Few days ago, I came across a news headline stating “4 Arizona Women Convicted for Leaving Water for Migrants” in Times. It was an eye-catching heading. Surprisingly the details of article gave another preview that the four women were convicted for entering a national wild life refuge without a permit. Also, a part of the claim states “entering and leaving personal property or possession”- possibly referring “leaving water”.
Firstly, the catchy headline made us to believe the four aid workers were convicted for leaving water for migrants. However, the existing fact was not as it was described. This is a method among many other where the media make us read their content.
Often times, we argue that media is the fourth estate or in other terms the fourth power of the state. All other powers, other than media, are subject scrutiny. However, media has been an untouchable blame-maker in the society. Debatable!
Secondly, the balance of morality and legality is a great debatable topic in the legal fraternity. When we apply it here, we can argue that entering the wild life without permit is a crime where giving water for a needy is legal and morally right. However, in the scenario, the aid workers had to breach a law in order to provide water. Is there any imminent threat to the lives of the people if the water is not being distributed? Undoubtedly, water is essential.
There are two stages to scrutinize this standard: in the parliament, when making the law and by judiciary, when interpreting the law. In the former authority, the laws of parliament should reflect morality and justice. It is one of the profound standards that laws that are to be governed the state of affairs of its people should be morally right.
If a parliament makes an unjust law, the legitimacy shall be questioned. Attempt to challenge the legality of such laws often arises with a breach of such law where a judge, who have no power to make or repeal law but to uphold law, would not have much choices but to enforce the law of the parliament or will of the majority of the people. Even if the judges are empowered to strike down such laws a society where there is no consensus on good morality, the judges cannot determine legality and morality of laws.
Morality differs society by society.