In what ways are court processes shaped by culture?
I agree that court processes are molded by culture through its ethnicities, history, and validity. Court processes currently used in a country may be a result of the country’s religious and historical past which proves the effectiveness of the court process by either keeping it the same or challenging it. A good example that court processes in countries with an Islamic system differ from western countries. The whole difference in court processes is brought about by different cultural practices in different countries. In the united states, court proceedings follow the western traditional cultures and the Christian’s and catholic proceedings from their history. This includes things like the way oaths are administered in court and the uniform worn by judges during court proceedings. At times, court processes are not only shaped by traditional cultures but also a specific city’s culture. In Newark, NJ, and Red Hook, Brooklyn the culture of not respecting the criminal justice system has forced these cities to change their court processes. The implementation of the “community court” in Newark and Red Hook has helped individuals who have committed minor crimes by connecting them to programs and providing them with support systems. In these courts, everyone knows the name of the other and uses the social service approach rather than hardcore law. These court systems have significantly reduced regular crime rates and recidivism. This court system has also enabled the court to be viewed as a more legitimate body as it has restored the faith of the community in the criminal justice system. These types of courts increase community engagement, individualized justice, collaboration, and accountability. In conclusion, the court processes that work in one culture may not work in another culture and that’s why court processes need to be shaped taking into consideration the culture they are working in.
How might the law contribute to the proliferation of violence rather than to its containment?
I agree that the law can lead to the proliferation of violence rather than its containment. Some international laws put in place can be used as a justification for violence and also a method to ramp up attacks. A good example is Israel’s twenty-two-day attack on Gaza which depicts a clear picture of this scenario. This attack allegedly caused the death of approximately 1400 people and the destruction of 15,000 buildings. Concerns raised by the vast destruction proved that Israel had violated the international laws governing warfare. Israel officials justified their actions by claiming that they were acting in self-defense protecting Israeli citizens from rocket attacks. Israel claimed that the deaths of the citizens of Gaza were unavoidable. Israel used lawfare to its advantage by interpreting the international law in such a manner that they were able to legitimize the killings of thousands and the devastating damage to infrastructure. Israel used its international law experts to develop tactical operations and procedures prior to the attack on Gaza. Their goal was to equip Israelites with legal protections so that they could carry out their attacks on Gaza without worrying about the civilian deaths. The experts used manipulated international law to benefit Israeli military officers. It is worth noting that Israel used international law to proliferate violence. Israel frequently used this tactical method as a justification for killing civilians and destroying infrastructure.