scales of justice

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A good play demonstrates how the composer explores important issues

Robert Caswell’s Australian screenplay Scales of Justice ‘The Job’ explores many issues, including corruption within the workplace, racism and the avoidance of crime throughout the text. He deals with these themes and issues through the eyes of a naïve new Probationary Constable, Len Webber, as he battles with his conscience against right and wrong.

In scales of Justice ‘The Job’, Constable Len Webber is new to the police Force. Sergeant O’Rourke and Constable Borland take him under their wing, teaching bad habits and encouraging unlawful behavior. At the start of the screenplay the cadets repeat the Oath of Allegiance, one of which is Webber. This oath is broken many times which is demonstrated when Caswell portrays the continuous act of corruption within the workforce while O’Rourke and Borland teach Webber the tips and tricks of how to make life easier as a police officer. They teach him how to get discounts by using his suit, an example of this is when Borland says ‘When you buy the car, wear your discount suit, your b***** uniform’. Corruption is also shows when Borland accuses a man of bribary whilst Webber wasn’t in hearing distance of the conversation. Borland instructs webber to lie under oath in court about witnessing the bribery, and he does, with Borland saying ‘this gentleman offered me a fifty dollar bribe, and you’re a witness’.

In the Police Force sexism is a huge issue. Caswell shows this through the relationship between Sergeant O’Rourke and Constable Callahan. Towards the beginning of the screenplay Callahan seems to be annoyed, O’Rourke decides to wind her up even further and makes a sexist comment saying ‘What’s the matter, Constable? Get out of the wrong side of someone’s bed? This is a very offensive remark. Another example of sexism is when a woman can’t afford to pay a ticket. Borland takes advantage of this and he gets her to repay him in sexual favours. An...
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