WHAT IS LAW part:-02

Monday, December 24, 2012

Once it is law, it will rule and not the humans who were behind it. Thus law gives predictability to life. A law will govern all those who come within its ambit, and no one in power can arbitrarily depart from it and victimize a particular individual. Rule by law minimizes abuse of authority by those in power and safeguards the fundamental rights of the individual.
A distinctive feature of a legal system is what is known as due process. No person can be convicted or an order made against a person by a court except by following established and known procedures. Due process of law consists of three intrinsic features. One is the openness of legal proceedings. Court are public ; anyone can enter them and see and hear what is going on. This is in contrast to other forms of decision-making, such as decisions made by Ministers or public officers. At a time when there is a demand for greater transparency and accountability in government, the court stand out as open and public institutions. Another feature if due process is the right of every party to be heard. No decision can be taken affecting a person unless he or she has been given a fair opportunity to present his or her side of the story.
The third factor is that the judge is impartial. Again unlike in a State institution where the politicians or bureaucrats have their own policy agenda in making decisions which impaction people’s rights, the judiciary is uninvolved in such issues. This is of course not to say that the judges have “no natural leanings, or no policy inclinations. Indeed, it would be absurd to ask for that, because at least a judge must normally have a bias in favor of justice over injustice, right over wrong, good over evil”. But the courts are well positioned to take a genarally objective view of the matter before them. The emphasis on process has given rise to the allegation that lawyers value proper procedures over just results. This should cleary  not be so; but at the same time, as is often said, justice must not only be done, but seen to be done, and this is what due process of law ensures.