Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Justice (6) - Remedial Action

The second part of the judicial process is action to remedy the injustice. The action should restore, as far as is possible, the situation of the victim to what it would have been if the injustice had not occurred. The judge should decide how the injustice can be “put right”.

In the case of stealing, the thief will be required to make restitution to the person they have stolen from.

If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep…..A thief must certainly make restitution (Ex 20:1,3).
Financial restitution allows the victim to replace the things that were stolen. It will also compensate them for other losses while they were without their goods. Expenses incurred in bringing the person before the court will also be covered by the restitution. On the other hand, the action of the court will make the person who committed the crime worse off.

Where the injustice resulted in physical injury, it may not be possible to fully restore the victim to the situation they were in before the incident. The injury may result in permanent scarring or disability. In this case, restitution will cover the costs of their healthcare and compensate them for their loss. If the disability affects the victim’s ability to earn, the restitution should compensate them for their loss of future income.
If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist ... the one who struck the blow.... must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed (Ex 20:18,19).
If the victim is dead, the restitution should go towards supporting their family.

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