terça-feira, 25 de maio de 2010

We may bite our chains, if we will, but we shall be made to know ourselves, and be taught that man is born to be governed by law

"Law and arbitrary power are in eternal enmity. Name me a magistrate, and I will name property; name me power, and I will name protection. It is a contradiction in terms, it is blasphemy in religion, it is wickedness in politics, to say that any man can have arbitrary power. In every patent of office the duty is included. For what else does a magistrate exist? To suppose for power is an absurdity in idea. Judges are guided and governed by the eternal laws of justice, to which we are all subject. We may bite our chains, if we will, but we shall be made to know ourselves, and be taught that man is born to be governed by law; and he that will substitute will in the place of it is an enemy to God.

Mr. Hastings has no refuge here. Let him run from law to law; let him fly from the Common Law and the sacred institutions of the country in which he was born; let him fly from acts of Parliament, from which his power originated; let him plead his ignorance of them, or fly in the face of them. Will he fly to the Mahomedan law? That condemns him. Will he fly to the high magistracy of Asia to defend the taking of presents? Padishah and the Sultan would condemn him to a cruel death. Will he fly to the Sophis, to the laws of Persia, or to the practice of those monarchs? I cannot utter the pains, the tortures, that would be inflicted on him, if he were to govern there as he has done in a British province. Let him fly where he will, from law to law; law, I thank God meets him everywhere, and enforced, too, by the practice of the most impious tyrants, which he quotes as if it would justify his conduct. I would as willingly have him tried by the law of the Koran, or the Institutes of Tamerlane, as on the Common Law or Statute Law of this Kingdom..." (Edmund Burke, Speeches on the Impeachment of Warren Hastings)

3 comentários:

Fernando Ferreira Leite disse...

"Law meets him everywhere"

Este texto que nos trazes revelou-se um sopro de nostalgia. Nem tanto pelo seu recheio material.

Relembro as prelecções de Coimbra com o excelso Professor Fernando Pinto Bronze acerca da dualidade funcional eficácia/validade do Direito, que me apagaram da memória o cliché do "ubi societas, ibi jus".

Nesta demanda a que nos propusemos, os únicos momentos verdadeiramente sumarentos...


Abraço Manel.

Lourenço disse...

Como eu adultero Feuerbach,
dizimado da cabeça às pontas dos pés...
Malditos afrancesados cnónicos

Lourenço disse...

Canónicos*

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