You are currently viewing IS THE HUMAN CONCEPT OF JUSTICE FLAWED: IS TRUTH DIFFERENT FROM JUSTICE?
Flat lay of business concept

IS THE HUMAN CONCEPT OF JUSTICE FLAWED: IS TRUTH DIFFERENT FROM JUSTICE?

• The term “justice” has been predominantly used as a legal parlance so much so that anyone who is of the opinion that his or her rights has been infringed upon desires “justice”. A female who was raped seeks justice, a person who was kidnapped seeks justice, a mother whose child was negligently killed by a doctor desires justice, to mention but a few.
• What then is “Justice?”. According to the Cornell Law School, justice is a legal structure or system that is designed to judge in a general sense who should be accorded a benefit or burden when the law is applied to a person’s factual circumstances. Interesting, isn’t it? I will revisit this definition at a later stage of this article.

• To examine what justice is, let me make use of the case of Benjamin Mendy, the French Footballer who was accused of rape and recently found “not guilty”. I am sure many of us are familiar with this story. I mean, he was the most expensive player in 2017 when he made the move from As Monaco (in France) to Manchester City (England). He was enjoying a blistering career up until sometime in 2021 when several rape allegations were made against him. He
was consequently slammed with several charges bothering on rape and sexual assault. He was banned by the club,
denied bail and therefore, remained in prison custody during the subsistence of the case.
• After spending over two years in prison custody, on Friday 14th July 2023, he was found not guilty and accordingly
discharged. This “not guilty” verdict could imply either of the following:
1. That he did not commit the crimes
2. He did commit the crimes but there was
insufficient evidence to substantiate and
proof these crimes.

• In the first scenario, the verdict aligns with the truth, so there are no issues. If the second scenario happens to be the case, would you be satisfied with the verdict? This is the reason the argument by some that his accusers should be
sentenced to prison maybe flawed. Nobody would be happy being sentenced to a term of imprisonment for speaking
the truth.
• This takes me back to the definition of “Justice”. A court is a place where we search for the truth but do not necessarily find it. Often, falsehood would triumph over the truth in court. This is because when facts are applied to the law, it is the party who can proof or disprove a fact that triumphs. In my little experience as a legal practitioner, I
have handled cases that have good facts without the backing of the law, some with not so good facts but good backing of the law and a few with good facts backed by law.

• For instance, as advanced as the American Criminal Justice System may appear, there are still tonnes of recorded miscarriages of justice despite adopting the jury system of criminal trial. As of August 2022, the National Registry of Exonerations recorded 3200 persons who were wrongfully convicted and later exonerated. Yes, 3200!!! Hence the saying, “it is better to free 99 guilty persons than to convict 1 innocent person”.
• There appears to be a disparity between what society accepts as justice and what justice really is.

JUSTICE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE TRUTH

Leave a Reply