There are news stories about politicians accused in legal proceedings within the scope of their functions, a situation often pointed out as a factor of discrediting politics and politicians, discrediting them and reducing citizens’ trust to nothing.
More often than one would expect given the amount of news we know about these cases, many of these lawsuits result in nothing. Failure of the investigation or failure to apply justice?
It is difficult to understand – and even more so to explain it to citizens with little knowledge of the intricacies of Justice – how so many cases end up without a conviction or even without a trial. The functioning of democracy suffers from this situation and it is to the politicians that we turn, accusing them of doing little for their credibility, opening doors to populism.
In fact, it is Justice that must account for these failures in which everything is placed in the same undifferentiated bag labeled “corrupt politicians”. It is not enough for Justice to work autonomously and impartially. We can and should question their decisions. Justice has, unquestionably, to maintain autonomy, but with that it cannot isolate itself, exempting itself from accounting for the failures with which society is confronted and which undermine the functioning of the rule of law.
The time of Justice is not the time of information. But when it has run its course and its action is completed, Justice cannot keep shadows that feed doubt. It cannot leave unexplained the accusations that never advanced, the searches and seizures with objectives that are far from aiming at law enforcement or the arrests mounted for the television cameras.
It is not just politicians who undermine the credibility of democracy. Justice also has a share of the blame and must assume it!
*Deputy Executive Editor