“Do not judge so thou shalt not be judged”. Whether we believe in that or not, we still judge.
It is a trait in our life that we seem to be unable to escape. It is like a form of protection for ourselves – we judge a person so that we can feel more secure. We even accept some laws, or ethical behaviour rules, that we do not really believe in. We do that so a judge or a magistrate can have guidelines by which to judge us; because we believe that it is their duty to do so.
In the process we accept laws and ethical rules that make innocent people prisoners of those same laws and rules. Us lay people even judge, and restrict the freedom of judges and magistrates to live their private lives as clean as they believe it is; we sometimes even put undue pressure on them.
Neither a judge nor a magistrate can proclaim us ‘guilty’ unless the prosecution can prove our guilt ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’. Yet we assume the right to impose on them what we think is right, even when there is no stipulated law. We assume them to be liable to a possible malpractice; but when we have the possible proof we keep it pending for a number of years.
A fair judgement should not take a number of years to establish: it should be established within the shortest time possible.
Oliver Friggieri may be an intellectual of yesteryear, but his contemporary writings still manage to influence the forma mentis of modern society. He discusses his recently published autobiography with DAVID DARMANIN>>