LAWYERS V POLITICIANS
Q: by : For
the most part, a lawyer’s decision to represent a certain client or suspect is
judged by the allegations against the suspect. Does a lawyer take into account
those allegations when accepting a case?
A: by No. Every person is entitled to be heard and
represented before a court and is considered innocent until proven guilty. That
is a well-established legal principle. There is no question about it just
because allegations have been made, and just because the client is a suspect,
even if within a popular context.
lawyer, in most cases, represents for a fee. The fee charged is as per the status
of the lawyer. Hence the ethics of the
legal profession has to be strong in terms fees charged.
Q: Is there a code of ethics for lawyers?
A: We certainly have one. We are governed by and
are subject to those ethics. These ethics have been accepted by the Supreme
Court as well. If one is found to have violated it, penal sanctions would be
imposed against them.
is one to access the code of Ethics that one’s lawyer is bound by? Most successful
litigants get the outcomes they seek and fail to contribute to the improvement of the court’s system. The litigants who, experience
pain of failure, despite following the rules of the system, are the ones whose
pain, if unaddressed becomes a permanent wrong that mutates as sin. Sins are
beyond human control. It is therefore important to support such litigants to
self-represent, if an action is initiated by them against a lawyer.
What do you think about the future of the legal
profession in Sri Lanka and what changes do you think should be made?
We find that in the recent past, many things were
said and done in certain domains, especially in Parliament, under the guise of
parliamentary privileges. So, these are matters which we will discuss, including
in terms of what steps need to be taken to protect the integrity of the legal
profession – including those of the members of the judiciary. It
is very unprofessional and unwarranted for Parliamentarians to pass comments
inside Parliament to which no one has the right to reply. That is something I
will take a very firm stance on.
member of Parliament has the responsibility to speak the truth in Parliament. The
right to reply is not with the those outside Parliament, but with other members
of Parliament within the sovereign circle of the Parliament. The parallel applies
also to the Courtroom where the litigant who is represented by a lawyer has no
right to reply. Yet lawyers driven by the urge to win often disregard the litigants.
The exceptions I discovered include Mr Harsha Fernando who always took time to hear
and include what I had to say. All other lawyers who represented me, lacked
per my discovery, when we express truth the ‘position’ receives it. We may be
given failure in court but the value of our truth comes back to us in appropriate
form, at the time and in the form of our need. That is how the journalists who publish
truth become more naturally powerful than politicians, in some nations. Thus,
if we express truth known to us as per someone’s need, Truth has the duty to
complete itself and become positive energy. If lawyers speak the truth in court, the
Nation would not depend on Politicians for good governance.