Avoidance of legal obligations by politicians
Other Names: Circumvention of the law by politicians
Manipulative interpretation of the law by government
Nature: Elected office holders, particularly those leading nations, are corrupted by the belief that they are above the law and have the right or obligation to interpret it in their own way. While those who are self seeking far out number those who have the nation's interests as their central concern, both step beyond the traditions, spirit and letter of the law. Presidents and prime ministers attempts to escape accountability for their deeds threaten the very institutions of rule by law. Reducing the interpretation of law to their own perceptions without standing before the judgements of others is the way of the despot.
Incidence: 355 out of a total of 435 USA House of Representative congressmen (1992) had repeated written bad cheques, without penalty, at their private bank. One had a total of 743 bad cheques, another 878, totalling $344,000.
Claim: Those in power tend to develop a manipulative instinct towards what the law can and cannot be made to do. Rather than limiting the power of government, it is then used as an instrument to be turned to the advantage of government.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET