Lawyers vs Judges

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    Comment by S.R.H. Hashmi:

    Reading the article 'Legal eye: Hard cases, bad law' (November 11) by Babar Sattar, I recollected that once when the British Parliament enacted a law with perfect clarity, the legal fraternity came out in protest. And the cause of their protest was that if the Parliament continued to pass laws with such clarity, the lawyers were all going to starve.

    With conscience not always playing a part in legal business , for a fee, the lawyers endeavour to protect even their clients who have committed heinous crimes, and they do it by using or even creating ambiguities, thus working on the letter rather than the spirit of the law. And this would be in contrast to the working of the judges who may like to base their judgments on substance rather than the form.

    The writer says "But (SC) goes on to hold that NS (Nawaz Sharif) ought to have known about this “simple principle of accounting” as he “has been neck deep in business and politics ever since the early 80s” and adds "Is it saying that longevity in politics should have conjured the ability to predict how the SC might impose an extraordinary interpretation on the term “asset”?

    I think it would be absolutely clear to any impartial reader that here the SC meant that it expected Nawaz Sharif to know the 'simple principle of accounting' because of his decades in business, and not in politics, but the writer seems to link it with his decades in politics. In any case, Sharifs have been habitually doing even politics as a sort of business, which is their principal trait.

    We know that the judicial system is meant to try the accused and punish him if found guilty. On the other hand, the legal fraternity is in business normally to protect the accused, least bothered whether he was guilty or not. Rather the bigger the crime of the accused, and the higher his status, the greater will be the reward for protecting him.

    In the circumstances as explained above, most of the time, the objectives of the judges on one hand and lawyers on the other could be exact opposite of each other. Put simply, the judges job is to try the accused and punish him if proved guilty, while the unprincipled among lawyers get paid, and paid handsomely for securing acquittal of the accused, least bothered about his criminality.

    Quite obviously, then, the lawyers won't see eye-to-eye with the judges.