[CITIZENS' Mail - (15-11-2017)] | Daily News

[CITIZENS' Mail - (15-11-2017)]

Ranjan Ramanayake and justice

The legal fraternity is as human, fallible and imperfect as members of all other walks of life. They must also be regarded as equal before the law as everybody else. This although obvious has to be said as often, some members of the legal profession act as if they were unimpeachable. Recently President Trump called the American system of justice ‘A joke and a laughing stock’.

A lawyer is entitled to practise his profession after securing the necessary academic qualifications and following other formalities and taking oaths. However none of this ensures his moral superiority, impartiality, or immunity to acquisitiveness or any other human failing.

Some spokesmen for the lawyers claimed that Ramanayake insulted the state’s judiciary which was never done. What he did was to criticize the conduct of only some of them. He said that ninety percent of the lawyers defended criminals. While this may be true we cannot blame them, for every criminal has a right to legal representation and the lawyer has a right to defend them and engage in his means of livelihood. At the same time Ramanayake has a right to interpret defending a criminal as unethical or corrupt. He also recalled specific instances of judges acting in violation of their professional ethics.

The media has also from time to time exposed members of the judiciary who have engaged in criminal activities and received punishment. If Ramanayake is called upon to justify his allegations before court, the media would be full of unsavory material, mainly to the legal fraternity.

Ranjan Ramanayake clearly stands out as one of the very few parliamentarians who have been honourable, outspoken and championing the cause of the unprivileged as a true representative of the people, in a manner worthy of emulation.

Nimal Weragama



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