‘Don’t look at faces, don’t ac­cept gifts; look for jus­tice, and jus­tice alone’ – Arch­bishop

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Arch­bishop Charles Sci­cluna told judges, mag­is­trates and lawyers not to look “at faces, (not to) ac­cept gifts, (but to) look for jus­tice, and jus­tice alone.”

The Arch­bishop was de­liv­er­ing a mass at St John’s Co-Cathe­dral at the open­ing of the foren­sic year, in the pres­ence of cur­rent and for­mer mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary, lawyers, as well as some mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.

He also urged re­straint when it comes to fees and costs, as jus­tice should not be over­whelm­ingly ex­pen­sive.

Us­ing the para­ble of the Good Samaritan, he urged lawyers and mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary to as­sist those who have fallen vic­tim, but at the same time to un­der­stand that their duty is also to help re­form ag­gres­sors.

“In your work as mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary and as lawyers, you meet with so many sit­u­a­tions in both the crim­i­nal and civil sec­tors, where peo­ple come for jus­tice, as they are vic­tims of ag­gres­sion, etc. They come be­fore you, stripped of dig­nity ask­ing for help.”

Re­fer­ring to the para­ble, he spoke about the priest who saw the robbed man, half dead on the side of the road, and kept on walk­ing by, but then the good Samaritan ap­peared, help­ing the vic­tim, tak­ing him to a room and caring for him.

He said that some­times peo­ple get tired due to work and bu­reau­cracy, but if one ig­nores those who need help, then the vic­tims might feel that they are being ig­nored. He urged peo­ple to show mercy and com­pas­sion.

“Dur­ing the year of mercy, we aren’t telling you to be soft with those who com­mit a crime, but de­cide on what the per­son de­serves, while at the same time en­sur­ing the ag­gres­sor’s re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, as well as that of the vic­tim.”

Re­fer­ring to ag­gres­sors, the Arch­bishop said: “We need to work to re­ha­bil­i­tate those who have made a mis­take, or due to a trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence, have anti-so­cial ten­den­cies.” He ex­plained that some­times, de­ci­sions could end up mak­ing the per­son more cruel in his or her ap­proach to so­ci­ety.”

Pho­tos by James Bianchi

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