July 23, 2023 at 10:16 pm #126Jonathan BuhacoffKeymaster
Any person whose rights have been violated has the right to seek justice, and any person who has knowledge of a violation of someone’s rights has the right to seek justice on their behalf. The right to justice also limits what can be done to people who are found guilty (through a fair trial) of a crime.
Seeking justice does not require the consent of the victim. If the victim is too scared or injured or otherwise unable to speak up and fight for their rights, including being dead, the victim still benefits from the right to justice when others seek justice on their behalf.
The right to justice makes everyone in society a potential participant in the continuous effort to seek justice. When someone’s rights have been violated, everyone who knows about it has legal standing to petition, to file a lawsuit, or to take other actions to seek justice on behalf of the victim. However, the duty to seek justice does not grant any permission to violate someone else’s rights in the pursuit of justice, with few exceptions such as whistleblower protection.
Article 8 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.” This relates to the right to justice.
Article 9 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” This relates to the right to justice because an arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile of a person would be an injustice to them.
Article 11 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.” This relates to the right to justice because if a person does something that was legal at the time they did it, they should not have to fear that it will later become illegal and they will be retroactively liable. Similarly, the laws setting punishment for crimes are a kind of contract among the people, so whatever the punishment was at the time the crime occurred is the maximum that can be inflicted when the person who did it is found guilty at a later time. To change “the deal” retroactively would be an injustice and if that were allowed, nobody would ever be safe knowing that their actions are legal or knowing the worst possible consequence of their illegal actions since the law can always change in the future.
This does mean that criminal geniuses who find ways to hurt people that are not covered by the extensive set of rights we adopt or by existing laws might get away with it somewhat the first time it happens. The legislature should be quick to enact laws setting penalties for crimes that were not previously anticipated. The legislature should also look forward and anticipate potential crimes that will be possible with new technology. For example when carriages and cars were invented, a legislature could anticipate someone running into another driver, a pedestrian, or a building or other improvement and could set punishments in advance of that happening even the first time.
Article 15 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to a nationality.” and “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.” The key word is “arbitrarily”. If the crime is so grave that justice demands either exile or death, and the court offers the possibility of exile, this does not violate the person’s right to justice. However, the court cannot arbitrarily exile someone or deprive them of their nationality or sense of belonging to society, that would violate their right to justice.
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