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A Law for You and Law for Me

Essay by   •  February 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  459 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,066 Views

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Laws for you and laws for me.

Laws are made to help maintain order and a civil society. Australian and international laws state that everyone is considered equal under the law, and has the right to equal treatment in the institutions and structures of the law so that justice may be served. This however, is often not the case. There are numerous examples where those with enough wealth and power have been able to evade the law. It is true also that the rule of law can be used by the wealthy to ensure that justice is not served. These inconsistencies must be reviewed in order for law to be truly equitable.

One of the most striking examples of the fact that wealth and power are above the law is the current occupation of Iraq. It has been deemed illegal by international courts nevertheless the occupation continues and the international community is powerless to stop it. Ironically, it was the international courts ruling that the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was illegal that was a justification for the first gulf war. Rich and powerful nations are able use law as justification for action when it suits them or ignore it when it is against them.

An example a little closer to home would include the time ACT Supreme Court judge Justice Gallop was let off drink-driving and unlicensed driving charges after pleading guilty to being twice over the legal limit. There was no fine, licence suspension or conviction recorded despite the seriousness of the crime. Most people caught drink driving are convicted, fined and have their licence suspended. A clear example that those with the right connections get treated differently than those without.

On occasions the legal system can be misused by some to prevent justice. One provision built into our law system is the right of appeal. These avenues however are often only available to those with the money and time to fund lengthy legal proceedings. This tactic is currently being employed by James Hardie. They have been found responsible for the death and illness of a great many consumers and workers who used their product asbestos. Although they will undoubtedly be forced to compensate the victims, they have used the court system to delay the compensation payments. This means that a great many people will die from their illness before payments are made and thus decrease substantially the amount of compensation paid.

The system

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