Omoluabi and the law

Goodwill and the Law

In Yoruba “inu rere” is an Omoluabi concept that roughly translates to goodwill. It further encompasses the idea of acting from a pure heart with good intentions. A person displaying “inu rere” acts with integrity and good faith in all their dealings.

Actions espousing the idea of “inu rere” will always ultimately be better for all the parties involved. In the practice of law, lawyers are both expected and required to act and display this. This principle is most frequently displayed by the requirement that lawyers act in good faith to the courts and to each other. Without this, there will be a breakdown of trust between the parties involved and the system will not be able to function as it was intended to.

The idea of goodwill is often perfectly modelled by judges. They have the difficult job of passing sentence on a convicted person before the courts. They have a duty to balance the public interest in keeping a dangerous offender isolated with the need to rehabilitate and re-integrate that same person. Despite the evil that may bring an accused person before the courts, judges are often poised and kind to the individual. They are respectful and not spiteful in their dealing with them.

Many sentences end with a judge wishing the condemned party good luck. This is a perfect display of the virtue of goodwill even to a person that may be despised by society.

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