Laura Armenian, for the New York Times

“We are not living in a dream world in which the mounting wave of violence and terrorism can be contained by strict logic and intellectual niceties alone”. The justices in the Court should take a leaf from Lord Salmon in Abbott. Over the course of the morning, the Court has spent more time organising the list and structure of matters than any relevant discussion. However, when it came to substance, it appeared as though the justices were convinced on using intellectual niceties and logical reasoning – admirable for a profession that is governed by policy. Nevertheless, it is this justification that may lead to the morally destitute outcome.

At this stage, it is very likely that the Court will not make a finding of guilt. This stems from the questions posed to Kiley J and off-handed retorts by Hogan J who describes this event as “a bit of situation” and struggling to translate “all these Latin terms”. After deliberating for hours as to the standard of proof required, the justices proceeded on the grounds that they may be able to satisfy the lower threshold of only producing evidence required at the pre-trial stage. However, concerns arose when inquiries were made as to why the justices needed clarification on the definition of ‘civilian population’. It is in the court’s mandate to construe terms either liberally or conservatively. Pressed as to how the criminal law has classified acts such as domestic violence – committed in the vicinity of one’s privacy – as a crime against the community, why they were not able to extend this logic to sexual violence on a grander scale committed by the clergymen of this scenario? Meaningless words were uttered which yielded no conclusive decision. The issue the NYT has with the proceedings of the court is that they are at a stalemate. Advancements of arguments and reasoning are a rare occurrence. It is evident that the Court has simply conceded to the submissions of the defence as noted by their own Director. Complacency in the court! This may just be the product of the salacious events of yesterday evening taking their toll on justices’ analytical abilities.

The justices appear open-minded and book-filled but then again appearances can be deceiving. They should be warned that an unmalleable court stuck in antiquated thinking and religious reasoning may be – more abruptly – shooting itself in the foot.


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