What good is law? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

What good is law?

One of the perpetrators of the bomb attack that shook Belgium, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, was deported from Turkey last year.

Moreover, the Belgian government had been warned about this person. But Brussels did not take legal action against him on the grounds that his connection with terrorism could not be determined.

After the explosions in Brussels, the Minister of Justice and Domestic Affairs presented their resignations after it was revealed that they did not pay attention to Turkey's warning. However, their resignations were not accepted; that is different.

Actually the issue is closely related with the gaps in the justice system that caused arguments in Belgium in the last 15 years.

From a Belgian film that I carefully watched yesterday I learned what the situation was.

“Het Vonnis” (The Verdict), a film directed by Belgian director Jan Verheyen in 2013 deals with the gaps of the justice system through a dramatic event. It is an interesting film that shows the sensitive balance between freedom, law and security.

The Brussels explosions aggravated the topic that was underlined in the film “The Verdict.”

Luc Segers was a company executive at the peak of his career whose wife was brutally abducted in a market during shopping. Segers was severely assaulted. The little girl who watched her father being assaulted died when she was hit by a passing car.

After Luc Segers was discharged from the hospital, he was a broken-down man who had lost everything. In spite of that he hoped that justice would be served in court and the murderer would be given the sentence he deserved. But the murderer, who was arrested, was released due to “mispleading” during the filing of the claim.

Because of a missing signature in the documents, the evidence collected was null and void.

The event caused strong public debate. The Minister of Justice and the justice system became the target of the criticism.

Segers, who completely believes in the state of law, cannot stand for the release of the murderer based on mispleading. However his taking on the pain and continuing his life depends on the manifestation of justice. With the release of the murderer, Segers falls into a void, withdraws from society, breaks away from life and eventually shoots and kills the murderer.

The murderer's release caused another murder. Segers, who was charged with murder in court actually wanted to retaliate against the judgment system.

A complete discussion of justice and law between the prosecution and defense is staged.

The prosecution argues that the laws which provide that mispleading makes the evidence against the accused null and void are made in order to prevent unjust arrests and protect the innocent.

Segers's attorney continues his defense by opening for debate the question, “What good is law?” According to the attorney, the state of law cannot be sacrificed to mispleading. If the state does not sentence the murderer, the citizen loses his trust for the “state of law.” However the functionality of the state of law is an unwritten agreement between the citizen and the state. The violation of the agreement is equivalent to placing a bomb into the ground of the state of law, democracy and society.

The law should never lose its meaning identified with justice.

All parties (prosecutor, attorneys and the accused) in a very demonstrative manner defend their theses that look like a manifesto.

The jury would decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent. The verdict is in favor of the murderer (Luc Segers) who killed the murderer who was not sentenced. In the closing sentence of the film it is determined that the film aimed to highlight the gaps in the Belgian justice system. This film, which should be watched especially by law students and young lawyers, is an essential discussion of justice and law.


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