Law and Inequality

Law and Inequality


My name is Mohsen Alattar and I’m a senior
lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast. I’m a researcher in two areas mainly, equality
law and international law. I became interested in law as a teenager and I was always curious
about difference and looking at different forms of difference that we have in societies.
Some children are born into mansions and some children are born on the streets and I always
wondered about those levels of inequality and what role law plays in either redressing
that inequality or preserving, exacerbating that inequality. I thought to myself I could
probably answer that question by engaging in the study of law.
Society is constantly in motion and law is meant to follow society, some say law is meant
to lead society. The right to housing, the right to education, the right to food and
so there’s this tension now as we try to provide greater proprietary rights while
at the same time trying to provide greater protections.
Should law guarantee a minimum standard of living for all or should we let law of the
market dominate, law of the jungle, whoever’s strongest wins. What you’re really looking for in the study of law today is not so much a legal education
where the focus is on the domestic but where the focus is on understanding the relationship
between these different jurisdictions. Understanding what’s happening at the state level, understanding
what’s happening at the continental level understanding what’s happening at the
global level. The UK is fortunate enough to have some of
the top law schools in the world and it seems to be it becomes a great place to learn about
the law because the UK is part of Europe and because Europe is at the forefront of international
law, you learn not just about the domestic or about the continental but also about the
global. In terms of my own research and looking at
whether the laws that we create are ultimately about empowering the people, empowering us
or are they more about empowering corporations and providing them with greater authority,
greater control over representatives and then as a result over our societies.
It seems at the moment the corporations are in the lead and are largely taking control
of global regulation. People often think that if you break the law that you’re doing something
wrong but what if you disagree with the law? Do you have any freewill, any autonomy, any
ability to disagree with something that has been enacted?
If I was to give a song to someone else am I a friend because I’m offering them something
or am I a pirate because I’m engaged in format shifting? If you think of law in science,
we now have the ability to clone certain animals, what happens when we can clone humans as well?
Do I have rights over my clone or is my clone an independent being? That’s an interesting
question to answer via law. Studying law is a little bit like desert navigation,
if you’re ever in the middle of the desert and you look around you see nothing but sand
dunes so when trying to decide which way you’re going to go you have to figure out where you
are, you identify a point and then you look at where you were and then from there you
create a mini trajectory and then afterwards you decide where you want to go and then you
align that and it takes you from one point to the end. I decided to make the move to
the UK as I wanted to be at the center of all the action.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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