Allow me some Latin. Rex fons iustitiae est. The King is the fountain of justice. That was the medieval view – the court of the King had many uses and phases, as did the High Court of Parliament. Of the course the court of the king was the ultimate source of both justice and law. A ‘doom’ might be like a ‘decree’ – a decision in a particular case or a ruling for future cases.
Nemo iudex debet in propria causa sua. You cannot judge yourself: literally, no one should be a judge in his own cause.
Audi alteram partem. ‘Hear the other side’ – a judge must listen to both sides dispassionately.
These principles are fundamental. They underlie our notion of due process, and the principles that are called administrative law.
Only someone morally unhinged could query either principle.
Donald Trump is such a person. Speaking of what is called the Russian investigation, Trump said:
I’ve decided to stay out….I don’t have to stay out, as you know. I can go in and I could…do whatever. I could run it if I want.
He could inquire into himself – and decide the inquiry.
Neither Nero nor Nebuchadnezzar could have made such a claim. Even God might draw the line.
It is a sad reflection of the inability of a slow spoiled child to accept that other people also live on this planet earth. When this nightmare ends, some people will have a lot of work to do explaining their silence when it mattered.
And although an integrity officer is also no panacea, it can act as an antidote. But as mentioned, for this to happen, the role must be properly instituted.
Among other things, this requires that the person occupying the role is truly independent and doesn’t feel a need to curry favour with people within the organisation. It requires that the integrity officer is provided with unfettered access to the organisation so that they can identify where issues exist and whether people are reluctant to shine a light on them. And it requires that they are provided with the requisite platform and can speak truth to power.
Australian Financial Review 20 August 2018
Where is bloody George Orwell when we need him?