"Subjective" is not a dirty word.

And "judgments" are not simply rulings of a court.

Subjective judgments are expressions of human values; they should be a welcome part of public life.

We have built a world of bureaucracy in the name of objectivity and the rule of law; in so doing we have excised the humanity from bureaucrats and left, at the best mindless puppets, and at the worst petty tyrants.

The debate between case law and civil law is ages old; much of this debate has been misdirected towards which process is more likely to produce justice.

Humans can not produce perfect justice any more than they can know perfect truth. All humans can do is gather evidence and make judgments.

But the ability to gather evidence and make judgments is nothing to be ashamed of; it separates humans from the rest of living things. As prone as it is to failure, the practice of making subjective judgments must be encouraged to preserve our humanity. Case law, with its emphasis on subjective judgments based on evidence, is more human than civil law.

All governments are subject to corruption. Government officers are likely to be cronies of government leaders. Government officials can be flattered or threatened or bribed. Trying to reduce corruption by adding layers of bureaucracy is insane. It makes government less human, and therefore more hated.

We need to take a cue from the best small villages, in which subjective judgments are tempered with community participation and humanity is stressed. The village model can scale very well to large nations, provided that laws are expressed in terms of purpose and goals rather than bureaucratic formulae, and provided that government officials are encouraged to take risks and make subjective judgments based on the intent of the laws. At the same time we must provide easy access to courts so that government injustice can be redressed.