Truth and Justice Matter
Rule of Law
‘If justice is not accessible to ordinary Australians, the rule of law becomes mythical.’
The Honourable Wayne Martin AC, Chief Justice of Western Australia (2012)
In any country, the rule of law means that both the government and citizens are aware of and follow it. The government in Australia is based on the Westminster system at the state, territory, and federal levels. After several years of sovereign rule, the Australian rule of law was based on the British model of responsible government. Government employees implement policies, decisions, and programs within their state, territory, or nation as part of this system.
In accordance with the rule of law, the law should govern the people and the government as well. Also the law should be such that people will be willing and able to follow it.
Today’s world seems to be shifting away from the true meaning of the word. Various levels of government have unique positions when it comes to litigating private citizens. It is obvious that bias exists, but it is not understandable. Throughout the litigation process, citizens expect governments to deal with them honestly and fairly and to act as moral role models.
Why Presumption of Innocence is good for us.
On the presumption of innocence hang the protections which a person should have no matter the person’s status, religion, or citizenship. The protections from being coerced to give testimony, to incriminate oneself, to have one’s case heard in open court, to have legal counsel, to have one’s sentence pronounced publicly, to present evidence in one’s defence and to conduct a vigorous, thorough defence.
The resources of the police, in time and financial resources, far exceed those of most of us. Most of us in our lives will be subject to a charge, even as minor as speeding 10 kilometers above the speed limit. We know the feeling of helplessness when charged and facing the police. In the battle which follows either to prove innocence or establishing mitigating factors, the battle is considerably fairer and just if the police have the burden of proving their case.
It would be unfair and unjust if an Australian soldier who is charged with committing an offence in Afghanistan seven years ago had to prove that they did not do so. Proof might involve collecting evidence in Afghanistan and bringing witnesses to Australia. How would this be possible for the ordinary individual? Placing the onus on the prosecution is reasonable and fair. This is what is meant by having to prove the negative that is on some occasions an impossible task.
The presumption of guilt
In an era where public policy is frequently influenced by the latest frenzy on social media, there is growing evidence that a dangerous new doctrine is on the rise: the presumption of guilt.
This should concern everyone, regardless of political alignment. The presumption of innocence is a bulwark not just against over-mighty governments, but against those who would side-step the normal law and impugn people who have done nothing wrong.
The presumption of innocence is an idea that applies everywhere. It underpins the federal and state Constitutions, protects liberty and ensures everyone knows where they stand. It is worth fighting for.
The SAT are nothing like this.
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Why is the Rule of Law Important for Society?
A country that adheres to the rule of law ensures that –
All persons and organisations including the government are subject to and accountable to the law
The law is clear, known, and enforced
The Court system is independent and resolves disputes in a fair and public manner
All persons are presumed innocent until proven otherwise by a Court
No person shall be arbitrarily arrested, imprisoned, or deprived of their property
Punishment must be determined by a Court and be proportionate to the offence
A good example of the Rule of Law can be found in the Bible, the story of Cain and Abel. The battle between sin and righteousness. When Cain murdered Abel, God allowed him to start a new life. He is a God of second chances. If something isn’t right on your project allow the builder the chance to fix it rather than seek “An Order to Pay”. Getting even is expensive!
It is important to remember that every trades person is completely unique if you’re feeling anxious about anything, talk to them.. Your project’s success should not be defined by someone else’s life path (friends relatives) since they may have different dreams, passions, and skills than you do. Likewise, there is no blueprint or ideal outcome in life, because everyone’s path is unique. It’s ultimately your values and your standards that drive your decisions – and what makes you the most authentic version of yourself. What you believe in defines who you are. God grant me the serenity to change the things I can, accept the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.
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If you feel that you haven’t been treated fairly as the Constitution intended give us a call.
The Ten Commandments, teach respect, honesty, honour, keeping a holy day and taking responsibility for each other. Even today, these rules remain as relevant as they ever were. In response to Moses’ destruction of the tablets engraved by God with his own finger the Almighty made Moses write another.
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