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In one episode in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Mr Brumble is accused of stealing jewellery. Mr Brumble insists that it was his wife who stole the jewellery. His solicitor explains that since Mr Brumble was present when Mrs Brumble allegedly stole the jewellery, “the law supposes that your wife was acting under your instructions.”


Outraged by such bizarre legal logic, Mr Brumble retorts angrily and ungrammatically, that “if that is what the law supposes, then the law is a ass, a idiot. The law is a bachelor.” Thanks to Dickens, the law has since come to be symbolized by the long-eared beast with along face.


Let us consider the evidence that supports the foregoing perception about the law and its interpretation in the administration of justice: A court rules that a crime suspect is guilty. On appeal, a higher court rules that he is not guilty. Along the judicial process, the guilty and not guilty verdicts are played back and forth all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court finally rules that the suspect is guilty, but then a re-constituted panel of the same court finally returns a not guilty verdict.

There are those who will argue that it is all because different judges have their respective understanding and interpretation of the law and its provisions.

I am interested in the law of contradictions here: The law of contradiction says that two propositions which are antithetical cannot both be true. It is impossible for something to “be” and “not be”, at the same time.

How possible is it then, for “guilty” to also be ‘not guilty”, no matter which court judge is interpreting the law? Remember we are talking about the same suspect, the same charge or charges, the same law and the same evidence going through the same judicial process.

Over the years I have observed there is some truth to Mr. Brumble’s opinion about the law.  Consider these: A fellow feels a very violent movement of the tummy and before long his bowel is gone totally berserk. Rather than make a public spectacle of himself and cause a disgusting nuisance in the street, the bloke makes his way gingerly to the edge of a gutter and lets go…

He is hauled him before a judge. Does the law order those who collected the bloke’s taxes to build strategically located public toilets in the city center? Not on your life! The law rather throws the hapless chap in jail. I am not preaching a disregard of environmental health laws, is that justice?

That is why I propose to join one of the country’s political parties and try to enter parliament on the party’s ticket. Once I don the hat of a legislator, I propose to lead a campaign for the most revolutionary legal and judicial reforms in all history. Justice will indeed mean justice.

If a man squats outside a public toilet and defecates because he wants to evacuate his bowel while enjoying a gentle breeze, he goes to jail. If he defecates on a refuse dump or into a drain, because there is not a single public toilet for kilometers around, the mayor goes to jail.

A fellow was dragged before a Sunyani Circuit Court judge the other time, accused of armed robbery. In the course of the trial, the suspect suddenly sprinted across the court room, jumped clean out of a window and legged it for the open spaces with a couple of policemen in red hot pursuit.

He was recaptured and brought back to the court room. He explained his spirited bid for freedom to the scowling judge: In the course of the trial, he had seen a lion lurking behind his Lordship, ready to lunge at him {accused}. Perplexed, his Lordship must have been, but certainly not amused. He sentenced the bloke to a term of imprisonment ahead of the hearing of the substantive robbery charge.

Who in his right senses will calmly wait for an approaching lion to make a meal of him? What does the law say about the individual’s right to take the necessary step to protect his life when under threat of imminent death?

Alright, so no one else apart from the accused saw the lion sharing the judge’s bench, so the alleged robber must have been hallucinating. Is hallucination a crime or a medical manifestation requiring medical help? If it is a medical problem, what does the law say about diminished responsibility in a criminal trial?