F.I.G.J.A.M. wants your help people

Colin James has a very pertinent article in the DomPost about our court system and the “reforming” Simon “FIGJAM” Power.

Mostly the law gets done to people – by politicians, judges, lawyers and police. Is there room for citizens?

Citizens can take the law into their hands in three main ways (aside from vigilantism and shooting intruders, which are outside the law). They can be part of a movement or a party; they can be part of a pressure group; they can get angry and protest.

Citizens do have elections, referendums and polls and can “talk back” through radio and blogs. Perceived public outrage at crime has driven Justice Minister Simon Power to drive through a raft of lock-’em-up bills to enhance citizens’ “safety”. His latest, now being fronted by Judith Collins as the “implementation” minister (Mr Power denies suggestions that he disapproves), is the “three strikes” bill.

But elections, polls, blogs and the like are blunt instruments and the law stays in the hands of the politicians, judges, lawyers and police.

Blunt instruments blogs maybe but sometimes thick-skulled politicians, judges and laws need a good bludgeoning.

In the end, laws get changed because politicians in parties change them (judges have a hand, too). The best citizens can expect is that politicians respond.

Hence, Mr Power’s interest in what he calls the legal system, which he thinks is too much the legal priesthood’s preserve.

Citizens can directly influence the administration of the law only by becoming part of that priesthood themselves. Some are dragooned on to a jury, where judges and lawyers belittle them by deciding what evidence they can hear and what of the evidence they do hear they are allowed to take seriously. That legal system is not for ordinary folk.

Doesn’t Colin have a nice way of putting the vested interests of judges and lawyers.

Enter the citizen, championed by Mr Power. The justice system is not for the convenience of lawyers and judges, he said on Thursday, but “about the interaction between the citizenry and the state”. “That requires reform to be driven from the outside” – by the citizenry, not the priesthood.

A politician is still doing the driving. But the invitation has been extended. Citizens might want to offer him help – and then inspect a few other systems run by the inmates.

If FIGJAM is to be believed then he needs your support, he needs it over suppression which is clearly in the hands of the judges and the lawyers and the criminals and not in the hands of the people. Simon Power is calling for your help, I call on you to give it to him. Lets wrest the justice system from the system where no-one but the victim has interest in reducing crime and hand it to the people. Once we have done with that then we can start on Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and Real Estate Agents where, as Colin James puts it, the systems are run by the inmates.

Contact Simon Power at [email protected] to let him know your thoughts on Name Suppression.

He has asked for your help, give it to him, let him know how dissatisfied you are with judicial meddling, how inadequate the law is in protecting victims and how the Law commission report is just another case of the inmates trying to control the system.