Opinion
Law: A noble profession
Publish Date: Feb 11, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Brian Kisomose

IN reference to Prof George W Kanyeihamba’s article titled, Law: A profession with rotten reputation in one of the publications of February 2, 2014 I seek to take an entirely different view of the profession.

Ironicaly the rallying cry of the lawyer bashers has become Shakespeare’s famous quote from Henry VI The first thing we do, Let’s kill all the lawyers. Those who use that phrase pejoratively against lawyers are as miserably misguided about their Shakespeare as they are about the judicial system which they disdain so freely.

Even a cursory reading of the context in which the lawyer killing statement is made in King Henry VI part II (Act IV) scene 2, reveals that Shakespeare was paying great and deserved homage to the venerable profession as the frontline defenders of democracy.

Shakespeare’s acknowledgement that the first thing any potential tyrant must do to eliminate freedom is to “kill all the lawyers “is, indeed a classic and well –deserved complement to the distinguished profession.

Great trial lawyer Daniel Webster said “Justice is the greatest concern of man on earth”. There is no greater professional calling than to stand as a lawyer at the bar of justice and breathe life into the constitution, the bill of rights, statutory law, and common law by defining, asserting and defending the rights of citizens both individual and business.

I call upon the legal fraternity never to lose sight of respect of which we deserve for the role we play in society, a role which extends beyond the court room, bring talents to bear to defend freedom with probono work for the disadvantaged consumer, Protection, advocacy, protection of civil liberties of every individual whose rights are threatened and legislative advocacy both offensive and defensive in a state.

In twentieth century Europe, Adolf Hitler the quintessential despot asserted “I shall not rest until every German sees that it is a shameful thing to be a lawyer.”

His assertion was aimed at frustrating advocacy of individual rights by the lawyers so as to fulfill his selfish interests. Of all people I expect professor Kanyeihamba to appreciate better the doctrine of presumption of innocence.

It is not right to say that some lawyers accumulate wealth through notoriety ,corruption ,deception ,protection of despicable clients and protecting ‘thieving clients’.

It is only a competent court of law that can declare such a client as a thief upon such a person being found guilty or pleading to that effect and as a lawyer or advocate one is entitled to defend such a client throughout the trial but before trial the client is not a criminal, thief or murder as the case may be.

There are lawyers or Advocates who may do acts contrary to their ethics of the profession and such are subjected to the law council for disciplinary measures but it is not true that the profession has a rotten reputation.

Majority of lawyers today are earning money without indulging into litigation that requires representation of clients in courts which is the basis of bashes but undertake to do transactions like estate management ,those that are commercial in nature and working as in-house lawyers.

It is a fact that professor Kanyeihamba is a retired supreme court judge who is now practicing law as an Advocate and should be in position to appreciate the fact that ,A good lawyer is one who can take two  sides without prejudicing his or her client’s interests.

This calls for intellect, aggressiveness and vigilance which is exhibited by majority of Advocates in practice which professor Kanyeihamba cannot adjust to.

I therefore urge the legal fraternity not to shirk on the noble profession but follow legal ancestors in preserving freedoms which lawyers have defined and have defended for centuries .We shall strike to deserve the compliment .Thank you Shakespeare.

The writer is from school of law, Makerere University

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Poverty and greed: the major culprits of environmental degradation
Our standards of living are based on inexpensive energy in the form of electricity and gasoline powering automobiles that are the major contributors to environmental problems in the world today, but let us not forget that earlier in history; automobiles were actually heralded for solving a distinct...
Climate change: The Impossible deal
For “shall”, substitute “may”. For example, change “countries signing this climate change treaty SHALL state how much they are going to cut their greenhouse emissions” to “countries signing this climate change treaty MAY state how much they are going to cut their emissions if they feel like it, but...
Who really cares about the Ugandan girl?
The UCE and UACE 2014 public examinations are now done with and the other classes are at home for Term Three holidays. The students from the secondary schools especially have flooded our localities. Most conspicuous of them will be the girls; but who cares?...
A delegate conference is not a pilgrimage
At the last NRM delegate’s conference held at Namboole, the National Executive tabled a motion regarding the period at which the holding of a delegate’s conference should be....
Corruption: they that are not corrupt can hurl the stones
So the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Uganda 142nd out of 175 countries, according to Transparency International. Based on expert opinion, Transparency International says our level of public sector dishonesty is 26 out of 100. Denmark is the most transparent with a score of 92/100 while So...
The evil of deforestation
Africa is facing very many problems but few have been solved. One of the major ones is environmental degradation through deforestation. Deforestation is having a big impact on the environment....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter