Arbitrators, gods or heroes?


There was always a deification of the difficult decision makers. The judge has been historically compared to divinities, to the extent that the faculty of judging has been attributed by many religions to their gods. The heavy hammer of the Viking god Thor, they say that it has arrived until our days, represented in the small hammer that the Anglo-Saxon judges use to put order in their hearings.

Much more contemporaneously, Ronald Dworkin in his famous article "Taking Rights Seriously" recreated the figure of a judge Hercules, the god of Greek mythology. Today in Peru the media speak of parliamentarians (makers of the law) like "avengers" (comics characters with faculties over human).

I know that I speak of different contexts that range from religious contemplation to political satire. From my arbitration experience, the act of deciding is always difficult, because it tries to balance broken economic relations taking into consideration the legislative provisions, but with a clear awareness that they usually fall short before the inexhaustible dynamism of human behavior.

This experience of listening, understanding and pondering is disturbing and the effort to decide right is arduous, it involves intellectual challenge and restlessness, with the greater challenge of knowing that what you decide will change the state of things between the opposing parties, assigning costs to each of them.

But not difficult because the act of deciding is divine ... On the contrary, it is immensely human. We no longer mythologize it, it is not characteristic of gods or superheroes of caricature, it is simply human with all the fallibility that that quality supposes.