Alternative legal systems

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The main legal systems in the contemporary world are: common law, civil law and shariah. Some legal systems are combination of the aforementioned systems. However, though each system is different, they share the one main disadvantage - they are usually ineffective.

Therefore, people from different universities write numerous dissertations every year on the subject, some of which resolve around new legal systems invented by the authors. Despite the fact that most of the new systems are completely useless, the students usually continue to advocate them even after achieving a degree.

Here for your perusal, are listed some of the, so-called, alternative legal systems.

Self-executing law

Self-executing law is a proposed legal system that focuses on efficiency of law-enforcement and is based on a belief that people are in fact good and righteous and will always behave according to the law. This is why this system actually fails.

The self-executing law system is widely advocated by the prison aboliton movement activists, who believe it's the best way to solve the problem of housing criminals.

Background

Harakiri111
A Japanese about to committ hara-kiri - a perfect example of a self-imposed death penalty.

Supporters of the system claim that prisons in fact are extremely ineffective and their maintenance is expensive. They also tend to argue that people are, in fact, good and always stick to the rules [1]. They also believe that people can punish themselves better than the state could ever do.

Such people are called libertarians, anarchists and idiots.

People who advocate the self-executing law system, known collectively as "hug-a-thugs", believe in resocialization and argue that prison is in fact a cruel punishment for all kinds of criminals. And by all kinds, we mean that both murderers and jaywalkers who can't pay the fine can land in the same prison cell. Well, in fact, the point that they have not noticed yet is that the purpose of sending people to prisons is to inflict cruel and unusual punishment while hiding behind statements claiming that prison is in fact a humane punishment.

Concept

The self-executing law system would abolish the imprisonment penalty and all courts (being too costly and ineffective) would shift all the punitive actions to the criminals themselves. In theory, criminals would be obliged to punish themselves immediately after commiting a crime. The advocates of the system claim it would have many advantages, while having nearly none of disadvantages. Unfortunately, it's not that simple and the self-executing law system is widely criticized by many experts.

Advantages:

  • Instead of waiting many weeks/months/years for a final sentence, a criminal is punished immediately. No other legal system reduces the time between a crime and a sentence in such a way.
  • Legal costs are reduced to none (because courts would be closed permanently and judges would be fired[2]).
  • The verdict would always be right because the criminals themselves are, in fact, the only people fully able to assess if they are guilty or not.
  • The punishment would always be just because only a criminal knows what would help in his resocialization.
  • Punishing the young offenders would be shifted to their parents and everybody knows that kids are more afraid of their parents than policemen.

Disadvantages:

  • Lawyers, judges, warders and many other people would lose their jobs.
  • The system is vulnerable to corruption - a criminal (being a judge at the same time) would easily bribe themselves[3].

Of course, all regulations would be binding but would be different than these regulations we know today. Instead of the penalty of imprisonment, people would have to stay in their own rooms for a certain period of time. Or they would have to conduct a self-castigation or, in case of rapists, self-castration.

In this system the death penalty is possible because a criminal could be obliged to commit a hara-kiri. Therefore there is a debate over introducing the system in Japan.

Random sentence

Dice123
And you are sentenced to... 5 years in prison! Congratulations!

Background and concept

The random sentence legal system is strongly advocated by mathematicians who are particularly interested in the calculus of probability. They claim that bringing verdicts out randomly would result in roughly the same level of justice in courts as we know today. However, there still would be innocent people sentenced to imprisonment but even some philosophers say that it would be more just to send a person to prison when it's based on lottery than on a judge's wrong judgement.

Advantages:

  • The legal proceedings would be reduced to the time needed to conduct a draw.
  • The system completely eliminates corruption.

Disadvantages:

  • For God's sake, how could you possibly decide to send a person to prison for, let's say 25 years, basing only by lot!

In this system everything would be based by lot, including (but not limited to) a decision to launch an investigation, indicting for a crime and sentencing.

Waiting for God system

Actually, this is not an independent and original legal system but only a cutting edge of shariah. In this system, the judges wait for God himself to give a verdict.

The proposed system has little (if any) advocates due to its inefficiency. However, there are some rumors that Polish politicians debate over introducing it - the outcome would be similar to what they have nowadays - people still would have to wait an eternity for a sentence.

Advantages:

  • Fundamentalists receive a morale bonus.

Disadvantages:

  • Trials last extremely long and are just very boring.
  • No verdict has been brought out this way yet.

Lynching system

Lynch-mob1
Lynching has a long and well-established tradition.

This system completely shifts the responsibility for punishing criminals from the state to society. Unlike in the self-executing law system, in the lynch mob system this is not a criminal who decides about the punishment but all the local people who know the person and are raged because of the cruel crime (or, that's how they see that).

And unlike the systems mentioned above, this system is unofficialy in work - mainly in Africa and, locally, in Poland.

Concept

In an exemplary situation, a lynch mob is quickly organized after a crime has been committed. Such a mob chases the criminal down and over-eagerly judge him, usually by beating him with blunt tools to death, sometimes by hanging him on the nearest tree. After that, everyone goes home and the body is left to show everyone what awaits those who dare commit a crime.

Advantages:

  • The death penalty and tortures are universal punishment for most crimes so a criminal usually knows what to expect for the crime (whithout a need to read a code of law).
  • Costs are reduced to none.
  • Lynching is actually really entertaining.
  • People are satisfied with the verdict.
  • Wrong verdicts do not worry the convicted[4].
  • The punishment is usually cruel and sometimes also unusual[5].

Disadvantages:

  • The punishment is usually cruel and sometimes also unusual.
  • Lynch mobs are uncontrollable and can sometimes result in a coup d'etat.

Lynch mobs are often introduced in regions where the police cannot deal with crime properly.

References

  1. So, why are people sent to prisons?
  2. In fact, everybody would be a judge
  3. But the advocates of this system strongly believe that judges are always responsible for their actions and swear an oath - in this case, all people would have to swear an oath as soon as they reach the age of majority
  4. Dead people rarely worry about anything. Except zombies of course.
  5. The criminals usually deserve such a punishment
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