Legal Culture / Fernando Dámaso

  1. To speak of a legal culture in our society is to speak about something almost nonexistent. For it to exist, every citizen would have to have knowledge of the laws, beginning with the constitution and ending with the latest resolution or directive that affects them for better or worse.
  2. Many times laws and decrees have diverged so much from reality, what is established in them is so difficult to fulfill, or they generate so many setbacks, lost time and money, that people choose to ignore them. What’s more, no time has been dedicated to the real study of them, most people being legal illiterates.
  3. Knowing your legal system should be an important thing for every citizen. This would make each person an integral part of society, where their lives would be marked by duties and rights that must be respected and observed by all.
  4. To feel truly part of this system, the citizen must participate in its creation, not just mechanically approving, in a collective meeting, what others have developed, but through a legitimately chosen representative, where the pros and cons of each article and its effect on the life of the nation are discussed.
  5. A citizen lacking legal culture becomes a defenseless being, easily manipulated with regards to his duties and rights, lacking legal security and always likely to feel that justice is a sward of Damocles hanging over his neck.

March 5 2011