This essay sample essay on Grudge Informer Case Summary offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.
The Problem of the Grudge Informer describes a situation that two major philosophical theories of law-Legal Positivism and Natural Law Theory-greatly disagree on. It provides a legitimate question for Natural Law theorists about the objective moral order of justice systems, which is accessed by reason and more specifically, the extent of which morality can play in criminalizing an apparent regime of terror.
On the other hand, Legal Positivists challenge that whether a law has an integral moral aspect makes no difference to the prosecution of an otherwise anarchist government.
For them, law is a system of orders or commands enforced by power. It is a pure human product. Herein lies the debate of the ‘Grudge Informer. ‘ The Legal Positivist position holds that the informers were acting out of obligatory concern for the laws of that time and are therefore, legally guarded by those laws for any legitimate criminal offense.
The Naturalist would respond indignantly towards the rigid legal position of the Positivists and would consequently punish every ‘Grudge Informer’ for acts of willful harm and perhaps murder.
For them, the acts of the informers were immoral and should not go unpunished, which the Positivists simply don’t care about. Thus, as the newly appointed Minister of Justice, I adopt the third deputy’s suggested plan as the most logical and appropriate ruling because of the fact that an objective moral order, among other things, must be an integral part of all legal institutions and that the grudge informers shall not go unpunished for their wrongdoings.
First, I urge that an additional and better plan could be implemented combining a couple of the steps each of these deputies has to offer.
However, I conclude that if one recommendation were chosen then the third deputy presents the most satisfying plan for all parts of the justice system. Each of the other recommendations contains slight defects of which I will examine. According to the first deputy’s recommendation, we shouldn’t and can’t prosecute any of the ‘grudge informers. ‘ Their acts of what a Purple Shirtist might call patriotism were protected by “the law of the land” (Fuller 160).
The first deputy goes on to say that, like our newfound democratic justice system, the Purple Shirts operated under the law even though those laws might be wrong. He says, “The cardinal point of our creed is that when an objective has been duly incorporated into a law or judicial decree it must be provisionally accepted even by those who hate it… ” (Fuller 161). However, although their acts might seem lawful and obligatory, they were clearly wrong. The law itself was defected. In any sort of government, the protection of its citizens is its ultimate concern.
That is not to say a lawful protection always occurs. The first deputy fails to recognize that although lawful, the acts of Purple Shirtism were wrong and could diminish the duty of protection if future terrorist regimes were to take control. The first deputy contains yet another logical error. Rather than admitting the Purple Shirts were wrong, he simply acknowledges the difference in their ideology so as to say whatever they believed and whatever their objectives were, they were still lawful. He even admits that they disregarded any laws that didn’t fit their ideology.
This is ultimately where his recommendation fails. It is contradictory and rather relativistic that he suggests each ideology is correct in its own right when he admits some acts of the Purple Shirts were “what we consider detestable” (Fuller 160). In essence, to disregard any wrong actions the grudge informers made simply because they were lawful at that time is exactly what Purple Shirtists did when they disregarded laws not pertaining to their ideology. Essentially, he admits this was wrong and therefore, immoral.
Like Fuller, if we acknowledge the virtue of right and wrong rules then we acknowledge morality pertaining to law. To accept the first deputy’s recommendation would take on a strict positivist role, which is insufficient to the misconduct performed by the informers. In the second deputy’s recommendation the same resolution is reached, but by the conclusion that there were no laws at all during that time. He says, “What they did do was neither lawful nor contrary to the law, for they lived, not under a regime of law, but under one of anarchy and terror” (Fuller 161).
He admits that it was a “war of all against all” and that the “so-called grudge informers were just one phase of that war” (Fuller 161). Logically, this cannot be a significant reason to overlook the atrocities that the informers intended to commit. The second deputy is essentially sweeping the entire period of the Purple Shirt regime under the rug, including the grudge informers. It occurs to me, as in the first deputy’s recommendation, that an apathetic attitude is suggested toward the wrong actions of the grudge informers.
Something must be done simply to avoid another reign of terror. To not act would be the most harmful act. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied,” let alone any step towards justice taken at all (MLK 79). Although the fourth deputy’s recommendation demands some action against the grudge informers, I disagree with enacting a special statute. He argues that the third deputy would perpetuate the abuses of the Purple Shirt party even though enacting a statute would seemingly do the same.
The fourth deputy contradicts his own reasoning. He asserts that the Purple Shirtists used the law to their advantage by using the ones they liked and nullifying the ones they didn’t, but doesn’t realize his own recommendation uses the same logical sequence. Even if we were to apply existing laws to the actions of the grudge informers it would be historically unfair, let alone enacting a new law. This exemplifies the debate of the legitimacy of post facto laws, which is a delicate route. The argument of developing a new statute is dangerous and unforeseen.
Furthermore, the fourth deputy’s recommendation relies upon the contingency that the special statute would be sufficient. And after his flawed reasoning of enacting a special statute, it would be irresponsible to believe we could approve of one that could separate the grudge informers from all the other criminal activities of that time. Finally, the fifth deputy, like the first and the second, recommends that nothing should be done and that, instead, “we should allow that instinct [of revenge] to express itself directly without the intervention of forms of law” (Fuller 163).
I strongly disagree with this proposal. A just society should hold the highest values of law, and to accept that revenge is one of these values is to accept this type of behavior from those that are subject to the set of laws. This type of unlawful behavior reminds me of the ‘Wild West,’ which is infamous for its outlaws and lack of justice administration. In addition, the fifth deputy acknowledges with his recommendation that “a few innocent heads will be broken” (Fuller 163).
It is unacceptable that any innocent people should be afflicted under a justice system that holds the highest of values, especially one that chooses to do nothing about serious offenses. St. Thomas Aquinas would support my position when he defined Law as “… nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by him who has the care of the community” (Aquinas 77). Clearly, the fifth deputy breaks the most basic concepts of law by ironically doing nothing. After reviewing the deputy’s recommendations, I conclude that the third deputy presents the best alternative to the ‘Grudge Informer’ dilemma.
He recognizes that we cannot deem the entire Purple Shirt regime as “outside the realm of law, or, on the other, that all of its doings are entitled to full credence as the acts of a lawful government” (Fuller 161). Somewhere in between those two extremes lies the problem of the ‘Grudge Informer’, which is why the third deputy offers punishment on a case-by-case basis. This particular group of people within the Purple Shirt regime knowingly used the legal system to the benefit of themselves and not of the entire society.
In this case, the grudge informers were operating under unjust laws even though they were following their laws. Saint Thomas Aquinas would agree with me when he declared, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law” (MLK 80). This brings us back to the debate between Naturalists and Positivists in which I am inclined, as is the case for Fuller, to believe that there is some internal morality within law; that “Law is not merely order, but good order” (Adams 44).
The informers themselves exemplified the positivist tradition in that they didn’t hesitate at the possible morality of the situation, but followed the law with tunnel vision and consequently should be punished accordingly. Like Fuller, my perspective of the ‘Grudge Informer’ is not strictly from the naturalist’s but, rather, one that doesn’t agree with the positivist’s. As a result, neither Fuller nor I would agree with any deputy but the third.