Would you defend a loved one, if they were breaking the law?
Like Andrew – to me the law is at best a guide.
I like the quote from Dougas Bader “Laws are made for the guidance of wise people and the obeyance by fools”.
My dad used to say – you need to know the law, so that you know when to break it.
The legal system doesn’t see it that way – and that is just a part of the reality we live in.
Fortunately most of the law enforcement people are, like Andrew, reasonable people, who most of the time make great judgement calls as to when the law is applicable, and when to bend it a bit. And all people make mistakes, and some people have poor judgement in some circumstances.
So for me – the law is something of a “necessary evil”.
In the best of all possible worlds we would have only two laws, against which all actions could be judged:
Respect the lives of other sapient entities, and take all reasonable actions to assist others in danger.
Respect the freedoms of others, and take all reasonable actions to protect those freedoms.
From that, one can derive a respect for all other life forms, for the environment that supports us all, for freedom of expression, tolerance of diversity.
I also like the John Godfrey Saxe quote – “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.”
Perhaps I have spent too long in the process of law making and law enforcement (over 40 years).
So I have no particular respect for the law.
I have great respect for individuals.
I acknowledge the usefulness of the law in the current rather low levels of awareness often present in individuals in society.
And I look forward to a world where the average levels of awareness present makes laws unnecessary.