| #1 (permalink) Fri Sep 28, 2007 21:10 pm GRE Essay: Laws should not be rigid or fixed.
Laws should not be rigid or fixed. Instead, they should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places.
I tend to agree with the statement that laws should be rather flexible than rigid, because a particular legal process is quite different from others. Neglecting manifold circumstances, we could convict the innocent and acquit the guilty. However, some basic rules, determining the behavior and freedoms of men in any society, have to be immutable.
Violation of law, like any other activity of a person, has different forms; and every such variation should be treated individually. Flexible laws provide an opportunity to use different forms of punishment, depending on manifold circumstances of a particular case: whether a defendant has made an offence deliberately or unintentionally, just for fun or for money and so on. There were opposite precedents in the history of humankind; for instance, Greek regent Draco had imposed rules that prescribe to chastise any crime with death. His behavior has been considered as notorious. Its inappropriate to punish similarly a beggar who has pilfered bread to feed his child, and a dignitary who has stolen millions from an exchequer.
Everyone has to know that if he had done a bad thing he would be punished and that quite similar deeds would be treated equally. In my opinion, some circumstances: the income of a defendant or his social grade, dont have to determine the result of a lawsuit. However, a verdict should be depended on the particular conditions of a crime commitment and on a caused harm. I have read about a controversial case when a person, saving his life and the life of his wife has killed a man and was sentenced to a long term in a prison with serial killers and maniacs. Isnt it unfair?
Admittedly, when laws are fixed, judges have no problems in determining whether a prisoner at the bar is guilty or not. May be such policy could even decrease taxes by several percents, abating an average time of legal procedures. But I strongly believe that such simplification is unable to compensate the broken lives of thousand innocent people, having to spend years in detention. Unfortunately, when laws are flexible, the result of a case is up to competency of judicial clerks in general and attorneys in particular. However, its better to have few offenders at liberty than a lot of innocent people beyond the bars.
Nevertheless, some laws have to be fixed. I mean the rights to be free, to say what you think and other basic principles of any developed society. No one could change these rules because they are primordial and historically permanent. On the other hand, more narrow laws should be flexible in order to maintain their acceptance in various situations. Moreover, they should have been gradually modified in time to preserve their adaptability.
In sum, flexible laws have been helping to treat manifold cases individually, because only in this situation fairness will have prevailed.
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