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Justice is MoneyA report from the newspaper The Morning Paper-Iceland indicates that an abuser of a minor was caught and sentenced. The article is short and it is called "Violated twice a 12 year old girl". We can already see all the spinning wheels from different political spectrums; so predictable:

The Right:

Too lenient. Current judges and laws are ridiculous. Nothing is too bad for this scum. They should be taken out and shot.

The Left:

It is a societal issue. Crimes against society demand re-education of the offender. This person should be remanded to a re-education facility where he should be provided with all the necessary means for his recovery.

The Centre:

The guy was locked-up according to due process and the law. What else do you want?

What about the victim? Nothing. Thank you very much.

And now for something completely different.

What happened in Iceland was that the offender was indeed taken to prison but, and this is important (very!), he was ordered to pay about 100.000 EUR in damages to the child.

Why is this payment important?

Because normal and standard concept of justice are not only counterproductive but they are downright wrong. We have written about this topic before (Justice In The Austro Libertarian System and In-Justice In The Democratic System) and so we won't repeat all the lengthy arguments.The short version is quite simple; what is the purpose of "justice"?

According to the right is to punish to prevent further criminal activities.

According to the left is to re-educate to prevent further criminal activities.

According to the center is either one or a blend of both depending from which side the political wind is blowing.

None of these make any sense nor do they work. This is clear since if you look at relevant statistics in almost any country in the world (adjusting for wealth), you will see that so-called criminality over the long time is going in one direction only: up.

And so, if neither approach works, what is the solution?

Simple: reparation.

To begin with, the so-called "Justice System" is arbitrary at best. It is whatever politicians say it is whenever say it is. And when it is not, then it is not unless there is change that it is. Got that!?

The separation between "civil" and "criminal" is also arbitrary and it makes no sense whatsoever. What determines what is one against the other? Well… that would be the country you may have the bad luck to be residing in. There really is no objective reason for separate one from the other, nor a way to make a clean cut. And even if there would be a way to do so, why would you want to?

The purpose of justice is to bring things back to what they were before the event. To turn back the clock, so to speak. Of course, this is physically impossible unless you have a time machine (and even then it would dubious because you would probably end up destroying the fabric of the time-space continuum… but we digress). And so, if this is not physically possible, what can be done?

This is the key question. The answer is also simple: it depends!

Are we sneaking out of the answer? Not at all. It truly depends of the person who suffered the damage or injury. This is so because the only person in the world that is capable of determining what reparation (or compensation) would be enough is this person. And so the answer to the question is subjective in the sense of the type of reparation that it is acceptable. But what about the amount of reparation? This amount not so much. It is quite easy to calculate how much money would it take to repair damage or an injury… however it is to be noted that we are talking about all the damage: physical, psychological, financial, etc. for the lifetime of the victim.

This amount would become very considerable very fast.

This amount will act as deterrent and simultaneous reparation.

And there you have it. Common sense justice for all. The victim is fully compensated and the aggressor punished without the taxpayer having to pay a cent, ever!

Did we mention this tiny little concept?

In a libertarian system, justice is private. It is a business. It is a good business. All expenses (plus profits) involved in the investigation, tracking down and prosecution of the aggressor is paid by… the aggressor!

Voila! True justice (if such a thing even exists).

The beauty of the Icelandic judgment is that the abuser was ordered to pay a compensation of about 100,000 EUR to the girl. This is indeed the right thing to do. Mind you, the number is still arbitrary and more than likely pulled from an anatomic location where trying to shine sunlight is rather difficult without a few contortions, but at least is something. The important piece of this judgment is that reparation was automatic and it was not a simple token.

In most countries around the world, compensation in criminal cases is a separate issue, often requiring separate judicial actions, when it is even allowed (in most countries it is not).

It would seem that Iceland is moving in the correct direction and this is good news indeed, even if they still cling to the obsolete concept of re-education and punishment.

One small step form Iceland, one giant step for Libertarianism!

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.


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