Assessment Task 3
Geoffrey Robertson's "The Justice Game"
The reality of justice and law
Law... Justice... two words... Many meanings.
As stated in the OED
Law is all the rules of conduct in an organized community as upheld by authority.
Justice is the administration of law.
So justice equals law right? WRONG!
As shown in Robertson's "The Justice Game" and the comedy "Rumpole of the Bailey" - Rumpole and the golden thread; justice and law are twins but not identical twins.
Justice is a game. It is played by manipulating a jury to believe a particular perspective, whether just or not, all within the confines of the law.
Fellow teachers. Changing times bring changing perspectives, but the birth of the new is always painful. "The trials of Oz" in 1971 pitted tradition against modernity, challenging the boundaries on sexuality and the free speech of the press in Britain. Throughout the chapter Robertson integrates the courtroom as a theatre. He acts as "a stage-hand for the defence" showing the courtroom is a constructed reality. Reality is decided by a jury of "elderly, property-owning, sophisticated men", the very kind of men "who would loathe Oz the most". Every enemy has their artillery pointed at Oz. It is ironic however that Robertson uses a sophisticated text to aim The Justice Game at this very same audience. The manipulated reality is further explored in the symbolical dropping of the judge's pen; a "signal for the jury not to pay attention". The judge does not care to note down the evidence, and thus it is not considered in the verdict, hence creating a reality that he favours. Robertson deliberately demonstrates his reality of an unfair legal system and displays the subjective nature of justice. He denies any evidence of the editor's innocence but rather gives reason to maintain the free speech of the press. He quotes witnesses who are mocked by Brian Leary. "Satirical art. I see." Through the use of sarcasm, and humour, Leary created this view in the jury's minds and also in ours. Conflicting perspectives arise in the clash between young vs. old. (1:44)
Rumpole is an ageing barrister, an opportunist, an expert at manipulating juries to accept his representation of reality. Why else would David Mazenzie, arrested in Africa, by armed police, call on him? The answer is all about manipulation, justice and power. Faced with a custom officer's suspicious question, "Object of visit?", Rumpole replies, "Justice." ...but whose justice? The...