Do you believe that what is legal is also always just and right?
Watching 'William Kunstler;Disturbing Universe' about one of the most infamous lawyers of the twentieth century, who fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and represented the famed 'Chicago 8' activists, inmates in Attica prison as well as the American Indian Movement...many accused rapists, terrorists, mafian boses... Seeing how hated he was by white middles class and even sometimes by his family...one would wonder what do people really expect lawyers to do? Fight for justice for everyone or just to be on the right of the law /and forget what is right, just and fair/?
Absolutely not, there are plenty of legal things that are unethical, immoral or amoral, etc. while there are some things that are illegal that aren't necessarily wrong except inasmuch as they go against the laws of your country. A lawyer's job is "to uphold the law," however distasteful some of us may find that at some times...and, I'm sure, however distasteful the lawyers themselves find their cases. I'm sure there has been more than one lawyer who secretly wished they could personally flay and disembowel their clients for their heinous crimes, but their job is to put aside their personal feelings and their conscience and uphold the law. If someone cannot be proven guilty, then by law they are innocent no matter how much circumstantial evidence and "gut feelings" exist on the matter. Every person who has every watched a court proceeding has their own opinion about the defendant's guilt or innocence, as well as their opinion about the "right" side, and these opinions will often differ. Most people choose to ignore the fact that lawyers aren't in a position to make a moral judgment call, they are there to uphold the law...and, if nothing else, part of that law is that everyone shall have representation in court and someone has to do that job.
You have to have the Rule of Law, without it you just get a dictatorship; knowing is not enough, you have to prove the point, if you don't and then punish, you are no better than the criminal. I think it was Ben Johnson who said, 'Better that 500 murderers to go free than one innocent man hang.'
Lawyers are not paid to,"Fight for justice for everyone or just to be on the right of the law /and forget what is right, just and fair."
Haven't you ever seen the movie 'Cape Fear'? On page 83 of 'The Big Questions', by Steven Landsburg, he wrote, "Lawyers, by contrast, have a very different culture. Following and impassioned argument the the prosecutor, you'll never hear the defense attorney say, 'Good Lord, you're right! I hadn't thought about it that way before!" The reason , of course, is that lawyers as they themselves will be the first to admit, are not truth-seekers at all."
NO and thank you for bringing up Bill Kunstler he was for years a hero to me. We need more lawyers like him and less of the money grubbing ones that practice. I always wondered about the word practice, it's what lawyers and doctors do but when I take my car for repair that mechanic isn't practicing, he knows what he's doing! Peace!!
To the first question: no. BUT it all depends on your understanding and source of what is "just and right."
In a country like the US, where the rule is the rule of law, it doesn't matter what a person's family thinks (if said person is a lawyer), what matters is the rule of law: alleged criminals get a fair trial.
There are plenty of examples of something being "legal" not being "just and right" in my mind. To play it safe, I think unfair taxation is one of them.
BUT I'm not here on HP to get into political or religious controversy...so I'll leave it at that. Great question, btw.
Do not stretch it that far. Be in the present and find the answer in your heart of hearts. And who is doing the just duty expected of him/her? Responsible citizens are now a thing of the past.
No, the law is imperfect because it is written by men and women who are not infallible. Also, laws are often interpreted much differently than the original writers intended them to be, which is why we have the Supreme Court.
Opinions and interpretations can also change over time due changes in our culture, and it often takes many years for a law that is unjust to be changed.
Still, we are fortunate to live in a country where there is at least a means to address injustice and try to right it.
The Civil Rights Movement was a time when many fought against injustice in acts of civil disobedience. It takes much bravery to engage in an act of civil disobedience so I respect those kinds of protests.
As some others in this forum have already pointed out, lawyers are sworn to follow the exact letter of the law, regardless of whether they believe the law is just or unjust and whether their client is guilty or innocent. Sometimes this means they help the innocent go free and they are able to play a role in getting an unjust law off the books, but I don't think that happens very often.
This was a great, thought provoking question. Thanks for posting it.
no. the justice system these days are not that impressive to me.
No. Laws is not a basis to determine the rightness of things.
What is legal is clearly not always right because over night we can have a hostile take over of our Civil Rights and Marshal Law can be declared under the guise of an outbreak or organized threat of any kind under the laws of Fema. This would be legal as they are a government unto themselves.
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