WESTERN CAPE
 JUSTICE PORTAL 
  Culpability / Moral Accountability  

See:
Crime and
Its Punishment
     
 
This has its focus in the choices of the individual. Yes, ignorance is a mitigating factor, but ignorance does not equal innocence.
Likewise, sincerely good intentions (such as the so-called 'war on terrorism') do not justify injustice such as 'CIA rendition'. At very best an upright intention is nothing more than a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing the guilty. It never equals innocence!
   
In our world two factors have been the most used to escape moral responsibility for an action or lack of action which has caused damage to others. These are –
1. the so-called chain of command; and  2. the adequacy or otherwise of legislation or judicial precedent:
 
 
Firstly – too often an individual has failed to recognise personal responsibility because the relevant decision is actually made by more senior positions/officers in the chain of command/authority. This has been true of some of the worst atrocities in human history.
 
 
Secondly – law duly promulgated does neither create nor change morality. This is true even of God's Ten Commandments. They are not an absolute in themselves. How much more then is it true of any lesser law. At most law increases awareness of duty to 'love your neighbour as yourself' in practical terms. Law is a framework to assist a moral society to function and develop, as much as a builder uses scaffolding to assist in the construction of a building. But, legality in itself does not confer moral authority. It is simply a tool to assist in the protection and betterment of human welfare.
See:
Essential Morality
The Ten Commandments
 
Neither of the above two factors can cause moral incapacity in those who are in any way part of a denial of justice, or a perpetration of crime in human society at any level whatsoever. Individual responsibility does not stop at the limit of formal legality, or of structural accountability. Obedience to laws or regulations is never blind.
 
Hence, legal incapacity may hinder the practice of moral responsibility to secure the welfare of persons directly or indirectly, but it does not absolve it!
 
God judges our society in terms of His moral values, which we were designed to reflect, as part of the reason for our existence. Anything that undermines this objective has the sentence of death upon it, and its destruction is as inevitable as the arrival of the future.
EVERY PERSON WILL GIVE ACCOUNT FOR ALL THINGS – BEFORE THE GREAT JUDGE OF ALL THINGS
Justice is a global issue . . .
"To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice [religious practice]." (Proverbs 21:3 ESV)
 
South African Police Accountability Structure
SEE:  CONFIDENTIALITY   PRINCIPLES
       
"When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." (Proverbs 21:15 ESV)
      © Lloyd Thomas
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