The unfortunate fact is that many if not all of the administrative tribunals operating in the UK, the US and elsewhere are effectively kangaroo courts where the “judges” simply rubber stamp the government’s contentions in what purports to be a fair and adversarial hearing at which both sides are considered. It is an elegant deception of the public when it is done well, where the judge pretends to listen and occasionally – rarely – sides with a serf against the government.
The problem is that institutional momentum makes people lazy and the judges stop exerting the mental effort required to keep the ruse going. They stop really listening at all, rule for the government every time no matter how ridiculous the government’s position is, and the rigged game becomes too obvious.
Then some number of the serfs – at first small in number, but this can quickly change – react in a disorderly fashion. This has apparently happened in the UK.
The likelihood is that there were many instances prior to this where a lawyers’ strike, a far more orderly and targeted form of “direct action” would have provided a necessary wake up call.
Lawyers know that it isn’t just administrative tribunals and their judges that have devolved into farce. The same can be said of many courts and judges dealing with far more weighty civil and criminal matters.
Like protests in the streets, incidents like this could be considered a failure not just of the courts and judges, but of the legal profession generally. It is the responsibility of the legal system as a whole, including the lawyers, to provide enough of a social safety valve that civil unrest does not occur. At its most fundamental, even primitive level, this is what the legal system is for. In more evolved societies, we like to think it can go on from there and actually arrive at the higher values like truth and justice.
Which is, of course, impossible when you don’t believe in those things. Ironic that unruly mobs, whatever their other drawbacks, disagree.