The Chamber of Advocates notes with disappointment certain reports in sections of the media, as well as on “social media”, which unfortunately provide a misguided impression of how judicial procedures are conducted and as a result, become the source of public misinformation.
In certain instances, several negative reactions being generated vis-a-vis members of the legal profession are a function of a lack of understanding of the role of the lawyer and the judicial process.
The Chamber of Advocates reiterates, that it is a fundamental right of every person to be assisted by a lawyer of his or her choice and to be defended and represented at every stage of the judicial process.
The lawyer is an active participant throughout the whole judicial process in representation of his client’s interests, and should not be implicates with the alleged or actual misdeeds of his client nor to be the subject of criticism just because the lawyer is representing a client and carrying out his duty towards a defendant.
It is unacceptable that representing certain clients is perceived as something that a lawyer should be ashamed of.
The Chamber of Advocates believes that for the rule of law to truly prevail, it is essential that all lawyers are allowed to carry out their professional duties freely, and without fear of feeling intimidated or threatened.
The legal profession, the judiciary and the judicial process, is not and indeed should not be immune to criticism, however, even when criticism is levelled it should be guided by a sense of maturity and that in each and every case, reporting should provide a full and comprehensive picture of the process in a clear, complete and factual manner.