What is Law? The Philosophical Perspective ~ Prof. Andrew Efemini

WHAT IS LAW?

A Law is a promulgation as to dos and don’ts with sanctions or punitive consequences in case of violation. A law is a promulgation of a state or appropriate authority. It is also what the courts say; the courts being the state in this circumstance.

There are good and bad laws summarized in the following:

  1. Law must be general and should not be particularistic. You make law for all members of society and not an individual.
    You can say that sexual harassment is crime punishable with x sanctions. You cannot say sexual harassment in Mosques, or Churches, or universities is a crime punishable with x sanction.
  2. No person should make a law that excludes his or her self. The first thing about a good law is that golden rule applies. In the case of sexual harassment, we are aware that sex crimes go on at the national assembly; staff harassment for promotion, contract, employment, financial inducement, etc go on there.
  3. If as most of us, sexual harassment is a crime no matter where it occurs, laws made to address them must not select any particular group. This is extremely important. Like they say in local jokes; kettle dey call pot black.
  4. No law should decide for people what natural law and international conventions place at the liberty of individuals. The world makes a distinction between minors and adults. Adults are expected to take personal decisions in their own interests. No law should deprive an adult certain natural rights.
  5. Punishments for crimes should be reasonable. How can anybody controller that the punishment for hugging for example is 5 to 10 years imprisonment? It is only in a doctrinal or a society trying to enforce religious extremism can such sanctions be contemplated. How can hugging be a crime either in national assembly, church, mosque, universities, village square etc. Not all morally sensitive can and should be criminalized.
  6. One of the darkest side of Buhari military government was the law executing drug pedlars. The executions in Enugu is still a pain in our hearts. Therefore this who seek to send people to jail for 15years for hugging must make the law applicable to all.
  7. I laugh because a lady can be asked to forcefully hug a person to incriminate him. Victimization is easily an outcome of this outburst from the Senate. Set up is also very easy.
  8. Extremist laws never get implemented or they get redundant even before they are promulgated. I am aware that a military government made examination malpractice a crime punishable with 21years imprisonment. Who talks about that Hitler law today.
  9. For the information of the national assembly, universities don’t actually fall under their direct sphere of legislation. Universities are governed by each university act, conditions of service, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic. Of course, the criminal code applies to all Nigerians including the legislators.
  10. The question is; is the bill on jailing lecturers for hugging a constitutional amendment? Is it an amendment of the various university act?
  11. The earlier we understand the nature of a university the better for Nigeria. A university is not a religious society or home. Unfortunately, many private universities and growing number of public universities are now religious homes.
  12. Those of us who insist that state must be separated from religion can only warn that we are killing the universal idea of university; a place where free individuals pursue teaching, learning, and research to discover truth without fear or favor.

The issue of right or wrong is not what is at focus here. I am personally convinced that Nigerians should pressure legislators and government for urgent comprehensive political and electoral reforms to start the development of Nigeria.

The debate should continue. If you agree or disagree with me, talk, say something, shout, rebel me.


DISCLAIMER: All articles are solely the responsibility of the Authors and does not reflect the views of the Publisher of DEROUNDTABLE.COM


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