Re: The Rule of Law and the scoundrels (like all of us) who rely on it.
I am a lawyer. Like all lawyers, I know we are not a popular bunch.
Until you need us. Much the same could be said of the court system, or the principles of fundamental justice. Unless you actually need them, or know someone who does, access to justice or the rule of law are just not front of mind.
Well, you can’t say that about Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau or Pamela Wallin! Here’s what Senator Wallin said Wednesday:
“We have spent centuries evolving away from the divine rule of kings. Due process and the rule of law are all we have to protect us from the tyranny of those with power and from the passion of the mob.”
Wow! She certainly got religion in a hurry.
Of course, invoking the rule of law for the likes of these three is like complaining about the treatment of Omar Khadr. Most of us would rather disown them.
But a few senators did see the value of protecting our system, even if not the individuals caught in it. Hugh Segal might be dismissed as a friend of Wallin, but Conservative Sen. Don Plett was a pleasant surprise:
“Honourable senators, Canadians understand and appreciate the principles of the rule of law and due process. The only correspondence I have received from Canadians, since this motion was introduced, is to respect the rule of law and to not let politics get in the way of doing the right thing. We are accountable to Canadians and we are accountable to the principles of fairness and justice.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians maintained these convictions when the issue went beyond their own colleagues or their own House? Maybe then access to justice and legal aid might get the attention, respect — and funding — they deserve.
DAVID C. DUNDEE