El imperio de los sin ley

EL CAIRO – En uno de sus últimos ensayos, el gran historiador (ya fallecido) Tony Judt se preguntaba qué deberíamos haber aprendido del siglo pasado, un período en el que tantos soldados y civiles murieron en conflictos. Creo que una parte sustancial de la respuesta es la importancia fundamental del imperio de la ley, tanto en el plano interno como en el internacional.

Claro que hay muchas otras cosas que son fundamentales para una buena vida en sociedades pacíficas y abiertas: la libertad de expresión, religión y asociación, y el poder de elegir (y destituir) al propio gobierno. Pero nada garantiza tanto las libertades de las sociedades libres como la aplicación de la ley con igual fuerza a los gobernados y a los gobernantes.

En mis épocas de miembro del gabinete británico y presidente del Partido Conservador, tuve un asesor legal cuyo apellido cuadraba muy bien con sus consejos: se llamaba Maybe (tal vez). Al ser yo acusado por alguna infracción de normas administrativas o un presunto abuso de mis poderes, el Sr. Maybe jamás podía adelantarme el fallo de los tribunales. Si le preguntaba “¿ganaremos este caso?”, su respuesta era siempre condicional: “Usted debería ganar”, me dijo una vez, “pero no puedo garantizárselo”.

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