Scales of Justice and Gattaca
Scales of Justice and Gattaca
The texts “Scales Of Justice” and “Gattaca” are two texts which allow the reader to witness a variety of interpretations and explore the relevant issues that are visible within contemporary society. Such issues as corruption within the police force, racism, sexual harassment, discrimination and manipulation of power are shown to give different interpretations of issues which plague today’s society and potentially our future.
“Scales Of Justice” shows the corruption in the police force. It is a fictitious portrayal of organised crime and human weaknesses in an unstated Australian location. It is about the possible abuses of power in the police force and is a study of power and its potential to corrupt. The drama is concerned with organised crime both petty and at a high level, involving those in senior positions of responsibility.
Scales of Justice shows where corruption begins and allows us to see the many examples of the fine line our police must tread. The first act, “The Job” raises many issues. The issue of abuse of power and corruption is also shown with the politics of law enforcement. It shows the extent to which the Australian system of criminal justice conforms to our liberal democratic views of fairness, openness, accountability and efficiency. The discrepancy between the police image and police practice is shown by the act police put on in certain situations. Another issue is the paperwork load carried by the police officers and the effects that this has on their attitudes towards their work. The attitudes of male and female members of the police force towards alleged victims of rape is another issue which Scales OF justice rises in its portrayal of a corrupt police force.
Act One of Scales Of Justice is a study of the limits of integrity. It shows the naivety of a policeman in which his ideas bring him into conflict with his colleagues.
In Scales of Justice power and the abuse of it is shown mainly through corruption within the police force. It shows us that along with power there can be negative and positive effects on people lifestyles.
In Scales of Justice it is shown that there is a certain hierarchy and those in higher positions often dominate and control those in positions that are below them. A classic example of this is Sergeant O’Rourke and Probationary Constable Webber. O’Rourke is basically a bully in his position. Whilst attending a robbery with Webber, O’Rourke steals a fur coat. Webber catches him but says nothing at the time. Later on this coat appears in Webber’s locker. When Webber approaches O’Rourke about it, he uses bully tactics to threaten Webber. Webber reports this to someone in a higher position. O’Rourke misuses his power and talks to friends in higher positions and it is Webber who is thrown out of the force.
Another issue of power and lifestyle demonstrated in Scales of Justice is that those in power are often secluded from the rest of society. An example of this happening is when Webber is not even on duty but on his way to work wearing his police uniform. As soon as he steps onto the bus, everybody suddenly becomes silent and look away as if he isn’t even human. They all feel a certain threat by him simply because he holds some power over them.
There are many different examples of the misuse of power in Scales of Justice. The misuse and abuse of power can in some cases actually mean a better lifestyle. At one stage of the show, Webber tells Borland he is thinking of buying a new car. In reply, Borland tells Webber not to forget to wear his “discount suit.” Webber has no idea what Borland is talking about. Borland explains that the discount suit is actually his police uniform. Later on in the show we see Webber pull up in a brand new sports car. Webber has used his position of power to get a discount on a car. This has demonstrated that Webber’s misuse of power has actually resulted in him being able to have a more lavish lifestyle. Another major misuse and abuse of power is when Borland pulled over a relatively attractive girl in a car. He can tell that the girl may be over the legal limit and judging from her car, he can tell that she most likely has little money. Borland takes sex as a bribe to let her off. However it wasn’t the girl who instigated the bribe, it was Borland.
Scales of Justice shows Caswells interpretation of the false image the police could show. This discrepancy between police image and police practice is shown in the first scene of The Job. The Commissions speech highlights two important issues one being that the police force is a group apart, rejected by some and even hated. The first Act reveals that instead of being a model of morality the police force mirrors the double standards of society.
Techniques to show this interpretation is misuse of power by the police include