Sunday, September 4, 2022

The role of lawyers in court

The Sunday Star

THE Aug 27 press statement of the Universiti Malaya Law Society on recent court cases caught my attention because it came from students at the best law school in this country whose alumni include the current Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Attorney General. 

They wrote, “As future rule of law bearers perusing the recent incidents, we believe that much is expected from legal luminaries to set a model of respect, courtesy and dignity. However, what is occurring thus far has been the downfall of such expectations even in the soil’s highest avenue of justice – the Federal Court.” 

It would be a tragedy if these prospective lawyers should feel disillusioned by the alleged conduct of some senior lawyers even before they join the legal profession. As a senior member of the Malaysian Bar, it behoves me to assure these future entrants to the profession that what they have learnt at law school relating to ethics, virtues, values and ideals of the legal profession still apply and will not be easily tossed away. There are still many senior lawyers out there who practise law with the highest standards of professional integrity and honesty, and who possess unblemished character and reputation. 

Dedicated: (From left, anti-clockwise) Lawyers Jaspal Singh, Lee Guan Tong, HR Dipendra, Kevin Wong and Janet Chai with others at the recent extraordinary general meeting of the Malaysian Bar. — Photo provided

These students should also be assured that there is an independent judicial system in this country worth associating with and defending for. Together with an independent Bar, we are in the vanguard of preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution and upholding the rule of law. Otherwise, it is meaningless if at almost every National Day parade, our leaders and citizens raise hands, pledging aloud to uphold the five fundamental principles of Rukunegara which include the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.