Sunday, 29 December 2013

great letter! Legal limitations 28/12 - Eric Lockett

Legal limitations


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DOES Bill Moyle (Letters, 27/12) have any real grounds for his assertion that section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, or any legislation that prohibits speech that offends, promotes and strengthens social cohesion?
Logically, it seems more likely to leave either one or both parties feeling resentful at having what they see as an unjust outcome imposed on them.
Could he argue, for example, that the prosecution of Andrew Bolt has contributed to social cohesion?
This sort of thinking seems to arise from an inadequate appreciation of the limitations of the law. The law can never make people good - the best it can hope for is to protect the innocent from the wrong-doing of others. It may prevent me from punching my neighbour in the nose, but it can't make me respect him.
We kid ourselves if we think that the law can ever be a substitute for the moral education that was once delivered at our mothers' knees, or in Sunday school. Sadly, too many people today seem to lack that moral training and recognise no other standard of behaviour than the minimum standard imposed by law.
Eric Lockett, Rose Bay, Tas

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