Thursday, 5 November 2009 8:19 AM

Women, Crime & Justice

I was reading in between the lines of Mr. Rarumae's article and I think the other responses are getting away from his perspective.

In summary, the essence of Mr. Rarumae's article is in his first point. He advised Mrs. Kauhue that if she wants to make criticism of any Court decision in the future- read the original or be in the Court room and do not rely on articles on the street. That, I think, is a piece of fair advice. Not only Mrs. Kauhue benefited but everyone who read the article.

He highlighted that criticism based on shallow sources painted a bad picture about the Court which is far from the truth. And guess what? He was right. Had Mrs. Kauhue get her facts straight before making her criticism she wouldn't have written that article which painted a dreadful impression about the Court in the minds of the public, particularly the women.

Because in a very recently Court case of the widow who concealed the birth of her child (who was dead), the Court fined her for only $50 or 5 days imprisonment in default of payment. Unbelievable, that is about USD$6 for a life lost due to her irresponsible act. Graciously, it wasn't a male this time. Otherwise I could only imagine the vicious criticism the Court would get from women's activist like Mr. Ella Kauhue.

Not surprisingly, the Court considered similar factors used in the rape case which really disgusted Mrs. Kauhue. Her guilty plea, cooperation with the police, first time offender plus others which relevant to her case like credit for being a widow and she provides for her children's school fees. I hope this case repair any damage caused by Mrs. Kauhue's article. The law is not taking sides with the opposite as explicitly stated in her article.

The issue of who should educate our people about the law seems to be the central debate in the other responses. However, I think that is not an issue to Mr. Rarumae because as a lawyer I know he knows better. In his response to Mrs. Kauhue's article he constructively written an article which I believe had Mrs. Kauhue seek legal opinion before writing she would definitely get this. He advised Mrs. Kauhue not to jump to conclusion when reading articles from the street about a Court decision. He then explained why he gave that advised in his second point and that is Court have factors to consider when making discount of sentencing in a rape case.

In his third point, he draws to the need for awareness about the law because article from a person of that caliber reflects lack of knowledge about our laws, let alone the grassroots' people.

His fourth point was amazing. He encourages the women of this nation "not to allow emotions and personal disgust of one Court case (or any other case for that matter) to negatively overshadow the effort our judicial system has put into bringing your issues into light."

Few days after he said that look what happen? A widow whose life hangs on the mercy of the Court for concealing the birth of her child, whose act results in the death of an innocent life, and if that were not horrific enough, who decided to gave birth on the outskirts of the town where our only most advanced hospital situated got a fine of just $50 or 5 days imprisonment if she failed to pay.

If you think that our Court system is unfair, less recognize the justice of women, view justice in a very different way from the way women see and feel justice, lack of understanding of the situation of women and girl, taking side with the opposite, ask the widow. If u still not satisfied ask yourself why did the Court considered her status as a widow? And if you still not satisfied ask yourself why the Court did considered her situation as woman who provides for her children's school fee?

I hope the message is clear. And that is just get both side of the story before attacking someone.

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

Other Letters to the Editor All Letters
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province
By JAQUE FRIEDMAN New Zealand