September 23, 2016
A strong and vibrant legal profession is vital to ensuring that the rule of law is upheld, the Law Society said today welcoming the report of the International Bar Association (IBA) presidential taskforce on the independence of the legal profession.
Law Society chief executive Catherine Dixon said, ‘A strong and vibrant legal profession is vital to ensuring that everyone has access to justice and that the rule of law is upheld. This important report identifies areas where legal independence is under attack across the world including in the UK.
‘We must never take the independence of the legal profession for granted. In the UK legal professional privilege (LPP) is under attack. LPP is a cornerstone of our justice system in that it ensures a person can speak confidentially to their solicitor without the risk that confidentiality will be breached by a third party, including the State.
‘The report also identifies a risk to the independence of the legal profession in the UK because the oversight regulator, the Legal Services Board (LSB), is a body of Government. It is notable that in a recent LSB report outlining its vision of regulation this government body failed to recognise the importance of an independent legal profession, which if lost would undermine the very fabric of our society and our ability to maintain the rule of law.
‘It is imperative in this context, and in light of the many threats to legal independence around the world, that the legal profession stands together. We cannot be complacent, and we must continue to fight to ensure the survival of strong, vibrant independent legal professions around the world.
September 26, 2016
The High Court of Lagos State, presided over by Justice A. Opesanwo has set aside and vacated the interim order of forfeiture by which the house and property of one Mr. Jonathan Udeagbala, was purported to have been attached by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in August 2012.
In May, Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, was charged to court for allegedly dealing in property forfeited by order of court to the Federal Government through the EFCC.
Adegboruwa had maintained that he committed no offence in law, but only assisted two business partners to broker a settlement arising from a telecoms transaction and that the EFCC was only taking advantage of the anti-corruption war of the Buhari regime to persecute him “because of his constant criticism of the Buhari administration and in particular because of his involvement as defence counsel in the case of Chief Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) and the cousin of the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Azibaola Robert,” according to a statement his chambers issued on Sunday.
September 26, 2016
The Jammu and Kashmir government has made a series of arrests under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) to quell the ongoing protests in the valley and those, who have been detained without trail, include a psychiatric patient, an aid worker, and a human rights activist.
According to sources, more than 250 people, including separatist leaders and stone pelters, have been detained under what Amnesty International termed a “lawless law”, under which a person can be detained without a trial for at least six months.
Towards the end of August, Hassan Babar Nehru, head of the NGO Ababeel and a lawyer based in the mountains region of Doda in Jammu, was arrested and booked under the PSA. A fierce critic of present the state administration he had, according to his colleague, “exposed” lapses of the district administration by protesting outside Deputy Commissioners office against non-implementation of decisions taken for welfare of the people of the district. “It is an act of vengeance of the administration, nothing else,” Syed Asim Hashmi, president, Doda Bar Association, toldFirstpost.
Those who know Nehru, describe him as a passionate aid worker who slept in a truck for five days during the relief carried out in the initial days of 2014 floods in Kashmir. And most recently, he had been involved in evacuating victims of traffic accidents, Doda had the highest rate of road accidents in entire Jammu and Kashmir.
September 26, 2016
The lawyers’ community has announced that after about seven weeks it is ending its boycott of court proceedings.
The community had decided to boycott court proceedings in the aftermath of a suicide attack on the Sandeman Civil Hospital, Quetta, on Aug 8, which had claimed the lives of 78 people, including 57 lawyers.
The attack took place at a time when hundreds of lawyers had gathered at the hospital after the killing of Bilal Anwar Kasi, the president of the Balochistan Bar Association.
The decision to end the boycott was announced by the president of Balochistan High Court Bar Association, Abdul Ghani Khilji, Abdullah Jan Kakar and Ataullah Langove at a joint press conference here on Sunday.
They, however, said the legal community would continue to observe strikes on Tuesdays and Thursdays in protest against the government’s failure to bring to justice the elements behind the suicide attack.
They announced that protest rallies and sit-ins would soon be organised in front of the Balochistan Assembly, Quetta Press Club, the Chief Minister House and the Governor House. They rejected the judicial commission formed by the provincial government to investigate the Quetta carnage. “No lawyer would appear before the commission,” Mr Khilji said, adding that the commission had been formed to sabotage the suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court on the matter.