NOTE: As part of the SEA camp, participants are encouraged to write their media memoirs – reflections on how the media has influenced their lives and perspectives, regardless of whether it’s news, television, films, books or even the radio. Through these media memoirs we see how the media can shape us, and appreciate the importance of media literacy in our countries. SEAYSS will be publishing the media memoirs of most – if not all – the participants of 2012′s SEA camp, together with reflections on the state of media literacy in Southeast Asian countries. If you have any thoughts about media literacy in your country, do comment on our articles or email us your thoughts at editor[at]seayouthsayso[dot]com!
«La Justice Française ne ment pas», or “The French Justice never lies”: That was the most touching expression which encouraged me to not give up on my law degree even though it was really difficult. The expression was derived from a very famous French film called “OMAR m’a tuer”, literally translated as “OMAR killed me”. Accused of murdering a proletariat French woman, OMAR was wrongfully sentenced to life in jail due to an error during judicial proceedings.
In the middle of deciding whether or not to give up my law degree, I watched “OMAR m’a tuer” in my elective course on French film analysis. It had been selected as an example of what had happened during the peak of the influx of African immigrants in the south of France, especially in Toulouse.
I found each scene extremely exciting. The moment that most captivated me was when OMAR was listening to the radio report of his murder case, which said that his name had been written on the wall of the crime scene. However, he was illiterate and unable to speak French, and he had faith in the French justice system. But the rest of society took him for a bloody murderer.
Upon seeing a real case from a country like France where equality and justice are supposed to be cherished values, I came to realise that the law is not justice per se, but is just a means to an end instead. It is our commitment as law students to deal with the lives of the innocent frightened by the authorities. I learned to fight and never give up, with a view to righting injustice.
Since then I have always had a principle in mind: that the person holding the power is able to fight for the unfortunate like OMAR, who was found guilty without any chance to defend himself due to his incapability to communicate, and help establish justice in society. I strongly believe that human beings are born to “RECTIFY”. We all have potential that needs to be unleashed for the full benefit of humankind.