At many English courts you will see displayed the coat of arms of the state, with a lion and unicorn prominent. I am not sure about the significance of the lion, but the unicorn symbolises justice; because you’re about as likely to find a unicorn in an English court of law as you are to find justice.
In the criminal law, victims receive no recompense nor do they gain any satisfaction from the conviction of their aggressors. There is no just punishment for criminals, nor is the public protected from them. They will be set at liberty to continue their vocation after a cursory period of incarceration at our expense, and only this if to set them free immediately would prove too potentially embarrassing.
The civil law is no better. If you are wealthy you may well buy yourself a little equity. If not, you will get none, unless perhaps you dedicate your life’s blood to pursuing the matter over many years. In which case, a decade of such striving behind you, the benevolent system may pour you out a thimble’s worth.
It may look different if you are a barrister. Then you can enjoy the thrill of the game, and, win or lose, walk away the better for it, financially speaking. You will know when to raise your wig, and when to bow and scrape, and if you hang in there, one day you’ll be in the high chair.
Like with the NHS, sometimes we delude ourselves that our justice system is something the world envies us for. Like the NHS it is a system which benefits firstly those on the inside and only incidentally anyone else. It looks fine from a distance, like a Potemkin village. But up close you’ll find it’s made of cardboard.
However, don’t imagine things can’t get worse. While the chattering classes were all eyes fixed on the gay marriage debate, elsewhere in the Palace of Swine the political class were reanimating the government’s Secret Courts Bill.
I do not trust our government or judiciary in broad daylight. I sure as hell don’t trust them in the darkness of secret courts. The government reveals its blatant contempt for the people yet again with this bid to insulate itself even further from accountability and put in place procedures to exempt itself and those who work within the state from scrutiny. They will no doubt claim it is to protect us from evil men. This is not so. They have only one aim; that their crimes go unpunished.