THE RULE OF LAW

 

Justitia, the representation of the rule of law

 

What is the point of the law? What is it for? These questions are hugely important right now because there is a savage bully game going on. This game involves the misuse of law, playing with the concepts and technicalities of law and justice to suit the ends of the abusers. The abusers are the ruling set, who have hijacked the country against the wishes of the majority and are operating within the leader principle and the base standards of the group.

The British government went to the courts to try to make legal the use in court of information obtained by torture. They failed in their attempt, but the whole business demonstrated that the British government is obtaining information by torture, and is unhappy that it can’t be used in court.

This example shows that there is a problem in our society with law and the meaning of law courts, one not currently being addressed by a parliamentary and national discussion concerning what the law is all about.

 

RIGHT AND WRONG AND THE LAW

We urgently need to assert what we mean by the difference between right and wrong, between real good and evil, and then by standing up for what is good and right ensure that abuse and wrongdoing are opposed in our society wherever and whenever they occur. Evil abuse and serious wrongdoing have become normal daily occurrences in this country, and the British government have been committing terrible abuses – including torture – unchecked.

According to the group and leader principles, what supports the group and its leadership is right, and what supports the opposition is wrong. Violence, torture, lies, manipulation and control, domination and subjugation of the other are all good things when committed by us because they uplift ‘us’ and put ‘them’ down. The tougher and bigger our leader looks and behaves the better our leader is than their leader. Our lives lower down the order should reflect all this, as we accept the domination of those above and dominate those below us while joining together as a group to abuse the other.

These principles are the opposite principles to human rights and law, and they have gained the ascendancy in our society. We need to assert that it is this that is evil, and that we will work together to successfully replace this with good, that is, with human rights and the rule of law.

For example, it is a common phrase that the end does not justify the means, but we need to assert this in legislation. It is never acceptable to commit torture, and you must always be prosecuted and punished for this.

The assertion has been – started by the USA and copied by successive British governments – that torturing terror suspects gives information that protects the public from further attacks like those of the World Trade Center.

This is the group principle, and the example shows why it is an evil principle. Since ‘terror suspects’ are by definition not found guilty of terror, they are very possibly innocent. The idea is that they don’t count, only our innocents do. Abusing them, so that should we get information that helps us find the real terrorists we can be protected from terror attacks, is considered good because by hurting them we can avoid being hurt ourselves. It is only we who are important, and who should be protected, they don’t matter. Hurting people is not wrong per se, it is hurting us that’s wrong. Hurting them is fine. This was the U.S. response to the September 11 attacks, and it is an evil response that we will reject.

We must assert in law that us abusing them is equally as wrong as them abusing us, and the reasons for the abuse are irrelevant. It is abuse, atrocity, murder, torture, domination and destruction that we oppose, not ‘them’. Those of ‘us’ that commit abuse, atrocity, murder, torture, domination and destruction go to jail.

This is just one example, although it is a very important one for the modern world. There are many, many abuses going on in Britain in contexts where the group and leader principles have replaced law and rights.

The deliberate attack on the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers is another clear example. Considered as ‘them’ rather than ‘us’, they are treated with abuse, violence and repeated offenses, and the government want the courts to support this, not stop it. But the government is not above the law, or the principles of human rights. The current lot are just a group of individuals committing abuses, not the untouchable rulers and decision-makers who must be obeyed irrespective of the basic underlying principles of civilisation. It is not up to the government whether or not immigrants have human rights. They do, and the Prime Minister can and should be prosecuted for trying to deny them their rights.

We need to agree first of all that this is what is wrong, that is, we assert that what we are opposing all comes down to this uncivilised base animal instinctive behaviour of hierarchy and the group, and that we will derive our understanding of rights and law as freedom from and protection from this abuse, freedom and protection for all, not just our group.

This is very important because we won’t successfully oppose wrongdoing and replace it with what is right if our understanding and our approach are mistaken. The understanding presented in the manifesto of the Equal and Just Society Party, and in its British Declaration of Human Rights must underpin the whole development of an equal and just society.

 

LAW AS UNDERSTOOD WITHIN THE LEADER PRINCIPLE

Law in the leader principle consists of rules to be imposed. There is no underlying ethical basis to why we have law that influences what laws do and don’t apply.

The leader arrogates to himself (or, very occasionally, herself) supreme command. The rest of the group is a structured gang organised into tiers, whose job is to obey and to enforce obedience. There is no question of challenging the leader because a rule imposed is ethically wrong. A leader can only be challenged in a leadership competition by someone who wants to replace them as leader. Leaders are not constrained by ethical considerations.

This total absence of ethics, just the imposition of group rule obedience, has an important effect: if something isn’t forbidden by the law then it isn’t wrong. Only breaking rules and disobeying orders are wrong. Conscience, empathy, morality and ethical understanding of abuse and decency are neither here nor there. Things aren’t lawful because they are good and right, and unlawful because they are bad and wrong, instead there are just orders and rules, and anything not ruled out can be committed with impunity.

This attitude underlies the attempt to remove the sanctions on use of information obtained by torture that the British government made. It is currently unlawful to use such information in a court case; change the rules so that it is lawful, and then you can use it. At no stage do the ethics of torture have anything to do with it.

It is important that we understand that this attitude has been behind the removal of regulation in banking and finance. Ethics play no part in these transactions; the point is to make as much money as possible within the rules of the game. The fewer the rules, the more you can get away with, so from Mrs. Thatcher’s abuse gang onwards successive governments have removed the rules and regulations, allowing the free-for-all that has led to the current disastrous situation.

We must never lose sight of the fact that this has not been a mistake, but a deliberate policy embedded in the hierarchical approach to law and rules. The very idea that you constrain yourself by moral principles of right and wrong even where there is no law forcing you to be moral is preposterous: you’re in the game to win, not to do the decent thing. The fewer laws and rules based on ethical considerations there are, the more you can lawfully get away with – any moral judgement that something might be wrong is not part of the set-up. This has been the guiding principle behind the deregulation of the finance sector, and it is why we must oppose that with a new system based on ethical considerations.

The approach to legislation and making and changing laws is thus all about ‘getting away with it’. We are in a game of winners and losers, not a professional attempt to build a civilisation. This involves choosing which laws to apply when, according to what particular abuse game you’re playing – playing the system for your own benefit, using the letter of law and the structure of rules to commit abuse, even though the laws were originally written to contain and prosecute wrongdoing.

Where laws exist to circumscribe wrongdoing, those laws are to be removed or superseded, where no law exists allowing desired abuse, laws are passed (such as anti-terror laws) allowing wrongdoing, with group-principle excuses given as justification to get away with it (such as the suggestion that the end justifies the means).

The protection of the law, and of human rights in general, is for those loyal to the group, not others; if you are disloyal you lose all rights and are to be the victim of a punishment game. Crime and punishment are therefore seen within the light of the group and leader principles: punishment is for disloyalty, not for wrongdoing.

This is what has gone wrong. What can we do to put it right?

 

THE ETHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF A JUST RULE OF LAW

We need to establish the ethical principle of law clearly and strongly in this land. Our understanding is that the whole point of the law is to provide protection from the abuse that occurs without the rule of law. No abuse can ever be lawful, including parliamentary abuse, police abuse, and military abuse.

We must therefore declare that:

  • The reason for the existence of law is to protect victims and potential victims from abuse and to restrain abusers.
  • The law is not a set of rules imposed by those at the top of the hierarchy to be obeyed by those below them.
  • What does or does not count as abuse is fundamental, and forms a key part of the foundational discussion of our philosophy of human rights, and of crime and punishment.
  • As the current system is clearly insufficient to oppose wrongdoing by governments, we need to create a system where abusive legislation is unlawful because it goes against the principles of law and human rights, which have priority.
  • With an agreed-upon understanding of right and wrong formally written out in detail, a commitment to stopping all wrongdoing irrespective of any other considerations, we can restructure our society so that no abusers can ever get away with abuse. This will require constitutional change, for example the removal of the total sovereignty of parliament.
  • We should not have a written constitution such as that of the USA, because written constitutions have problems of their own, but we should have a detailed British Declaration of Human Rights that is foundational and that parliament cannot flout in legislation, and we must ensure that the courts are powerful and independent enough to be a strong check on parliament, while being themselves subject to balance and check.

This will require a development of the British judiciary to give it a more hands-on investigatory and regulatory role.

We can also assert a set of principles that are important as our opposition to what we have found is wrong in our society:

  • Enforced obedience to rule of a person or group is abuse, and the law exists in part to protect people from this obedience.
  • The requirement that all people obey the law exists as part of the principle of law not to create an obedience game but, quite the contrary, to ensure that no-one can set up such an obedience game – because everyone so trying is also required to obey the law, which is not a person or group, and the law does not allow such games.
  • Law is not a system of rules to establish and enforce the control of a gang, and anyone who tries to use the law to impose such control is misusing the law, which is itself unlawful.
  • The rule of law is a co-operative principle in which all people are equal before the law: the leader principle does not apply.
  • Law is never to be used to enforce obedience to leaders.
  • Leaders are equal in rank to everyone else and are equally constrained by the principles of law.
  • Where the application of a rule is abusive and not protective against abuse, that application is against the principle of law and therefore unlawful.
  • In a fully evolved legal system, demonstrating that in a certain context the application of a law would be bullying, abusive, and contrary to the whole point of law in the first place, will be enough to ensure that that application would be a misapplication, and thus not applied.
  • Where an instance of abuse is not proscribed by law, the principles from which we derive our philosophy of rights and law enable judges to rule in common law that such an instance is illegal, and it suffices to show that the act was abusive according to the principles of our declaration of human rights to enable this new ruling.

This last assertion is extremely important and will make a fundamental difference to justice in our country. There is currently so much abuse that can be got away with because it isn’t illegal, such as bullying in the workplace, the home and elsewhere. A declaration that bullying is unlawful will then give to the courts the task of developing common law in accordance with this declaration, so that a victim can go to court with a genuine complaint which is not currently covered by legislation, and achieve a ruling in their favour, which then creates a precedent that outlaws that example of bullying. Over the years of common law rulings, this should enable us to make great strides towards a really decent society.

 

EQUALITY AND JUSTICE

We can create a society that is equal and just if it is understood that abuse and domination, violence, thieving and corruption exist across the human species and that no-one can claim to not be an abuser simply by position of heredity, wealth, power, or uniform worn. That is why the rule of law applies to everyone, Presidents and Prime Ministers, vicars and priests, royals, police officers, judges, lawyers, soldiers, the lot. If a Prince of Wales were to demonstrate abusive behaviour, that Prince is to be investigated and prosecuted the same as any other ordinary person. The lowest-ranking police officer has authority to arrest the Prime Minister or a member of the royal family if either should commit a crime.

The rule of law at no time takes into account contemporary political considerations. If a visiting President is suspected of torture, that President is arrested, and if the Prime Minister tries to oppose this, that Prime Minister is considered under suspicion of being potentially an accessory to torture, and is investigated.

The practical applications of all this will require a thought-through philosophy of crime and punishment, not a series of populist reactions coupled with loyalty and disloyalty rewards and punishments. We therefore derive our human rights from an intelligent understanding of real-world good and evil, what actually happens, and we will derive our philosophy of law from these human rights and our understanding of real right and wrong in our lives. We can then work together as the people with the judiciary and parliamentary legislation to create a thought-through policy of crime and punishment that fully reflects decency, equality and true justice, and not rules and obedience, the leader principle or the tribal attitude of the group.

 

 

Image of Justitia by Romaine, released under the Creative Commons licence.