Does justice, fairness exist in Kuwait?

This news has been read 3048 times!

Ahmed Al-Jarallah

WHAT does justice mean? How can the law become a standard for the progress of nations?

To answer these questions, there is a practical lesson that happened in one of the American universities. Without any introduction, a professor asked one of the students: What is your name? When the student responded, the professor asked him to exit the lecture hall. When the student attempted to defend himself, the professor rebuked him and chased him out. As the student left feeling mistreated, everyone in the lecture hall remained silent.

The professor went on with the class. He asked the students: Why were the laws put in place? The students gave various answers. One said: “Laws exist to control people’s behavior.” Another added: “They are there to be implemented,” while another said: “So that the strong do not oppress the weak.”

The professor said: “All of the answers are true, but not sufficient.” A fourth student replied: “Laws exist in order to achieve justice.” Then the professor responded: “Yes, this is the answer.

He asked again: “Now what is the point of laws if justice is not achieved?”

He added: “Now answer without fear. Did I treat your classmate unjustly and unfairly when I expelled him from the hall?”

They all replied: “Yes”.

He furiously asked: “Then, why did you remain silent? What is the benefit of laws if we do not have the courage to implement them? When someone is subjected to injustice and you do not defend the truth, you lose your humanity. Humanity is not negotiable.”

Ever since democracy existed, its foundation has been based on justice. For 60 years until this day, we have fell short of how to deal with the concept of democracy. This is due to the fact that our society lives on farms between tribes and sects. Thus, loyalties varied and conflicts of interests prevailed; making our democracy more like groupings closer to cantons.

This anomalous situation has produced national assemblies based on deals — whether in buying votes, or tribal and sectarian terror; while the weak governments have been unable to exercise their natural powers.

In addition, the Constitution granted the ruler the right to suspend it for a specific period in order to correct the political course, as required by the supreme interests of the State.

There is no doubt that Kuwait, as it has done for 400 years, has proven its ability to overcome obstacles; because the relationship between the ruler and the ruled is based on transparency, frankness and national loyalty.

Unfortunately, all of these changed six decades ago due to the lack of understanding democracy on one hand, and the exploitation of loopholes in the Constitution to consolidate the influence of the powerful on the other hand. This happened through some sheikhs, wealthy people or sectarian and tribal components. Despite all this experience, we still appear as amateurs.

Nonetheless, to get out of this impasse, a developed vision is necessary, whether through the Constitution or laws. What we are witnessing today is a number of urgent obstacles — whether in the National Assembly as if it were the ruler, or the ruling family which, in recent years, seemed isolated from society as a result of conflicts between some of its members, paving the way for some who have external agendas to conspire against the rule. We witnessed a sample of it in the demonstrations of 2001 and 2012, in addition to threats to overthrow the system.

All of this was reflected in society, which today is searching for salvation, even if it means disrupting the work of the Constitution for some time. The political leadership should have a team of advisors that puts the interest of the nation on top of any other interest, and approve a legal system that is consistent with the latest developments; as well as governments that are not based on quotas or personal benefits and a modern electoral law.

This also applies to the Prime Minister and the ministers, as they do not put their interests before the national interest.

What is happening in the world is greater than the interests of some who refuse to correct the social contract that Kuwait has known throughout the past centuries.

Hence, we do not reach the conclusion that the law professor reached when he asked his students: What is the benefit of justice if it is not implemented?

Our leadership, it is a mistake to postpone today’s work until tomorrow.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

This news has been read 3048 times!

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