Monday, 23 February 2015

On Law, Belle, and other things

Lord Mansfield - ‘Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall’

Despite the cheesiness of starting with a quote, it is these words that inspired this blog post. It explains that we cannot at any point be afraid to do justice, we cannot be afraid to do right just because of the consequences. Yet these are all vague statements that may mean very little, but represent a sense of hope and philosophy by which I try to live. I recently watched the film Belle, which follows the story of Dido Belle, a mixed-race woman raised as an aristocrat in 18th-century England, and the social problems that entails. Yet on a broader scale, the film explores the theme of law and how it is implemented in society.

Incredibly, the film is based on a true story. Rather than describe the film (which I strongly recommend you watch) I will briefly discuss the point of climax. In which the Chief Lord Justice decides upon whether or not to allow a firm to claim insurance on its lost cargo, which were slaves. At the end of the film we see him do right in denying the insurance, but more so- he goes on to denounce slavery as the disgusting barbaric trade that had supported the country for so long. As one of the most influential men in the country, he put his position in great risk- yet he did what is right, and that is what we must learn from.

From watching the film, I feel certain in my view that the law is not doctrine that is to be aimlessly set out when seen fit, but rather interpreted. Law is a constantly evolving concept as it must reflect the changing morals and ideology of society. This seems obvious, yet I feel law is constantly perceived as a black and white view of what we deem right, and ultimately wrong. The practise of law reflects the history, values and other peculiarities of society. In the UK, recently we have witnessed the unveilings of horrific acts of indecency in institutions such as the BBC. However this can be seen to represent the development of our society.  I am not suggesting that at the time these acts were deemed acceptable, but rather a culture existed in which they were frequent and, therefore uninhibited by the lack of impotence to counter authority. The law in many ways is the foundation of any society, and so has a duty to progress morality. Perhaps that is another blog post entirely, and I seem to have wondered off.

In terms of doing what’s right, I aint callin’ myself no Mother Teresa,  ¯\_()_/¯,  But I do think we all have a social responsibility to try and elevate each other to the same standards of living and prevent the exploitation the weak. You know what, screw it! I am Angelic, and I believe that if everybody just tried to be a little more angelic in their day to day life the world would be a better place. 

Jokes aside, I am aware that this is a blog that only I read, (shout out to Patricia though!)  and I hold no social influence, these are merely my opinions. Peace out!

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