week your advocate is M. Moazzam Husain of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
His professional interests include civil law, criminal law and constitutional
have gone through the reply you have given about different aspect of
the legal profession which was published in the last Sunday issue of
the Daily Star. I am enlightened by your answer. Like the lay questioner
to whom you have replied last week I have also many different questions
to be asked to a lawyer may be because I have in my mind legal profession
as one to be taken up after completion of my education. My maternal
grandfather was a lawyer. This family linkage might have played some
role in creating interest in my mind. I would be grateful if you kindly
reply to the following questions:-
1. People are found
to say that lawyers cannot but resort to falsehood for winning their
cases. Is it true?
2. We find that lawyers get the criminals released from jail. Is it
part of their duty?
3. Is a lawyer duty bound to do all cases that come his way?
Lutful Kabir Swapon.
Court para, Kushtia.
Advocate:I had, like many others planning a career at the Bar,
different disturbing questions in my mind about the legal profession
which continued till I entered upon the profession. The questions mainly
revolved round moral and ethical aspect of things. Many satires and
negative words about the legal profession prevailing in our society
sought to saddle my mind as they do in many cases still today. Negative
attitude of the relatives, in particular, goes a long way in disquieting
an otherwise balanced mind. In my case it was my father who prevailed
and disabused me of the prejudices and imbued in me interest in law
and legal profession by saying good things about it. I joined the Bar
finally without trying for any job and soon found myself proud of my
profession. As the days went on my respect to the profession heightened
but, sorry to say, high idea about many individual lawyers dwindled.
That is a different thing. You must learn to differentiate between individual
lawyers and legal profession. If you apply your mind deeply into and
can take a comprehensive view of it things should come as much clear
as to be enough to repel vogue words and prejudices.
Now let me revert
to your questions. As to the first question my reply is profession of
law is possibly the single profession where lying is most difficult.
Precisely because, there are always two opposing sides of a case. Moreover
there is the Judge to scan the matter. whatever is written or submitted
by a lawyer is open to challenge by the opponent. Success of the case
depends on credible presentation of it. Whole endeavour centres round
credibility and credible presentation. If falsehood is detected the
case fails. Therefore, you try to realise whether a lawyer can afford
to tell a lie at the cost of his case for that matter his professional
reputation. The profession of law is a part and parcel of the justice
delivery system where whole business is to ascertain the truth or falsehood
of things. Therefore, the professional lawyers must sail close to the
truth to avoid defeat.
Your second question
is natural and very likely to spring in the mind of the lay people.
If I reply to the question in one word the answer would be a simple
'No'. But this will not address your scepticism in full. Few words need
be spent for effective treatment. First thing that you will have to
understand is- it is no part of the duty of a lawyer to defend a criminal
if you call him a 'criminal'. Law does not recognise a person as a criminal
unless found guilty by a competent court. Therefore, question of defence
comes in. Any person's right to be defended by a lawyer of his choice
is guaranteed by the Constitution. In the circumstances when a lawyer
appears to defend a person he or she as a lawyer does not look at things
as if he or she is defending a criminal. The main concern of a lawyer
is to assist the court in finding out the truth by interpretation of
law and analysis of facts. This is an objective endeavour free from
personal bias or prejudices. So lawyers do a kind of soldiering in defending
the rights of their clients. Moreover, lawyers may not be satisfied
with the verdict of the court, say, finding someone guilty and can fight
through as long as the forums are exhausted. You have possibly got the
The third and the
last question is intricate. I think he is not. It is a profession as
distinguished from a trade. Ethical aspect of the profession must prevail.
There are circumstances where lawyer may not, in fact, do not take cases.
If the lawyer somehow become personally biased or interested in any
side he should refuse to accept brief of the other side. If he is convinced
that his client is the person who is responsible for the heinous crime
and develop hatred he should refuse brief because he may not be able
to provide him an effective defence available in law. After all a lawyer
is human and therefore has human limitations. He should not take each
and every case that comes up. Say for instance a lawyer should not take
a brief from his father's alleged killer simply because he cannot do
justice to the client.
Please send your mails, queries, and opinions to: Law Desk,
The Daily Star 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215;
telephone 8124944, 8124955, 8124966; fax 8125155, 8126154; email <email@example.com>