When the Law is not Justice

Vigilante Angels by Robin Storey is a 22-page short story I downloaded from the author’s website for free.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/vigilanteangels/Vigilante+Angels.pdf?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Another+FREE+Short+Story+For+You&utm_campaign=Another+F+R+E+E++short+story+for+you

I liked the story because I think it is one that my students in an English as a Second Language class will appreciate. It is up-to-date with its main discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace and a secondary discussion of animal rights. The writing is straightforward without pretentious vocabulary. I will have to explain some of the slang used as it is British English.

Rosie was on the right side of a legal case, meaning she won, but she was unhappy. Her client, Allan Woods, was found innocent of a sexual harassment charge. Under the shield of client confidentiality, he had admitted his guilt to Rosie. There seems to be a difference between law and justice. On a weekend outing with friends Jayne and Dee, the three agree to help Tanya, the victim who had not been successful in the case. Since Allan had admitted his guilt but could not be charged again, the three friends would have to find some other wrongdoing to use as leverage against Allan to get an apology, reinstatement of employment, and money to pay legal fees for Tanya.

Leverage might be considered blackmail, something illegal, so this story runs into an ethical problem. Storey solves that problem but it still comes off as a two-wrongs-make-a-right situation. The idea of an instructing solicitor is unfamiliar to US readers or, in my case, students who study American English. I won’t reveal spoilers of the final plan the three ladies followed to achieve their goal. (Is there any doubt that they will achieve their goal?) It is a quick read and I look forward to comments from my students.

NB: Legal stuff. I do not assign material I find on the internet to my students. There would probably be some permissions needed. When something is free on the internet, I make my students aware of the availability and then make their participation voluntary in a type of extra credit project structure.

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