Posted by News Express | 21 May 2018 | 2,645 times
Oxford online dictionary defines justice as “ideal of fairness, impartiality, correctness, conforming to reality or rules, etc.”
Justice is a common word, and it connotes doing what is just. There can be said to be achievement of justice:
(1) in distribution of advantages and disadvantages in society
(2) by curbing the abuse of power and liberty since absolute power corrupts absolutely
(3) in deciding dispute and,
(4) in adapting to change.
It will be trite to state that justice itself is what the law states and nothing more, this is the area of convergence between law and justice. Even though social change is a desirable phenomenon, there are instances where the law itself serves as resistant to change. Where such occurs, such blame should not be attributed to the law but the law givers.
Aside talking of justice and social change, we talk about justice and morals, religion and justice. Each has a convergence point with justice. Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for instance, provides that, “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in the community with others, and in private or in public) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”
In this case, justice can only be served with strict compliance with the provision. This should be observed in Miss Firdaous Amasa’s case.
People find different reasons for their resistant to social change, which include their values, customs, the cost of change and even people who feel threatened by the social change. For example, vested interests change is opposed by individuals or groups who fear they will lose their power, prestige or wealth when the social change is embraced and consequently given relevance by extant laws.
The use of ICT by National Open University is an innovation and social change in the education sector, especial in legal study, as it relates to its law faculty. The world is going digital, and Nigeria cannot be left aloft. The court is also talking of front-loading. Even the Evidence Act 1990, had to be repealed to inculcate the digital advance in our modern society. See FFK v FRN and Akingbla v FRN. The evidence Act 2011 adequately provided for digital evolution by the introduction of section 84 of the Evidence Act, which deals with admissibility of computer-generated evidence.
Same goes for restructuring, the current structure is no longer tenable, thus, change in the current structure is inevitable. Hostility to social change is evil and unjust. Injustice must be avoided to prevent a state of anarchy and social disorder.
The Laws of the Medes and Persians were said to be immutable. But unless a system is capable of adapting itself to change conditions, it can only go the way of the Laws of Medes and Persians. Adaptability is a condition precedent for the continued existence of a legal system. According to Lord Justice Scarman, “these challenges. . . . have to be met either by discarding or adjusting the legal system.”
It is pertinent that the relevant bodies serve justice; where necessary, change is inevitable and constant. It can only be just to adopt it, but unjust to discriminate against it. Justice is done when we serve as the mirror of what we preach.
Preach justice, it is trite; act justly, it is lawful.
•Comrade Asoro Abubakri Olatunji is a rights activist.
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