Trope-a-Day: Screw The Rules, I’m Doing What’s Right!

Screw The Rules, I’m Doing What’s Right!: Subverted inasmuch as, except for the most important of the rules, there is almost always a rule telling you explicitly that while you are expected to follow the rules, the rules are not there to substitute for thought, and they most certainly are not there to provide an excuse for being a damn fool.  Therefore, if you need to break the rules, this rule means that you’re actually following them by doing so. (The Order of Cirria is a medal which exists specifically to be given to people who achieve victory by doing this in a military context, even.)

This applies even to the criminal law – while for matters such as self-defense it’s explicitly covered, the general rule is that you can at least plead “justification”, as well as “necessity”, for just about any charge, and try to make your case in terms of the law’s fundamental principles and/or spirit.  It’s still not easy, but it has been known to work – rather more than it has in most Terran jurisdictions.