A mechanism based on right to lie
It is a tragedy that Sri Lanka was under the colonial rule for over 400 years and Roman Dutch law is another tail that we could not shed even after sixty years since so called independence.
Unlike the traditional eastern stream of justice that was based on truthfulness and justice, Roman-Dutch law is completely based on power and mere arguing based on right to defend. Truthfulness play very little value there. It is all about power of words than deeds.
The Western law system has introduced a third party named lawyer who can lie in all means to defend his client and he has very little liability for that. In a nut shell, it is just a tussle between two licensed liars while the actual parties involved in the dispute are playing very passive role.
In more than 90 % of the cases there is one obvious guilty party. But both the parties find lawyers to defend them. Therefore, roughly about 50% of the time, a practicing lawyer is trying to defend a person knowing that his client has committed a crime or mischief.
Can Lawyers Defend Clients They Know are Guilty?
Yes this is very very common phenomena in practice. In fact most of the guilty party confesses in front of his trusted lawyer and then the shrewd lawyer come up with a fabrication in collaboration with the guilt. In more than 90% of the time this is the reality.
So knowing that a person killed someone or committed fraud etc, the lawyers go to courts and use hair split logics to defend his client. Why? Because lawyers get dirty (or blood) money.
One might argue that a lawyer is professional and he is not lying for his own behalf. But a lie told on behalf of another person is still a lie.
“chethanaham bikkawe kamman vadami” – The BuddhaThe lawyer’s intention (‘chethana’) for lying is to earn money and he clearly commits demerit act. If doing sin as part of profession is allowed, the Buddha may have exempt butchers (who kill for wages or for living) and prostitutes (who sexually misconduct for money) as well.
Of course there was no such a profession called lawyers by the time of the Buddha. Otherwise he could have easily put lawyers in the same category as butchers, thieves, etc.
Despite the dirty work they do, the lawyers have social status due to power of money and colonial political system. Whenever I see these lawyers who are doing a profession based on lying, firstly I feel really disgusting about them and secondly very sympathetic knowing their destiny after death.
There may be plenty of people who liked to be a lawyer or inspired by high social status of lawyers. But liar is a liar regardless of him wearing a tie and a coat and telling it in English in courts. I personally respect people who collect garbage (no sin committed by them) than these dirty professional liars.
This post might have hurt few people who like the profession of law in the view of traditional colonial mindset. I am talking reality of current practice. The truth is bitter. If you feel I am wrong. Think of this practical scenario. You witness a innocent person killed a in broad daylight by a notorious murderer. Next day you go to courts as a vitness, and you will see bunch of so called reputed lawyers defending fearlessly (and of course shamelessly) for the murderer. That is the current reality of the profession of law.
Assuming tat you somehow prove the guilty party. Is it going to effect the lawyer who had been lying in collaboration with the accused? In reality the lawyers have become part of that organized crimes they are always willing to defend them for money.
Our culture has institutionalized lying after western invasion. Lawyers are inherent part of this social menace.
The person who lies,The dominance in lawyers in politics
who transgress in this one thing,
transcending concern for the world beyond:
there's no evil, he might not do.
- The Buddha, Itivuttaka (Kuddaka Nikaya)
It's not good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it's done,
whose result you reap crying,
your face in tears.
- The Buddha, Dammapada (Balavagga)
We say politics is corrupted and dirty. Obviously yes, because the bulk of politicians are lawyers by profession. It is no wonder lying is a principal in politics! It is the court that has taken away the fear of lying of these lawyers turned to MPs. Because of the political power for lawyers, unlike butchers and prostitutes, this profession of liars has kept high status in the society. However, one thing that all the lawyers must remember is regardless of their social status, they have to face the natural law of the nature, own conscious in this life and the kamma, in next lives.