Audi Alteram Partem

Audi Alteram Partem
[Hear the other side]

Audi Alteram Partem is a very worthy maxim
It seeks to keep an open mind thus avoiding bias
In every interview or debate let’s hear the other side
When hard decisions otherwise readily would try us

But one problem I can foresee in granting equal status
To either viewpoint regarding any proposition
Both sides may not have equal merit
Worthy of universal recognition

In courts of law there’s little doubt
To ensure that trials are fair
Prosecution and defence must state their case
With diligence and care

In football we have observed the arrival of VAR
Intended to eliminate a prejudiced decision
Cameras cover many angles of a shot on goal
Ascertain the true position

But perhaps we have stretched the principle too far
When every journalist’s interrogation
Must ensure that ‘for and against’ are aired
Lest there be discrimination

The advocates of any cause, ideal or belief
Will surely stress the merits of that enterprise
Their conviction dominates their view
No hesitation, vacillation, leads them to rationalise

Of course in our democratic nations
We believe in free and open speech
Audi Alteram Partem deserves respect
A noble rule we should not lightly breach

Ken Fisher

 

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