This playlet has been inspired by the debate on the following subject:

Laws. Whom are they for?

authored by Dmitry Maltsev, Moscow State University Law School

Mr.Mayers: Hm, Hm. Ladies and gentlemen. I would like to begin our debate. The theme of our so-called "trial" will be: "Laws. Whom are they for?" My opponent today will be Mr. Fritz. He is a driver with DHL company. His colleagues describe him as a man of credit and fine breeding.

lawyer

So Mr. Fritz. What do you want to tell us about?

Mr.Fritz: Hello ladies… and gentlemen! Oh, and you are here too! Hi Pete! How are you today? Hope you're doing fine, old chap!

Anyway guys, I want to tell you about something awful that happened to me last week. Some silly fool broke into my car and pinched the audio! What a disaster! It was my favorite gadget!!! A "numero uno" in my whole life - let alone popcorn of course! I am on my own in my car all day long. My audio was my best friend! I can't go on without it. I was so down!!! Very depressed…

Listen what happened next! It took our "brilliant" police less than a week to find my audio and the bloody crook! I am going to claim for death penalty for that nasty stinker!

Mr.Mayers: But don't you think that it would be …. inhumane?

Mr.Fritz: And you are me telling that?! Aren't laws made to protect good people like me from all sorts of ugly morons! You are a lawyer and you ought to know that laws must safeguard my interests and rights.

Mr.Mayers: Yes, they really must, Mr. Fritz. But haven't you thought about the interests and rights of the man, whom you've just called a "stinker"?

Mr.Fritz: What?! What exactly do you mean? Then tell us what "law" is - in your opinion. And what is it for? But you should think twice before answering.

Mr.Mayers: Well, Mr. Fritz…It's as simple as this: laws are made for you to know what you are allowed to do and what you mustn't do. Laws are also made for me, for a lawyer I mean, to know how to punish offenders. You, Mr. Fritz, have to follow the laws and I have to follow them too - to use them, to apply them, to administer justice. And delivering a judgement is definitely a lawyer's job. Let me explain: For example, what would you do with the man who has stolen your audio?

criminal

Mr.Fritz: I've just said! I would kill him!!

Mr.Mayers: Are you sure this would be an adequate punishment? And what would you then do with a person who has killed someone? And now YOU should think twice before answering. He might happen to be one of your relatives…

Mr.Fritz: Hm. Well, I don't know. May be…. blood feud?

Mr.Mayers: No, no Mr. Fritz, you ought to know that it is prohibited.

Mr.Fritz: Then, may be some kind of imprisonment? There can't be just a fine for a murder!

Mr.Mayers: Even a murderer, Mr. Fritz, can be acquitted and discharged. That's why you simply ought to know that killing another human being is a crime. And we, lawyers, ought to think carefully and only after that can we bring in a reasonable and fair verdict. Law is the same for everyone. It is independent and absolutely impartial.

Now let me close our meeting. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. The case of Mr. Fritz's stolen possessions will be forwarded to the Magistrate's Court. As for you, Mr. Fritz…., you seem to be a potential murderer. I'll keep my eye on you!

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