the question posted on other blogs and I think it worthy of consideration. Given the nature of Bin Laden’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks (as mastermind, not an actual participant) and given the fact that the operation took place on the soil of a sovereign nation without their explicit consent, what justification do people have who condemn the killing of Palestinian terrorist leaders who are assassinated by Mossad or the state of Israel?

  6. Sax says:

    None ! Generally, that view comes from loud mouths, in front of a microphone or reporters, totally ignorant of the full situation, and are seeking their 30 seconds of fame. As previously stated, we are pretty much all ex mil here. We have all lived through the times, although young, of when our people were spat at coming back from Vietnam. To have similar drones criticise a job, they wanted done, and then criticise the way it was done, is shortsighted and dangerous.

    Sometimes when a job gets “dirty” we have to send in professionals to do it, as was the case this time.

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    — Benjamin Franklin

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