Judgmental judges are enemies of progress

Conversation Zimbabwe editor Ottilia Anna Maunganidze’s piece on why prejudiced judges undermine the judiciary and society’s efforts to transform.

Law | Life | Leanings

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” said the murderous Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI.

He was glibly (one assumes with his tongue firmly in cheek) suggesting that for autocracy, unaccountability and prejudice to thrive, society must be without  lawyers. The implication being that it is lawyers (and thus judges) who serve to balance out society through justice. By obvious extension, the suggestion then is that the justice system through those called to judge provides sanity to an insane world.

Of course, imaginary Dick the Butcher didn’t know of the late American supreme court Justice Antonin Scalia, nor of shamed (one hopes) South African high court judge Mabel Jansen and the many other judges whose prejudices come to the fore. These  prejudices, one can reasonably assume, can and do cloud these judges’ judgment – supposing such judgment ever existed. One imagines his criminal…

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