Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Essay in Legal Philosophy Class

Essay in Legal Philosophy
“Rendition Policy: Policy Science Perspective”
By: Marian Jane Alumbro

            There are many schools of jurisprudence presented to us. We are asked by our teacher to choose which school we find an interest in and relate it to present issues or rather figure if they are still applicable in our present time. At first I wasn’t too sure which school of thought I would choose since there are a lot but since I am a political science graduate, I just figured it would make sense if I choose the Policy Science School. Unlike other theories of jurisprudence, it is considered aimed at the global, regional, and national levels of legal orders. The problems addressed in this case are war and peace, turmoil and security.
            Laws, according to this school, are relevant to the predicament in which the world finds itself at the present. These are meant to settle guidelines, strategy or programs adopted by the legal order.
            Policy science, as a school of jurisprudence, is a discipline concerned with the formation, clarification and advocates the realization of social values. Basically this school of jurisprudence is more on the creation and upholding of human rights. This highlights the fact that in many places the efforts in behalf of human rights and freedom have been staffed. This perspective views the law as an instrument to achieve such aims.
            In my understanding, I think this school of thought is the most significant in the current day and most applicable. At the present, social values and human rights have gone down the drain; Issues of war, torture, violence, violation of human rights and chaos have erupted here and there.
            One particular I can relate it to is the issue of rendition or “torture by proxy” as termed by international law experts. Rendition happens when a country hands over their prisoners or suspected terrorists to countries with lax human rights issue where there they are detained and punished behind the scenes. Extradition for fugitives who are charged with a crime is commonly requested by state or county prosecutors. Formal interstate rendition will involve both state governors. Other procedures can involve waiving documentary formalities before surrender of the fugitive. Under the Uniform Extradition Act adopted in 48 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (but not in Mississippi and South Carolina), there is a distinction between fugitives who were in the demanding state at the time of the crime and those non-fugitives whose prior presence is not so alleged.(Source: Wikipedia) This is an example of states regulating their relations between each other by mutual benefit.
            The Bush administration has openly admitted to this practice but declines that there was a specific instruction for torture and as a matters of fact, instructed that it should not be done. However, with the lack of paper work we can never be too sure as to whether or not torture is being committed and the human rights of these captives are actually being respected in the custody of their “proxy captors”.
            Another human rights issue is the recent case of the Red Shirts protestors in Thailand where Downtown Bangkok became a flaming battleground as an army assault forced anti-government protest leaders to surrender, enraging followers who shot grenades and set fire to landmark buildings, cloaking the skyline in black smoke. The army used live ammunition to disperse them, drawing fire from militant Red Shirts. Officials confirmed five protesters and an Italian news photographer were confirmed killed and about 60 wounded. (Source: My only opinion of this is that the army used extreme force against the unarmed civilians. They should have used a more less-forceful way to disperse the crowd. I wonder, where is the “Maximum Tolerance” the army should have used?
            The International Community should unify in promulgating proper laws and sanctioning these countries who think they can get away with doing things under the table or behind the law. Public International Law should be focused more on this issue rather than focusing too much on the economic perspective. I mean yeah, economy and generating GDP is a country’s foremost goal to be able to provide for its citizens but it should also not come at a price of degrading the value of human life. I think they should be more conscious of policy science as a school of thought, that way they would be more conscious of upholding social values and human rights.
            I hope one day, we can solve these problems one-by-one and we are able to live in a world where we respect the rights of other people, where society is ruled not by men but by law. A world where countries are at peace and war is just a distant memory of the past. I wish I would live long enough for that day and hopefully I will die a lawyer who has contributed to the shaping of that kind of world by upholding the law and fulfilling my obligations to my profession, to the court, to my client and to society.

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