Lawyers, heaven and the moral high ground
“A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns” (Mario Puzo- The Godfather).
As the fraternal and identical twins are cantankerously different, so also idiosyncratic incompatibilities transverse the totality of most societies. But the mechanics and dynamics of consultative initiative, sound education, good laws and socio-political engineering processes help to build multidimensional bridges aimed at making society a better place and man a more civilized and conscientious homo-sapien.
In building good societies all hands must be on deck towards ensuring justice, equality, rule of law, freedom, peace and progress for all. But the lawyer and the Judiciary have a fundamentally crucial role to play through the instrumentality of the law and fear of God. But not all lawyers and judges believe in God. Those who believe know that the ultimate judge is Jehovah God Almighty and that ultimately there will be a judgment- (Heaven and paradise on earth for the adjudged good ones).
The ethics of the legal profession is fulcrumed and matrixed on the principles of equity, fairness and transparency in the dissemination of justice. Hence, it is the “noble profession” and sunken in the groundswell, the moral high ground and grundnorm of noblisse oblige (Noble men must do noble things and all who must go to equity must come with clean hands). The United States Supreme Court Judge Antonio Scalia said “the good societies are not achieved by good laws, but are built upon the effect of one good person upon another and to expect more from law/Lawyers than good behaviour demeans virtue.”
All religions believe that there is reward for good and for evil. Religions and moral philosophy share a common concern with the question of what is good life for humanity? – That is with morality. However, the ways in which philosophy and the religions of the world answer this question differ. Whereas contemporary philosophers tend to discuss morality without reference to anything beyond the human, religions see good and evil within a wider cosmological framework.
The nuts and bolts of the legal profession makes a lawyer prone and vulnerable to evil and good. But the modus operandi of carrying out his job makes the vast majority of lawyers to lean towards fraudulent manipulations, lying, deliberate falsehoods, Machiavellian legal technicalities to frustrate good judgment, double speak and apocryphal dealings with plaintiffs and defendants, frivolous application for adjournments, legal acrobatics, and manipulating evidences to truncate justice and constitutional pettifogging, etc.
Heuristically didactic books on legal philosophy and ethics like, ‘Dejure belli ac pacis’ by Hugo Grotius, ‘De Justica et De Jure’ by Lessius, De Jure Naturae et Gentium’ by Pefendorf and Tractatus De Legibus’ by Suarez have dealt consummately with the doctrine of necessity’ and the jurisprudential grundnorm of probity and integrity amongst lawyers and the judiciary.
But in our society, certified criminals in high places are being protected by lawyers, unsound and manipulated judgments from some judges. The noble profession is becoming a failed and depraved one because of placebo laws, poor and ludibrastic court verdicts and legal crash helmets are being provided for criminals by lawyers-stimulated by pecuniary inducements.
There is consummate dearth of conscience and fear of God amongst many lawyers in their pursuit of mundane ideals. They capitalize on the ignorance of clients, and have become 419 king pins, political crooks and defenders for pecuniary reasons of confessed assassins, armed robbers, land speculators, ritualists and rapists etc. They put their knowledge to illegitimate, immoral and criminal use under the guise of a criminal is innocent until proven guilt. Hence, Napoleon Bonaparte observed that “doth the wolf tamely relinquish his prey or the fox his booty? How then expectest thou to rescue thy goods from the fangs of the man of law?”
To be continued tomorrow
Okakuro Bobson Gbinije, a social critic, wrote from Warri, Delta State.