Thursday 19 January 2017

Public should be ones to decide fate

Published 03/08/2011 | 05:00

In his letters to the Israeli authorities, Mr Norris pleads for clemency for his friend. It calls to mind 'The Merchant of Venice' court scenes: the conflict between Portia's appeal to the 'milk of human kindness' and its polar opposite -- the all too human desire for the 'pound of flesh', in resolving competing claims of justice. The former interpretation of justice should have guided our understanding in Mr Norris's case.

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The Irish electorate, not political elite, should have decided Mr Norris's fate where it matters most -- at the ballot box.

Mr Norris has been the target of hateful attacks on his moral character. Ultimately, the process has revealed the flawed aspects of Irish democracy. For highlighting this democratic deficit alone, Mr Norris deserves our thanks and praise.

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