A grossly underrated personal value is “Integrity”

Reallaw blogNot only does it form an essential part of our assessment of others the same factor has a critical impact when it is missing in our institutions and community processes. A current example is the election process. With the many varied and sometimes bizarre systems seen world-wide. We are lucky in that NZ has a system that rates high in integrity, the entitlement to vote is clearly defined and easily claimed. That the vote is confidential is taken as a given here. Counting is rarely disputed and the result is readily accepted by the general population. Not often used but available is a review system to determine valid votes and the calculation of results. This is available for candidates when results are close and minor factors are believed to exist allowing a judicially supervised review to be carried out. Such structures are not always part of the process as seen with the current unrest in Belarusia arising from a vote seen by locals as rigged. Consider too the controversies surrounding the Presidential elections in the USA. The Belarusian result is not accepted as legitimate and in the USA eligibility other aspects are undergoing close scrutiny. Things we consider basic such as access to the polling booth and delivery of the postal votes are at dispute. Add to that, varied procedures and an antiquated system of colleges all give rise to uncertainty and consequently doubts about the processes integrity. Reform is needed in many countries it seems. NZ is not perfect by any means but it does have integrity. Coming back to personal integrity, lack of that characteristic can be as unsettling and troublesome as when that same factor is missing as indicated above. When it comes to practicing law integrity is an essential personal attribute of any lawyer and without it serious harm can and does occur to those affected by it.

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