Former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi said “like it or not, it is the duty of lawyers to uphold justice”.
“As a practising lawyer, you have to distinguish between your personal or public emotions and politics,” he said. “You cannot assume the accused is guilty and should not get a fair defence.”
Zaki said lawyers had always been the first to say that a person is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.
He questioned why the lawyers were acting the way they were.
Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee was surprised that the accused rapists were unable to obtain legal representation despite an “independent and strong Bar in a modern democracy such as India”.
“Assuming the same ethical standards apply, a lawyer is obliged to act unless he is embarrassed, in a position of conflict or does not possess the necessary skills or relevant experience,” he said.
“A lawyer must never be equated, identified or associated with his or her client’s cause.”
Asked if the decision could have been made due to fear of reprisals, Lim said lawyers must never be intimidated.
“We are the last frontier of justice and everyone needs legal representation to ensure due process is satisfied,” he said.
Damn right matey, damn right.
To the point that I’ve still got troubles with the Nuremburg trials, based as they were on retrospective law.