Legal Decision Making - A Christian Perspective

AuthorEbenezer Laryea
PositionUniversity of Southampton
[2016] Southampton Student Law Review Vol.6!
Legal Decision Making – A Christian Perspective
Ebenezer Laryea
University of Southampton
ince the days of my early days, I have maintained a clear-eyed opinion about
Law and its functions; it has always been to me, the pivotal societal system
keeping society in order – a body of rules which keeps human activity and
behaviour within. The rule of Law ensured that we not only lived free, with individual
rights, but also that we lived in a fair and just society, a society which would punish
or censure those who broke the Law, and protect the vulnerable and marginalised.
Such is the general perception of all reasonable men and women in society about
what Law is and what it does.
The Criminal Law is the body of Law which determines whether certain behaviour
constitutes a crime or not. The function of the Criminal Law is largely to set the
parameters within which the Criminal Justice System operates. The function of the
Criminal Law is largely to set the parameters within which the Criminal Justice
System operates. The object of the Criminal Law is to ensure that individuals who
commit a crime are punished – and that the individuals punished who for a crime
are the individuals who are responsible for crime. 1
Legal Decision-making is thus at the heart of the success or otherwise of the Criminal
Law’s operations. In my Doctoral Thesis 2, I argue that Wrongful
Convictions/Miscarriages of Justice occur when the Legal decision-making gets
locked up in extremes (Law’s Universal nature/the Particularities of the Case).
Thus, Legal Decision-makers must avoid extremes in Legal decision-making so as to
avoid Wrongful Convictions/Miscarriages of Justice.
Further to this, I argued that Legal decision-makers can best avoid extremes by
engaging in Middle decision making – deciding in the Middle – where they have the
benefits of both Law’s Universal nature and the Particularities of the case, to help
them reach the right conclusion. In order for them to be able to do this effectively, I
argued, Legal Decision-makers must be prepared to abandon Traditional forms of
thinking they must be flexible and willing to allow the facts of the case to shape
their Legal decision-making process – and they have to pay attention to the life story
of the individual defendant and respond to it in their Legal Decision Making.
The purpose of this article then is to offer a Christian perspective on Middle Decision
Making by taking keen note of Jesus’ approach to the Law and Legal decision
1 Molan, M. (2001), Criminal Law, London, Old Bailey Publishing.
2 Laryea, E. (2016), Wrongful Convictions/Miscarriages of Justice, Law as a System, and the Story of
the Little Girl, University of Southampton.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT