Showing posts from December, 2011

Is The Right to Die Justifiable?

The latest case of an Indonesian law student who burned himself to death in front of the Presidential Palace is indeed an interesting one. At first, I want to disregard the student's motive but then I realize that the question of motive is the essential part in the analysis which will affect our final thoughts in perceiving his decision. So, let's start with the question: do people have the right to die? It's a tricky question which triggers a lot of debates involving significant different views. The comments on the above case can be a good example. Some people consider the action as a foolish one without any benefit to the society, that people will soon forget it and it is harmful to the student's parents and close family members. Other people consider it as a heroic action, that it demonstrated a resistance to a corrupt government, and that the student should be honored because not a lot of people will have the bravery to burn themselves as a form of protest. What

Assessing Death Penalty - Law and Economics Style

Imposing a death penalty or capital punishment for certain type of criminal activities would always be a controversial issue. Some people believe that the imposition of death penalty is important to create an effective deterrent effect toward criminal activities. Others believe that death penalty is against one of the basic human rights, i.e. the right to live. Before I provide my arguments below, I will have to inform you all that I am a supporter of death penalty, albeit with certain conditions. First of all, in normative Law and Economics, welfare maximization and efficiency are the two key terms that must be prioritized in assessing the quality of a law, including the imposition of any criminal sanctions. Why? Because in Law and Economics terms, a law would be deemed useful for the society if it can maximize the overall welfare of the people without imposing too much costs on them.  The perfect law would be pareto efficient, where all people will be better off without having any

School Discrimination, Availability Heuristic, and Positive Exclusionary Vibe

Yesterday, another interesting case occurred in Indonesia. Apparently, a private school required a child with HIV positive father, who has been previously admitted to such school, to undergo a HIV test. If the result is negative, the child is permitted to enroll, but if she is positive with HIV, then her admission will be cancelled by the school. In short, the parent refused to give the result and the school later on informed them that because the other parents in the school refuse the presence of the child having a potential of HIV positive, the admission for the school is cancelled. The main question from law and economics perspective, can this action be considered as a discrimination? Can the school, as a private party, refuses the admission of a child because of the risks brought by that child to other children, whatever the probability is? What would be the solution? I look first at Law No. 23/2002 on Protection of Children and I find in Article 13 of that Law that a child, whil