Rulers Need Rules

Canada’s Supreme Court recently decided that 36 months was as long as the justice system could take to bring someone to trial.  I thought it seemed too long, but apparently the court system may have trouble complying. I can understand that modern cases are complicated and people have a fixation on justice and proof that one might find on a TV show like CSI.  But 3 years?!!  In some of those cases, the probable sentence is no more.

It recently came to my attention that in Ontario there are approximately 380,000 identifiable regulations.  I am sure they were created for a purpose, but then what? 

Would anyone like to bet against me on my assertion that some conflict?  Would anyone like to bet against the idea there are more to come?

I thought not.

That there is a class of helpers who think rules make the difference is instead a problem.  In most cases, the rules are created for appearance, but seldom does the question of enforcement come into play.

If a government or an agency makes a rule that is difficult or unpleasant to enforce, it becomes selectively enforced and that is worse than nothing.  The law cannot be both selective and just.  A recent decision in the US Supreme court in respect to a case regarding corruption and the governor of Virginia, seems to have merely redefined corruption so that it can no longer exist.  The Senator Duffy case here may have followed the track here, but I do not know enough to make rational comment on it.

The facts of a given law can be known to some, like lawyers, but the meaning of the law seems to have become unknowable.  Unacceptable. 

If we must be a nation of rules, and I would suggest that a nation of judgement and common sense makes for a better society, then can we not require the rules to be enforceable, prompt and conflict free?  Could enforcement be objective?  Can prosecution based on hindsight be avoided?  Failure to accomplish these will expand the situations where the victim becomes the one persecuted.  Think rape.  Think assault of a bully or a burglar.  Where next?

We have reached a turning point. No one goes to court for justice now, they go to have the rules applied.  That is conceptually wrong.  Rules and justice should be parallel if they are to be useful. 

Society originally evolved rules to replace “The law of the jungle.”  We are fast approaching, maybe already have reached, a new condition.  “The jungle of the law.”

Too many rules are not much better than none.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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