I was reading many responses to the criticism against the bar for its double standard position on retired judges appearing in courts.
The main argument of those defending the bar’s silence is that the law permits anyone to appoint a retired judge to be a counsel.
This argument is a false argument in rebutting the criticism. The bar and the lawyers have known the law for a long time. Dah lama dah. It’s because of the law lah, that the Bar passed the resolution to amend the Legal Profession Act. If the appearance of retired judges is in the law, dah lama dah retired judges cannot appear in court.
If the law permits so why is the bar taking a stand against it? This is because according to the bar itself, it is a fundamental breach of justice and our legal system. In the words of the bar:
“retired Judges of the superior court having failed to honour tradition and convention by appearing as counsel, …must now be prohibited or restricted by law from continuing with such unacceptable conduct.”
It is so unacceptable that the bar members passed a resolution to not only prohibit a retired judge from appearing as counsel in court by law but
1) to propose amendments to the Legal Profession Act “for Urgent presentation to Parliament” and
2) to take … steps to educate the public on the reasons for the proposed law.
The criticism of the bar was never about the law. It’s about the bar’s hypocritical stand on upholding justice and biasness. This stand against retired judges was unanimously condemned by the bar as an affront to justice and Anwar’s widely followed case should be a good example of taking a stand to educate the public.
So what did they do? N-O-T-H-I-N-G. And this is the problem.
The bar has always claimed to have taken a stand in the interest of justice despite the law. Sedition Act is a case in point. Even though the law says it’s wrong, they continuously took various loud public stands against it since according to them justice prevails. In this case it’s the same. The law is against the principle of justice that the bar loudly proclaims. But what did they do? Absolutely nothing prior to the criticism.
So, you see it has no connection at all about the law. The bar knew at all times that the law permits but it’s against justice. Nothing had stopped them before from making a stand in a similar scenario.
So the bar is not stupid. It’s just selective. We need to reform the bar.