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Age 70 Limit For Lawyers AHRC Condemns De Facto CJ’s Announcement

Age 70 Limit For Lawyers AHRC Condemns De Facto CJ’s Announcement

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Published by: Thavam on Nov 18, 2013
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Erasing the memory of law, an independent judiciary and the legal profession-
November 18, 2013 |The announcement by the de facto chief justice, Mohan Pieris, to introduce reguations in order to imit the ma!imum age to "ractice as a a#yer to $0 and to im"ose further reguations for the rene#a of the icenses of a#yers every t#o years, comes as no sur"rise% The government&s aim is to bring the miitary into a areas of ife and to s"read an authoritarian rue through the entire fabric of society% This im"ies the u"rooting of the ega system as one based on rue of a# and the inde"endence of the  judiciary to one #hich is reguated by the e!ecutive% The tas' assigned to the de facto () is to resha"e a as"ects of ega and judicia "ractices to suit this radica transformation to#ards a com"etey controed system in #hich the e!ecutive can do #hatever it #ishes, irres"ective of #hat the conse*uences are to the ega rights of the individua citi+ens of ri -an'a%This ne# remoding re*uires the erasing of every "ossibe agency that #oud resist it% Naturay, it is the a#yers that the "eo"e #oud resort to #hen they are faced #ith assauts on their ega rights% The roe of the a#yers under these circumstances is to educate the itigants on their rights and aso to assist them in every "ossibe #ay to fight for their rights #ithin the frame#or' of the a#%
Erasing The Memory Of Law  An independent judiciary and the legal profession
De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris
( November !" #$%" &olombo" 'ri Lana )uardian* The announcement by the de facto chief justice" Mohan +ieris" to introduce regulations in order to limit the ma,imum age to practice as a lawyer to -$ and to impose further regulations for the renewal of the licenses of lawyers every two years" comes as no surprise. The government/s aim is to bring the military into all areas of life and to spread an authoritarian rule through the entire fabric of society. This implies the uprooting of the legal system as one based on rule of law and the independence of the judiciary to one which is regulated by the e,ecutive. The tas assigned to the de facto &0 is to reshape all aspects of legal and judicial practices to suit this radical transformation towards a completely controlled system in which the e,ecutive can do  whatever it wishes" irrespective of what the conse1uences are to the legal rights of the individual citi2ens of 'ri Lana.This new remolding re1uires the erasing of every possible agency that would resist it. Naturally" it is the lawyers that the people would resort to when they are faced with assaults on their legal rights. The role of the lawyers under these circumstances is to educate the litigants on their rights and also to assist them in every possible way to fight for their rights within the framewor of the law. 3hat Mohan +ieris is saying is this4 the game of playing by the legal rules is now over. Of course" this is not one of the bright ideas he has got through some inspiration or during his sleep. 5e is merely indicating his master/s scheme and trying to mae it
appear as if it were his own. 3hy this sudden interest in the retirement age of lawyers that e,ists nowhere else in any democratic jurisdiction6 +ieris/ answer is that these lawyers above the age of -$ are unable to advise their clients properly and they are losing cases. 5owever" if one  were to mae a list of cases decided in his short tenure in the 'upreme &ourt it would not be difficult to list many cases which have been thrown out" not on the basis of legal principles and often not even with a written judgement stating the reasons for the decision" but only because the demands of some parties were against the wishes of the e,ecutive. The advice of +ieris to lawyers has been that they have duties to the nation. That jargon does not belong to law as e,pressed within democratic jurisdictions but that is 1uite familiar terminology of countries where dictatorships prevail. 7or e,ample" within the 'oviet 8nion it was the duty of everyone" including lawyers" to defend the socialist form of government and socialist property. 9f the lawyers were to attempt to safeguard the rights of the individual" that would go against the very ideological foundation of that legal system.+ieris has also been 1uoted as saying that the lawyers should tae cases against the government agencies for discussion with those agencies and should not encourage litigants to bring the cases before the courts. This is the new order of things.Naturally" those who would resist this :new legal order/ would be lawyers that have their roots in the common law tradition. 'uch lawyers do not tae their instructions on the basis of arbitrary guidelines by anyone" including any chief justice. They do not see the chief justice as anyone more than one among the rest of the members of the 'upreme &ourt" having no more power than those judges. 5aving nowledge of a tradition and also the nowledge of how the law has been practiced in better  jurisdictions they would be guided only by the law and nothing else.Lawyering is a profession and not a job. 9t is not a job practiced under an employer. Neither the chief justice nor the government is the employers of the lawyers. There may be lawyers who wor for the government or for companies. The government and the companies can mae regulations over those who are employed by them. 5owever" that is limited to such employment. The regulations of a profession must be those  which are designed and accepted by the professionals themselves who e,ercise their  will through their associations. The professionals should tae action relating to those  who cannot any longer carry out their obligations through their own disciplinary processes. The clients can resort to such professional bodies if they have grounds to complain about the services that have been rendered to them.There is no basis at all for the chief justice to interfere into this area which belongs to the legal profession itself.9f the legal profession succumbs to the interference brought about on behalf of the e,ecutive the people of 'ri Lana will lose the assistance of an independent legal profession to fight for their rights. 3hat is at stae is not merely the rights of the legal profession but the rights of the individual citi2ens of 'ri Lana.

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