It is the cry we hear week in week out from all corners of the country. Belizeans want, nay… they demand Justice! Not all however really know what it means, the meaning is particularly lost on the current GOB, the AG, and the DPP. Justice can be defined as the principle of harmonizing human relationships that enables each member of the particular society to access their due rights, rewards or punishments. Courts and laws are then established to provide equal rights, equal opportunities and equal access to all members of society.
There are four categories of Justice. They are all intertwined and unless all four exists Justice will remain elusive. Economic justice requires that no person or group of people be in a position to exploit others, or themselves be exploited for economic gain. The gap between the rich and the poor must not be glaring. It therefore stands to reason that where the middle class shrinks and becomes nonexistent so does economic justice. In addition a state must provide for the economic security of its citizens in their infirmity, disability and old age(SSB).
Political justice in a state exists when the formulation of laws that govern their citizens are based on public opinion and public needs according to the societies’ evolving values and traditions. The Legislature is not to impose their personal values, but rather reflect those of the society at large whom they represent. Legal Justice happens when all men are equal under the law and the laws are applied equally to all. There should be no special treatment based on party or political affinity, familial ties, or economic class. Social Justice requires the absence of the privileged classes. The provision of equal opportunity to every individual that they may develop their innate qualities. Furthermore, it guarantees against discrimination of individuals on any basis.
Considering it all, we can conclude that we live in an unjust state. None of the requirements and categories for justice are fulfilled. The Cabinet arbitrarily passes legislature, and retroactive at that, to cover their tracks. There is evidence that suggests a very real and very privileged group of people who are above the law. It is almost the same select few who have the choicest opportunities for work, study and contracts not available to the “Normal” Belizean.
The middle class is most definitely shrinking because the cost of living is so high that even working class families find it difficult to survive. The recent increases in SSB contributions and the failure to guarantee increased benefits and, more importantly, the reasons behind the increases show us that the state cannot guarantee that it will provide for its citizens in their old age, infirmity or disability. There is not even the semblance of Justice in any of its forms for Belizeans. We are living in a failed state. Wake up and stay woke people!