Do you know that there is a saying called “the law is an ass”? It is derived from an English proverb that compares the stubbornness and stupidity of the law with the supposed innate nature of a donkey. It was popularized by Charles Dickens in his novel “Oliver Twist” where Mr. Bumble is told in court regarding his dominant wife that “… the law presumes that his wife acts under his direction,” he replies:
“If the law assumes that,” said Mr. Bumble, emphatically clutching his hat with both hands, “the law is an ass, an idiot.”
In my opinion, the law turns an ass because judges, lawyers, and the legal profession do not follow the spirit of the law. They only care about the letter of the law.
Our politicians are very good at making new laws all the time because it gives them the appearance of acting positively and trying to solve a problem. In doing so, they do not allow for the fact that when lawyers and judges apply the law, only the letter of the law is followed and never the spirit. It leads to contradiction in many cases where all ethical and moral considerations are lost. Thus the law becomes an ass.
We see this at work in all bureaucratic institutions everywhere and at all levels of government. It means that those who work in that situation are not allowed to use their common sense or reason with their brain. These people are being conditioned to think in a particular way and trained to abide by the letter of the law. Do you realize that when you are working under these conditions, unless you are aware of it, you inadvertently become a zombie?
In the recent case of Isreal Folau and Rugby Australia, a moral and ethical dilemma has arisen because both parties have demanded its correction in accordance with the letter of the law.
Israel Folau claims that Rugby Australia has discriminated against and unfairly fired him because of his religious beliefs.
Since Rugby Australia is a bureaucratic organization that can only think in terms of the letter of the law, they had to find Folau in breach of contract to fire him. There was no other option because they followed the letter of the law.
To implement the law, Rugby Australia did what most bureaucratic organizations do, show its authority and use intimidation tactics. They warned Folau and threatened to fire him so he could give in to their demands. Under those circumstances, how would you feel if you were in the Folau position? Won’t you dig in your heels?
Thus we have an example where the letter of the law is applied, without any ethical and moral consideration to an individual who had not committed any crime, to make him submit to their demands.
Recently, in the Brisbane Courier-Mail of May 7, 2019, a report was published entitled “The legend of music felt ‘violated'”. Diana Ross “was on the verge of tears when a security officer patted her between the legs during a search at the airport.” “They treated me like shit.” “It makes me want to cry.” “It is not what was done, but how,” he insisted. “However, a TSA spokesperson said that CCTV footage appeared to show that the officers involved ‘correctly’ followed all protocols.”
Here again, it was an example of how bureaucratic handling of a situation can result in traumatizing an individual. And, of course, the bureaucracy is always free because it always acts within the letter of the law. Under the protection of the law, an average person, unconsciously or consciously, tends to feel more powerful and superior; therefore, there is the potential for authority to be abused.
Therefore, when we apply a law without the spirit behind its formulation, it becomes a heart without a soul. I hope this case between Folau and Rugby Australia will not be resolved out of court. I want the wise judges of our courts to show us all that the law is not nonsense.