Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Monday, May 30, 2005

So Corby was convicted

OK, Schapelle Corby got convicted by the Indonesian court in Bali for drug smuggling. Predictably, the media and pundits are having a field day - the Indonesian system is wrong, the country is dangerous, blah, blah.

At the same time, nine Australians were caught with heroin strapped to their bodies. But they are either Asian or ugly. Corby was cute, and not Asian. So we don't worry about them - they get what they deserve. We worry about the "former beauty queen". And at the same time, we get to diss the Indonesians. Isn't a free media wonderful?

Don't get me wrong - I don't think that the (French-inspired) presumption of guilt legal system is so great, but it can work. I think it worked here, and by reports those reporters who spent time covering the trial thought so too. But their bosses like cute video, so this is not the spin that was spun.

Corby probably was guilty, and yes, she'd probably get off in Australia. Of course, we don't have a death penalty (which I think is a Good Thing), perhaps we should have their system, and they ours. But notwithstanding, the judges didn't apply the death penalty, and from an Indonesian perspective, that's a big thing.

So, let's all sit back and watch Australia and others denigrate the rule of law in Indonesia. It's only something to be cherished in the west, after all. Especially if the "victim" is cute and white. In the meantime, let's all act like the colonials we are at heart, and insist that local laws don't apply to us Australians.

Late note: I have been informed in the comments that the European legal system does not presume guilt. I apologise to all Europeans and former colonies...