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