Indian gang rape: suspects charged with rape and murder - Telegraph.
The rape and murder of a 23 year old student in India is a hard case that risks making a lot of bad law. Particularly in a society where the legal profession has lost its ethical way. I could not believe it when I read in the linked article from the Daily Telegraph;
Lawyers at the court in New Delhi told AFP that they would not defend the suspects, meaning that the government would have to appoint advocates for what will be a fast-tracked trial. "We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused, as it would be immoral to defend the case," Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and member of the Saket District Bar Council, told AFP.
I was a criminal defence lawyer, briefly, at the beginning of my career. I enjoyed the actual advocacy but did not have the temperament for other aspects of the job. While I was doing it though, I did my best for my clients, regardless of my personal feelings, because that was my duty. For all the sneering I encountered from less-enlightened policemen and other bar room "thinkers" I met during that time, it was - and is - an honourable and necessary task. When, that is, it is performed in accordance with the profession's ethics.
I am disgusted that some of my learned colleagues at the Indian Bar should have refused to defend the accused men in this case. It is worrying if the most populous Common Law jurisdiction in the world has so far forgotten the principle of the presumption of innnocence. I well understand that the practice of law is a business like others in most respects. The advocates in question are no doubt afraid of being attacked by the uneducated mob for "siding" with men accused of a vicious and wicked crime. They no doubt fear losing future business. Perhaps they think their foul, populist declaration will win them goodwill.
However lawyers are not mere mercenaries but samurai. They fight for those who pay them, regardless of their own view of the issues, but they fight according to their own code. If they are not prepared to adhere to the profession's version of bushido, then a career in some other field beckons. Frankly, any employers or customers in that new field should worry. Men of such low principles will probably always put their self-interest before that of those who pay them.
Shame on you, Sanjay Kumar, and shame on the so-called lawyers you represent. You are supposed to serve justice, not the mob. If this report is true you should all be struck off.