No Right Turn: "Repugnant To Justice" (Not)
"Repugnant To Justice"
The wailing and gnashing of teeth has started over the Court of Appeal decision in the Taunoa case, with National's law and order spokesperson Simon Power declaring the decision to be "repugnant to justice". It's not. What's repugnant to justice is the attitude that some people should be denied it, no matter what is done to them. What's repugnant to justice is the idea that it is acceptable for the government to keep prisoners in solitary confinement for extended periods of time and force them to live in their own filth. And what's repugnant to justice is the idea that the state should suffer no consequences for violating its own laws.
What Powers and his ilk are proposing is a return to outlawry. They are saying that there should be a class of persons - convicted criminals - who shall have no recourse to law and against which crimes can be committed with impunity. That our prisoners should be allowed to be beaten, raped, abused, and subjected to psychological torture, without having any legal protection. In short, that prisoners should be treated (or at least, should be allowed to be treated; the implementation following naturally) the way Sparta treated the Helots, and the way the American South treated blacks. And at the same time, with no sense of irony, they cry out for "equality under the law" on Treaty issues.
The core aspect of equality under the law is the idea that it applies to everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done. That it is impartial, that both kings and peasants, prisoners and guards are subject to it. Simon Power and the rest of the "hang 'em high" brigade would flush that away in an instant, out of what can only be described as a lust for vengeance. And that is precisely what the state as an institution exists to prevent.