Sunday, June 3, 2012

Abuse:Halachic & Ethical Dilemmas I

Pitputim/Guest post    Consider this scenario

The family of a victim of sexual abuse approaches the abuser and their family. The family of the abused has not yet reported the said abuse to the police; instead they initially confront the abused and their family. The situation becomes complicated and lawyers are brought in. Lawyers for both sides settle on an agreement involving some “compensation.” In return the abuser agrees to plead guilty to a somewhat lesser offence without recording a conviction.

The lawyer of the abuser is under no doubt that her client is a dangerous pedophile. She had a choice. She could have refused to take the case. In the end, whether she was the lawyer who accepted the brief, or a lawyer who turned the case down, she is unable to remove thoughts from her head. She is convinced that the abuser is a dangerous person and that he may continue on his misadventure and sexually abuse others. She is bound by client confidentiality; we understand that

My question relates to the Halachic imperative. Is a lawyer/person in such a case permitted to remain silent? Is there not a real problem of contravening a Torah command: [Click link for rest of post Pitputim ]

1 comment :

  1. If we are to assume that reporting to authorities is completely muttar, then why point the finger at the lawyer? Why is the victim's family not complicit in withholding this avenue of having the abuser arrested and jailed? The article did not suggest that there was coercion to prevent reporting or testifying. I think that any effort to prevent recurrence is the moral, if not legal, obligation of anyone involved. Maybe there are alternatives to jail (just hypothesizing), but something should be done to protect innocent children.


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