Globe & Mail: In Pakistan, a grotesque injustice
A Christian girl with Down Syndrome (who, by some accounts, may be as young as 11) burns some paper for fuel. Turns out it’s actually a religious text that contains an excerpt from the Koran. There’s a law which forbids that–and which disregards any question of intent. You do it, even unintentionally, and you’re guilty.
She gets imprisoned and is so traumatized by the experience that she retreats into silence.
My first year Torts prof used to talk of how when he was a child, he’d irritate the rabbi by asking, “is it right because God says so or does God say so because it’s right?” Often, it can be a subtle distinction–a chicken or egg question of law versus some underlying sense of fundamental justice.
Situations like this one in Pakistan, however, set the disjunct in stark relief. There is law, and there is justice. And there are some situations in which the twain diverge rather than meet.
We so often deify the notion of the Rule of Law. Sadly however, when the laws themselves are unjust, then the Rule of Law can be as despotic as the worst tyrant.
In Pakistan, a grotesque injustice
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