The Ubiquitous Political Trial
Political trials, contrary to our lawyers, judges, and jurisprudential scholars are not the wicked invention of Fascists and Communists but are respected ways of participating in our political process. In fact, political trials are an indispensable part of our civilization and they work as much justice as we can learn to expect. We might even say that the more political trials we have, the more honestly we can call ourselves a pluralist system dedicated to the greatest good for the greatest number and the protection of individual human rights.
In this book we hope to provide an analytical framework for defining a political trial, what justifies them in certain contexts, and how we might evaluate them to determine when they are the duty of those invested with the public trust. By way of introduction, we will make a few brief points.
It is an inevitable fact of their institutional nature that all courts exercise power through their proceedings. Consequently, any properly running court system cannot avoid exercising this power to stimulate and restrain political change. This is why political trials occur all of the time in every field of law, and this is also why it is so important to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. To secure our cherished goals and to promote our most fundamental values, each of us sooner or later deals with what the courts have recognized as our rights, duties, and responsibilities and how the courts have prioritized our goals and values with respect to all others.
The need to deal with the court decisions on these priorities and the court definitions of rights and duties never ends. The goals and priorities we think are secure tend to dissolve over time through a case-by-case re-analysis and