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The spirit of the law
Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:29am
129.241.222.38 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Together with the rest of the students, Teiran followed Tira Sedai into the same room the magistrate and his aide had just disappeared into. It seemed to be a private dining room, and it served well the purpose of giving the magistrate time to himself to think about and assess the testimonies that had just been given. Only this time, the Novices would speak their mind before the magistrate made his decision. Teiran already knew what he thought the outcome of the trial he had been paying attention to should be, after hearing all parties involved in the conflict speak their mind. After some of the other students had voiced their opinion, it was his turn.

"As Sarina and Kirito have already established, the question of guilt has already been resolved. Master Myee and Miss Delmar have admitted that they are lovers, and since they are not married they have at least broken the village custom, perhaps also the law. From a non-interpretive point of view, staying true to the letter of the law, punishment would certainly be required for both of them. I would agree to the suggestions made by Sarina and Kirito in that case, though I think making Miss Delmar marry the man her father had originally intended for her would be enough punishment on her part."

"However, there is another way of looking at this case, an interpretive point of view. You can ask yourself the question 'Why was this law made in the first place?' It is rather obvious that any law against having sex before marriage is meant to restrict such frivolous behavior. Both Master Myee and Miss Delmar want to marry, and the girl's father seems inclined to give them his blessing if they choose that solution. If they marry each other, the spirit of the law is still upheld. If they agree to marry, Master Myee should not be punished beyond having to pay the expenses of this trial, and compensating Master Delmar for his time spent pursuing this case. I would say he is not entitled to a dowry, but whether he gets one or not should be left to Master Delmar to decide, not the magistrate."

"I argue that the last point of view should be used in judging the outcome of this trial. If the first way of looking at it is used, it will only cause suffering for Master Myee and Miss Delmar, and if Master Delmar loves his daughter, as I think he does, he will suffer too. A ruling that none of the parties involved finds satisfying is not one that I would choose."

Teiran sat down after finishing his deliberation on the subject, hoping he had managed to give a balanced and fair view of the situation. Some probably thought he was soft because he didn't propose ten lashes as punishment, but he couldn't care less. He couldn't argue for any other solution than a just and fair one.

  • In the Creator's EyesKirito Lisenth, Mon Jun 26 11:17am
    His mind had already drifted to his books – a favorite past time that he intended to visit later in the day – when the Aes Sedai’s voice brought his attention back around. Ah yes, this farce of a... more
    • The spirit of the law — Novice Teiran Ketai, Wed Jun 28 1:29am
      • Well, they obviously like each other.Novice Moira Ivon, Thu Jun 29 12:35am
        Moira was just annoyed by all of this banter between the novices. Laws? Public humiliation and lashings and slaving for Master Delmar? Psh. They'd made love, and so what? It was a natural thing, if... more
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