The purpose of law is to bring about justice, peace and order in the society. In the administration of justice, the Police, Lawyers and the Judges are key players. Sadly, if an unjust law is made, the administrators of justice are bound to apply it as it is,
The ancient Greece, through the teachings of Aristotle and Plato regarded certain human beings as living instrument (slaves) of others. To them, treating fellow human being as slaves was not unjust. The Nazi policy and the apartheid policy though inhuman were not considered unjust until pro Human Rights governments held the perpetrators to account.
This column encourages those who have the courage to know their rights and demand it. However, the demand must be through due process of law and not through self-help. Using reasonable force to defend oneself or property may not amount to self-help.
In law, Self-Help amounts to taking action in person or by a representative outside the normal legal process. Temptation to resort to Self-help may sometimes be high. For instance a Landlord may decide to use thugs to evict a troublesome tenant instead of following a lengthy and uncertain due process of law; or when the government in disobedience to court order takes action outside due process of the law.
It is worrisome when an organ of the State is involved in disobedience of valid order of the court. Where an organ of the State ridicules another organ of the State, it could encourage individuals to do likewise.
Law is made to regulate the conduct of individuals whether in or out of office. Resorting to self-help destroys the due process of administration of justice; and promotes disregard for due process of law. The consequence of resorting to Self-help is grave. Thus, the satisfaction gained is short-lived and reversed when due process of law is triggered.
As we endures the current economic hardship, political oppression and all sorts of marginalisation, we should bear in mind that resolving dispute through due process of the law is more rewarding than resorting to self-help. Justice may be delayed but will never be denied.
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