“An advocate, by the sacred duty which he owes to his client, knows in the discharge of that office but one person in the world- the client, and no other…to protect that client at all hazards and costs to all others, and among others to himself, is the highest and most unquestioned of his duties…..Nay, separating even the duties of a patriot from those of an advocate, and casting them if need be to the wind, he must go on reckless of the consequences…” – Lord Brougham, “Law and Other Things”, Cambridge University Press (1937)
“Beneath this face that appears so impassive hell’s tides continually run.” – Walt Whitman,“You Felons on Trial in Courts”
“Nothing rankles more in the human heart than a brooding sense of injustice.” Justice Brennan’s words keep on ringing in my ears when I see the manifestly violent injustice meted out to Mohammad Afzal- the Courts tore to smithereens his inalienable right to a fair trial. The Parliament attack case was the first litigation I had been part of – I was a student intern in the chambers of Ms. Kamini Jaiswal, who was briefing Mr. Ram Jethmalani. I got to see and understand the case from the closest of quarters, and that maybe that exacerbates my indignation at this egregious miscarriage of justice. Continue reading Punishment by Procedure: Saurav Datta→
Progressive lawyers, social activists and academics have invested much time in trying to puzzle out what is the progressive potential of law. Sometimes, answers to deep philosophical questions emerge from a single life. Shahid Azmi’s life (1977-2010) exemplifies one answer to this perennial question. It was a life which took to the legal profession with the objective of using law as a shield and tool in the quest for justice. It was also a life which was tragically cut short, when Shahid Azmi was assassinated at the age of thirty three.
The multiple terror attacks in Mumbai are unprecedented and blatantly violate the most fundamental principles of law and justice. Regrettably, as Mumbai shows today, there is a huge gap between governmental counter terror rhetoric and the reality of human security observance on the ground. Much more needs to be done to mainstream counter terror strategy and action throughout the government security system and states must demonstrate the political will and promptness to translate human security and rights commitment into action. Continue reading Victims of Terrorism→
In one of the most daring and yet cowardly terror attacks, Bombay/Mumbai has been attacked. In an earlier post we had discussed the question of violence – ‘revolutionary’ violence, and the utter futility of resort to such methods. Violence is not a solution to anything; it cannot be. If anything, it is part of the problem; it is the problem. For violence begets more violence. Continue reading Grotesque Terror Attacks in Mumbai→