It has become obvious both to lawyers and non-lawyers that our present legal
system is grossly inadequate, full of injustice and fails to meet
basic principles accepted as essential to any total system of law.
These failures exist both in the content of the laws
and in their application. There is little or no account
taken of social, moral, religious or human elements, but rather
the black letter of the law is applied.
The fundamental principle
that all men are equal in the eyes of the law is now subject to the
proviso of the individual's status, income or ethnicity.
Reports from the law
commission have stated that, in relation to criminal offences, where
the accused is from an ethnic minority group, convictions are
greater and sentences are longer. Moreover, the Lord Chancellor's
office in its run up to the publication Of the green paper on the
reform of the legal system and the legal profession noted that
accessibility to redress via the present legal system depended to a
great extent on the individual's financial ability to meet the cost
of such, rather than on justice, fairness, and truth or falsity of
Indeed the Lord
Chancellor, Lord McKay, in his green paper previously referred to
set out to fundamentally redress the imbalances and injustices that
exist. In particular, he proposed to make the legal profession more
accountable by setting up an independent ombudsman with far reaching
powers and he proposed to remove the present distinction between
solicitors and barristers which, it is argued, would then reduce
cost and time. However, both of these amendments, which were much
needed, attracted pressure from senior judges and other lawyers and
resulted in an amendment when the white paper was issued.
We maintain that these
amendments and others like them are crucial to a more just legal
system, and would make the following proposals and observations:
1. We propose that the
law has to be just, that is, there should be a basic body of laws
and principles based on justice and which are immutable. The
present system enables laws to be made and maintained to further
the interests of the few.
2. We propose that the
laws must be clear and unambiguous. Thus the laws as far as
possible will be written as opposed to the present system which
consists partly of written laws, i.e. acts of parliament, and the
remainder being case law, i.e. judgments given in particular
3. Redress via the law
must be applied uniformly and justly on the basis that "all men
are equal before the law". At present we see banks, large
companies and wealthy individuals being able to manipulate the law
for their own benefit. We propose that there should be an
independent body with far reaching powers to ensure that equality
before the law is achieved and maintained.
4. We propose that those
charged with the administration of justice, in particular judges,
must be made accountable and subject to the self-same laws. More
importantly, procedures to remove judges who are deemed unsuitable
or incapable of administering justice in a fair, just or impartial
way, must be put in place.
5. We propose that those
who suffer injustice by the hand of the law should have an
independent right of redress and compensation.
It may be argued that
these proposals are all generally accepted ideals which are already
embodied in the present system, but yet there are still
inadequacies. The answer is fundamental. It is one of basic
ideology. In the secular system the law is seen as a tool to be used
by a few to obtain material objectives, i.e. wealth, power etc.,
regardless of moral considerations Moreover, objectives and
limitations are set by man.
The alternative removes
the right of man to set basic objectives and the right to use these
to direct and control his fellow man. it removes arbitrary justice
which depends on the mood of the individual and liberates man from
his servitude to other men. Justice becomes a command to be adhered
to and those things that are shameful, unjust or against the basic
principles are avoided. The harshness of law cannot be manipulated
and used without all the proper safety procedures, based on justice
and morality being exhausted.
We maintain that an
Islamic system embodies the basic fundamental morals, principles and
laws to achieve a better, more organised and understanding society
for all mankind.
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