Judicial accountability requires that lawyers be accountabile

December 2, 2010 We can’t talk of judicial accountability unless we talk of our own accountability as lawyers’.

The phenomenon governing the Bar has not all been enthusing: there has been an indiscriminate recruitment in the Bar; control over the Bar associations has slipped into the hands of professional office-seekers; the Bar Councils have abdicated their statutory functions under Sections6(1) and 7(1)of the Advocates Act, ‘to conduct seminars and organize talks on legal topics by eminent jurists and publish journals and papers of legal interest’ and at the top of it all ,there are lawyers who charge sky-high fees from litigants.

So ,it is not surprising that an impression is gaining ground that the judicial system operates mainly for the lawyers and judges, and the interest of the general public gets a low priority. All this needs corrective action .

Members of the legal profession are required to be vigilant ensuring a clean and sound system of administration of justice. It is possible only if we are fully aware of our own accountability. The accountability of the Bar is linked with the judicial accountability. They are not separate.

We are today passing through the age of social questioning. No section of society can take for granted the reverence of the community. The community demands from every institution the justification for its existence, the proof of its utility. The judges and lawyers may be the instruments and functionaries of the system through whom the system operates, but the real beneficiaries of the system have to be the people, the members of the general public, the aggrieved, the injured, the wronged, the persecuted and the victimized. It would be a reflection on us all if an impression prevails and gains currency that the system operates mainly for the benefit of the functionaries and the interest of the general public gets a low priority.

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