Lawyers Strike In India

I’m not saying it’s common there, but this does seem to come up from time to time.

You don’t want to overdo it, of course.  The tactic loses its effectiveness if it is overused.

Here’s a quote from one Tis Hazari:

“Lawyers of the country are very much aggrieved by the misdeeds of the police which has not learnt lesson from the past and has forgotten the fact that lawyers are guardians of democracy and are capable of taking stringent action against the erring police officials,” he said.

And beyond that:

Vinod Bhardwaj, Secretary of Shahdara Bar Association also said there was complete suspension of work at Karkardooma Courts complex and around 300 laywers also staged a protest in the court premises against the government and the police.

This lawyer-striking business is not a ‘market’ phenomenon, but it does address the kinds of problems with police, prosecutors and judges that are also an issue in the United States.  Unless you buy into “American Exceptionalism“, in which case we don’t acknowledge such problems even if they exist, because we’re too special to have them.

The principles are the same here as in India, of course.  The courts can’t function without lawyers on both sides, without losing its pretense to objectivity, fairness and due process.  So if lawyers on one side, and their clients, are constantly getting screwed they can stop playing the game and the system closes.  I wish the courts would do their job without being pressured like that, but they don’t.  In New York State, where I am, the biggest problem is the Appellate Divisions.  Their “jurisprudence” is mainly the stuff of satire.  Of course it’s important to keep your sense of humor, but it’s more important to address the underlying problems in a serious way.

The lawyers in India are doing that; the lawyers in the United States are not.  And this is one of the reasons the United States has come to be regarded as a “prison nation“.

The practicing bar – the part of the legal profession that matters – needs to revisit first principles.  If they do that, it’s hard for me to believe they wouldn’t see the virtue in lawyer strikes, sparingly used as a system corrective when the system is broken and incapable of self-correction.

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Filed under financial crisis, Striking lawyers, Uncategorized, wrongful convictions

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