A judge is at peace when delivering a fair judgment – Archbishop

Mass on the opening of the Forensic Year
Miguela Xuereb

A judge is at peace when delivering a fair judgement, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said during his homily delivered to mark the new forensic year.

The Mass was held at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta on Thursday morning.

A judgement or decision is to be delivered from a judge’s or magistrate’s conscience with a sense of fairness and courage. If a decision torments the person delivering it, then the necessary peace to deliver it is not present.

“A fair judgement leaves a judge with a sense of serenity and a assertion of having fulfilled their duties,” Archbishop Scicluna said.

Archbishop Scicluna reminded the faithful of an allegory used by Jesus when speaking to his disciples – “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” He remarked that the imagery associated with this phrase is very powerful since the lamb is very often defenseless. He added that the Lord understands the risks posed to his disciples when they are out in the world which could be a hostile environment. However, Jesus provides his disciples with the tools to survive among the wolves.

Similarly, a magistrate should not fear when he or she feels like a lamb surrounded by wolves. If one is pure of heart and wise then one can halt any illegality. The Archbishop highlighted that a judge has to apply law in a concrete manner to a case after having seen the facts of the case, with great humility.

He thanked the judiciary and encouraged them to be instruments of peace within our society.

Archbishop Scicluna explained that the starting place for the judiciary is having one’s heart at peace followed by the building of a society founded on truth and courage.

There is a form of peace which arises from justice and which might not be accepted by everyone, however, this should not dishearten the judiciary as they seek comfort in the Lord, he said.