Bargaining With the Law!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Mon 7 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

This is how bad the rule of law is undemand in our country.

A fugitive opens fire at a police patrol, kills an officer on duty in cold blood, and injures another.

In response, social figures are being sent to mediate the criminal’s surrender.

The details in the report by colleague, Hussein Kreishan, on the incident in Maan, is both frustrating as it is provocative.

Good people and community figures are struggling to arrange a meeting with the criminal, hoping they can convince him to turn himself in!

The Police, on the other hand, have not given up on their role.

Police sources have confirmed that they are more than ready and willing to storm his entire neighbourhood to catch him. But the traditions instilled by the official institution in previous such cases have resulted in this unfathomable situation.

The point of it is to avoid collisions with communities and stay bloodshed.

Negotiating with fugitives, now, has become a tradition, in practice in various parts of the Kingdom.

Shamefully, it gets to the point of bargaining with the law and judicial sentencing, beforehand, as a prerequisite to surrender.

Needless to say, this is a product of the authority crisis in Jordan.

Communities are more than ready to house fugitives and protect them, not to mention resisting police.

This is not exclusive to a single area or community; this happens with increasing frequency now.

Of course, this is the domino effect.

It suffices that one town or tribe should receive such favourable treatment, for other tribes and towns to follow.

Accepting the rule of law is the basis for maintaining the state and its authority.

Otherwise, everything’s at stake.

Instilling this culture culminates and amplifies a defiant social setting which will only render the state incapable of enforcing the law in the most tedious situations.

The root of this problem is that the state has forfeited its exclusive right to uphold the law and enforce it if need be.

Mediations are merely a manipulation of the law as it undermines the very authority of the state over all citizens equally, without exception.

Those who housed and protected fugitives should be dealt with in accordance to the law, for aiding and abetting criminals.

Nowadays, those who do it find no shame in it, let alone fear; they do it so openly.

More so, they receive mediations to negotiate the criminals’ surrender against the law.

The Jordanian State decided on the exclusive enforcement of the law, as a state should, 70 years ago.

Sadly though, we’re going back ages at a time, throwing away the state’s most prized principle; authority, by bargaining with the law.

Instead of consolidating power, the Jordanian State is dividing among social components which have no right to power and authority.

Some will say, the most important thing is that the fugitives are handed over the state, without collisions which can spiral out of control.

In my estimation, this rationale does not make sense, and it is destructive.

The most important thing is not the outcome as much as it is the inputs and methods of processing.

Sound inputs, sound processing, result in sound outputs.

Otherwise, something massive will go wrong, someday, somehow.

Everybody must realise that all citizens are indeed equal in the eyes of the law, and all must be engaged in such accordance.

The law must not be bargained with, and its enforcement no less so.

In other words, law must be enforced for the sake of itself, by itself, and of itself.

Law must not be mediated socially, or else, the very authority of the state is undermined.

Mindfully, we all know where lawlessness leads us!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.