Monday, 2 November 2009 6:25 PM

Women, Crime & Justice

I would like to response to Mr. Walahe's reasoning on my assertion in relation to Mr. Makabo and Mr.Rarumae. Mr. Walahe's reasoning is interesting to read. However, I think Mr. Walahe has gone further from the point I tried to put here. Mr. Walahe has pointed out that an accountant does not have an obligation to teach those betel nuts vendors on the street to make profit. I agree with you Mr. Walahe that there is no obligation on the part of an accountant to the betel nut vendors on the streets. However, an accountant does have an obligation where a person rely on the skills he or she possess. And if he relies on that skill, a duty is established. But I am not interesting in going into details of the duties. It is because they are not relevant at this stage.

Mr. Walahe, you are correct in saying that an accountant has no obligation to teach Tom Dick and Harry on the street who sells their betel nut produces on how to make profit. Also you are right in saying that doctors have no obligation to tell the public on how they prescribe medicines at certain times. However, doctors do have an obligation to give correct prescription of drug to their patients. Otherwise, they can be sued for professional negligence.

I think Mr. Walahe takes a narrow view in saying that lawyers are just like accountants and doctors who work for their bread and butter. More than working for their bread and butter, I think lawyers have certain duties. If I am right, lawyers have two crucial duties. The first duty is owed to court and the second is the duty owes to his client. In event that the two duties are in dispute, the duty to the court shall prevail.

The point I want to put across here is that since Mrs.Kauhue has little knowledge about as to why judges reach their decision in relation to sexual related offences, someone like Mr.Rarumae and Mr. Makabo should explain to her. By explaining the law to her, I do not mean that we have to wait for Mr. Rarumae has to come over to Honiara to educate Mrs. Kauhue about the law. There are various forms of communication whereby they can explain to Mrs. Kauhue as to why judges reach their decisions in sexual related offences. They can write a short article in the Newspaper explaining to Kauhue as to why judges reach their decisions in sexual related offences, or send an email to Mrs. Kauhue about the decision in question. In some sexual related offences the judge may acquit the accused, if the Police are not doing the investigation properly. For example, confession made by the accused was not done voluntarily and therefore the evidence is inadmissible. In this kind of situation, the accused can be acquitted even though he did rape the victim. I think that's the explanation that someone like Mrs. Kauhue who is a women activist wants to know.

It is true that Mrs. Kauhue is not an illiterate citizen. However, knowing the law and the qualification she acquired in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science is another story. I ask a friend who is a lawyer if he knows every law of this country (SI). He told me after graduating with a law degree from the university, he came back empty. Nothing he learnt at the university was in his head. He told me that he started to learn again from the senior lawyers when he worked at one of the government law offices. Even a lawyer has to learn what he has learnt in university all his years of study. Just imagine someone like Mrs.Kauhue who has no legal background will never understand the decision reached by judges even though she reads the judgment for several times. She is a layperson in law and need some explanation to clarify her doubt as to why the judges reach their decision in relation to sexual related offences.

I believe if Rarumae and the likes of Walahe whom I guess he is a law student studying at Emalus Campus right now give such clear explanations as to why judges reach their decisions in sexual, someone like Mrs. Kauhue may not have such doubts in her mind. And if such explanation is given to Kauhue I think she would have nothing to say that the law is unfair to victims of sexual offences. A clear explanation, not a moral obligation imposed on lawyers to educate someone like Mrs. Kauhue as Walahe would reason from my article. I do not intend to say neither Rarumae nor Mr.Makabo have moral or legal obligation to educate Mrs. Kauhue. But an explanation from them would clarify doubts in Mrs. Kauhue's mind in decisions reach by judges in relation to sexual offence against women.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Smith and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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