"Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted." NIV translation
The prophet goes on to say that the whole system is corrupt and God's people are surrounded. This verse could be talking about our world today as it seems that the law does not apply if you have enough money or know the right people.
"'Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.'" NIV translation
God begins to answer Habakkuk by simply telling him to watch and see what He does.
This is good for us as well in that, as with the prophet, when we cry out to God, He hears and answers but it is in His time and not ours.
'''I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.'" NIV translation
Imagine the reaction of Habakkuk when he is told that God is going to use the Babylonians as an instrument of judgment. In his eyes, their actions would have been more evil than those of his people. Even so, God tells him that they are being prepared for His use. The Babylonians thought of themselves as a superior race of people and, here, God describes them as "impetuous" which means they do not consider their actions and the consequences. It is interesting to note that it says they "sweep across the whole earth" but they had not done so yet. But, in Revelation 18, we see that their system has overtaken the world prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
"'They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor. Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour;'" NIV translation
God describes the Babylonians and their arrogance. They are the mightiest war machine of the day and they are aimed at God's people as an instrument of judgment. It is interesting to note that God speaks of their calvary instead of the chariots that the people had been used to seeing and this speaks about the swiftness of the coming judgment. (Calvary is quicker than a horse pulling a chariot.)