A Liberal Justice System is Built on Respect

Over the past year or two, there has been an increased awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault, culminating in the “#metoo” movement.  The conversation, unfortunately, has gotten a little off track, with simplified “I believe the victim,” and “She lied, he died” memes dominating the conversation.

But there is a liberal way to achieve justice that doesn’t require boiling things down to simplistic taglines: respect.  Respect for both the accuser and the accused.  No victim should be dragged through the mud, asked about their behavior, their clothes, etc when making a claim.  It is respectful to treat them as genuinely aggrieved.

Likewise, The accused should be treated with respect as well.  The accused should be given a fair trial and allowed to defend themselves.  The aggrieved party has the requirement to supply evidence for their claims and the court has the duty to treat both with respect and honor.

No justice system can long function without this form of respect.  Without respect for the victim, it becomes biased toward the accused.  Without respect for the accused, it becomes biased toward the victim.  The goal here is to prevent abuse of the system by anyone.  And respect goes a long way toward achieving that goal.

2 thoughts on “A Liberal Justice System is Built on Respect

  1. Jon, you’re right. Respect is in short supply these days. Markets in everything? Perhaps I can offer to treat people with respect for a reasonable hourly rate. 🙂

    While far from perfect, the government justice system may be improving in small increments due to increased public awareness and efforts such as The Innocence Project and rights advocates such as Institute For Justice and Pacific Legal foundation (both of which I support financially from time to time).

    Where we see bizarre miscarriages of justice these days seems to be on college campuses where school administrations have been mandated the task of administrating justice in place of the public justice system. Something they aren’t at all qualified to do.

    Here’s a really smelly example:



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