JUDGE EVA ROGAN (38) holds victims of crime to account in the Court of Reckoning, sentencing them based on their level of culpability in the crimes committed against them. Outside her court, protestors gather in response to the increasingly draconian laws being passed by The People’s Party, elected on the promise of ‘Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime’ – one of the causes being people allowing themselves to become victims. Crime rates are plummeting as victims become fearful of reporting, lulling the rest of society into a false sense of security, but Eva is convinced the independent judiciary will hold the government in check. Eva, herself a victim of coercive control at the hands of her partner DAVID (48), finds herself pregnant. When the Court of Appeal starts handing down even stiffer penalties to victims of sexual and domestic violence, Eva finally realises her faith in the law has been misplaced. She joins forces with the sole journalist allowed in court, JARLATH DUFFY (35), giving him an interview that sets her on a collision course with both her abusive husband and the profession to which she’s dedicated her life. What will happen when Eva faces her own reckoning?
The biblical source I have drawn from is the Book of Job, which is the earliest recorded example of ‘Just World Theory’ – the idea that only good things happen to good people. Job’s story exemplifies the logic that if God is almighty and just, then suffering must be proof of guilt. This argument is voiced by Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite in verses such as Job 8:20 (“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers.”), Job 20:29 (“Such is the fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.”) and Job 22:4-5 (“Is it for your piety that he rebukes you and brings charges against you? Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless?”). The words of Jobs’ ‘comforters’ echo the sentiments of those who blame victims for their own misfortune – the girl whose skirt was too short, the man who failed to protect his property or the woman who chose to stay with the abusive husband. Job’s story also explores the theme of faith in a higher power being tested – though in Eva’s case her faith is utterly misplaced.