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Feature Article of Friday, 25 May 2012

Columnist: Awayevoo, Victor

The Common Man vrs the Supreme Court

When a child sits on the
shoulders of a giant, he can see further than he normally would be able to see.
It is also said that the dwarf that is carried on the shoulders by a giant can
see even further than the giant himself. This illustrates the process of
looking further afield to see what lies far away in places and times, and
defines the concept of visioning. Legal luminaries are the giants in the field and
the legal dwarfs on the street use their own eyes and can sometimes see further
than the giants. Supreme Court judges would look like legal luminaries to the
common man but they could also suffer from legal myopia. When this happens the
man with common sense would look like a legal visionary in the land of legal luminaries
serving in the Supreme Court.


Visioning
processes are established when goals are set and plans drawn up to achieve
those goals and objectives. Visions can be based on the perceptions of an
individual or they can be formulated based on the views of groups. Groups can
be classified based on many criteria into several subgroups and levels. The
quality of visions depends on the task or goals at hand and the views of the
subgroups or levels. Strategic planning is an essential part of the visioning
process.

Vision is
associated with the ability of the eye to see. Seeing depends on the presence
or absence of light. Images or objects seen are interpreted by the mind,
meanings are formed and knowledge is gained and used to achieve goals. Mind is
an intermediary between the soul or spirit of man and the body. The quality of
interpretations by the mind depends on the state of the soul/spirit behind it.
Total and all-encompassing visioning thus spans the physical, mental and
spiritual horizons. Strategic plans based on holistic visioning would have
greater chances of success than any other plans. Enlightened minds and mature
souls would be expected to produce the best strategic plans but with a caution
that enlightened minds are not necessarily mature souls while mature souls may
not share interest in all goals.

Leaders are
expected to be visionaries with the ability to see far out and have plans that
help them to see around corners. They need to paint images of the desired
future (goals, objectives, outcomes etc) and make them intensely real and
compelling so that they motivate and drive present activities. This planning process is the visioning
/strategic planning process which necessarily involves the phases of Planning,
Execution, Evaluation & Audit and Corrective & Preventive Action.

Visioning
and strategic plans seek to answer the questions of what to do or where to be
in three, five, ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred and more years. Very diligent
attention to details in strategic plans improves chances of attaining goals.
Strategic planning is used in all aspects of life and one of the earliest
records of strategic planning principles is embodied in the writings of Sun Tzu
on the “Art of War”. A few quotations from him emphasizing on winning the war
before it starts, or overcoming obstacles before they occur or impede progress,
are as follows:-

“The general who wins the battle makes many
calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses
makes but few calculations beforehand”.
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the
enemy without fighting”.

“Supreme excellence consists in breaking
the enemy's resistance without fighting”.

“Thus it is that in war the victorious
strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is
destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory”.
“Thus, what is of supreme importance in war
is to attack the enemy's strategy”.

“To fight and conquer in all our battles is
not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's
resistance without fighting”.
“Victorious warriors win first and then go
to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”.

When a Judiciary
is packed to the full with legal brains serving particular interests at all
levels in the judicial system, it is proof positive that a strategic plan is in
place and working. Those who do not flow with the established interests of the
judiciary become chicken in the courts of hawks. Unless and until the courts
begin to serve the interests of the common man, those who are comfortable with
the law as practiced remain to play second fiddle. Interpretations of the law
based on interests instead of universal and selfless principles are mind-based
and not soul-based, and therefore deficient in the optimal scheme of things. The
soul is like the head that must wear the hat and not the mind which is the
knee.

The Judicial
Service of legal luminaries plays its role in society under the Executive arm
of Government, which also functions based on the perceptions of the common man
as expressed in elections. “Vox populi, vox dei”, the voice of the people is
the voice of the gods, establishes long term expectations. Selflessness is a
quality of the higher soul and interests can be the selfish desires of the
lower mind. A political party in Government that relies too heavily on legal luminaries
serving sectional interests must prepare to remain in a secondary position;
except when the common man is occasionally confused or his verdict set aside.

Victor
Awayevoo.

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