Elected Members of the Bars;
Members of the legal fraternity;
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I feel deeply indebted to you for providing me an opportunity to address the elected members of the Bar Associations at this esteem Oath Taking Ceremony. The Bar Associations have entrusted you with great responsibility with confidence for representing them and solving their problems. I am confident that by the dint of your hard work and dedication you will leave no stone unturned to come up with their expectations.
The Bar Associations have set an unparallel and vibrant democratic process by conducting regular elections which will of course be shaping a pattern for other democratic institutions. This sole attribute gives strength to Bars for their struggle for the rule of law and strengthening the judicial institutions.
I must say that a strong Bar is prerequisite for independent and impartial Bench. Whenever, a democratic process was derailed in the country or there was unconstitutional interference in the independence of judiciary or grave violation of the fundamental rights the members of Bar stood in their way and challenged many such unconstitutional measures before the Court.
Now it is collective responsibility of the Bench and Bar to strengthen the democratic institutions of the country and stand like a stumbling block in the way for any adventurism. An American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said and I quote:
Man’s capacity for justice make democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
It is evident from history that the society is led by the lawyers in their democratic move. They have strived for the cause of rule of law and protection of the judiciary. Role of lawyers in any society is very prominent.
The layers are occupying leading role in every democratic, legal and constitutional movements across the world. In recent past when the military dictator subverted the sacred document i.e. our Constitution, the unconditional support of the Bar was always there to support the rule of law. The sacrifices of the Bar saw the light of the day and the rule of law in the country was upheld.
Here I would like to add that no movement can achieve its objects without the public confidence and aspirations of the masses. The lawyer’s movement truly manifested this spirit of public aspirations. Of course this movement increased the prestige of the lawyers and now people are idealizing this profession. Such a move for joining this great and prestigious profession was never seen before in the history of our country.
There is no doubt that the lawyers are primary gate-keepers to the administration of justice. They are also nursery from where the judges are elevated. Majority of the cases are dealt with in the District Courts. If these Courts function in a professional manner and with mutual co-operation between both Bench and Bar most of the cases would stand resolved at their initial stage. It would also lessen the burden on the superior Courts and thus would improve the quality of the judgment.
Our society is mindful of the significant task of lawyers. It is obvious that the art of advocacy is not only application of set of rule and doctrines. It has many other responsibilities attached with it. In ours adversarial system of justice the responsibly lies on the shoulders of the litigants to prove their case.
This burden cannot be discharged without proper assistance and guidance of the lawyers. Therefore, it is necessary that the lawyers should be prepared well with devotion and honesty so that they can play a vital and significant role in the administration of justice.
It would not be out of context if I say that in our country where there is little rate of literacy and awareness and people know very little about our legal system and law, you are the people where the litigant public first comes for redressal of their grievances.
Now it is your responsibility to guide them with fairness and honesty. This is the point from where they get interaction with our judicial system and this is the point which builds the confidence in our judicial system. We judges cannot alone build this confidence without your co-operation.
Here it should be kept in mind that such great respect is not without accountability. The greater prestige calls for greater responsibility and greater accountability. Of course there is a code of conduct for the lawyers too which they have to follow and the members of judiciary are also under the obligation to follow their code of conduct. Both these wheels of the chariot of justice are under perpetual observation. They must be conscious of their sense of responsibility without which they can even not perform the function of administration of justice, which they are expected to perform.
The administration of justice is based on the joint and mutual co-operation of bench and the bar. Admittedly, the early disposal of cases is our mutual concern. We have tried to devise a mechanism for early disposal through National Judicial Policy.
The suggestions given by all the stake holders were made basis for improvement in the policy from time to time. Now we expect that when all the stake holders were consulted and given due weight in making and formulating the policy now, therefore, they should play their part for achievement of the objects as set out in the policy. Without such mutual co-operation it would be just a piece of paper and the targets set out in the policy cannot be achieved.
The quality of legal profession ultimately depends on the depth and imagination of its members. Serious intellectual discussions among colleagues may sometimes be considered desirable. I would like to mention here that very soon we are going to hold an international judicial conference for further improvement in our administration of justice under the auspices of National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee. You will again be invited to participate for further suggestions to improve the system.
Before parting, I heartly congratulate all of you for assuming such importance and responsible positions and hope that you will discharge your responsibilities to the best of your abilities. It will enhance the image of the bar associations and set an example for others to follow.
In the end, I thank you once again in affording me a chance to be here in this dignified oath taking ceremony. May Almighty Allah always bless you with success.
For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001