Cristóbal Martell: “Today’s Society Wants to Place Blame. It Doesn’t Care About the Truth”
On Wednesday, 26 November 2014, the lawyer Cristóbal Martell gave a talk on Political and Administrative Corruption: Investigation, Repression and the Value System” in the UIC’s main lecture hall. The talk was attended by students from the Faculty of Law and formed part of the cycle of continuing education lectures organized by the Faculty.
During his talk, Martell reviewed the tools used by the current legal system to investigate political and administrative corruption. “The system aims to use any means to fight corruption, even if it threatens civil liberties”, he said, sharing with the students his worries that the fight against corruption could lead to the restriction of basic rights.
Martell gave some examples of these “perverse practices” that restrict civil liberties, such as prolonged tapping of telephone conversations and restricted entry to public institutions. “It cannot be excused on the grounds of necessity, as the civil service can provide the necessary information”, he argued.
According to Martell, these “perverse practices” have arisen as a result of neglecting a key principle: “It is better to absolve a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one. Otherwise, the entire system of civil liberties falls down and human dignity suffers as a result. Today’s society wants to place blame. It doesn’t care about the truth”.
“Criminal law must seek out certainty, not apportion blame at all costs. There are some things that are not acceptable”, he concluded.
The talk formed part of the cycle of continuing education lectures organized by the UIC's Faculty of Law throughout the academic year. The aim of the cycle is to enable students to learn firsthand about new trends and requirements in the legal sector from renowned professionals. Accordingly, Martell thanked the Faculty for its work in this area at the start of his talk before engaging the students with these words: “Honest lawyers care about their education”.