Paul Lismore


Rédigé par E. Moris le Samedi 2 Mai 2020

Ever heard of the Medical Union supporting a police commissioner when a doctor complains about the unconstitutionality of the police action against him?

Or of a parent supporting a bully when his/her child complains about the way the bully is treating the child? Or of any professional association, more than happy to grab the membership fees of its members, turning against its own member's absolutely legitimate action to defend the constitutional rights of all of us when faced with the tyrants in uniform? 

You will agree that that scenario is quite inconceivable and goes against everything that a professional association created to defend the interests of its members is supposed to do. And yet this is precisely what the Bar Council, which perhaps ought to be more aptly named the Tavern Council, did when it stabbed its own member, Lovena Sowkhee, in the back recently, and chose to not only ask for her motion at the Supreme Court against the Police Commissioner to be rejected, but that the full costs of the proceedings should be awarded against her!

In other words, the knife in the back should now be supplemented with a hefty kick if the member is down and out....Vreman ena bez dan sa ggt pays la, koir moi! 

The Tavern Council is of course a replica of other 'professional organisations' where most members have already shown total disinterest in the terrible flight of the massive egos of those elected to represent them. Another notorious example of that insane state of affairs is the Media Trust where the most mercenary of our "newspapers", le defi and MorpiON News, now run it, simply because most journalists no longer vote in their crap elections.

Both those rags are now competing with the MBC in terms of close affiliation with the government, and it is not surprising to see them often running a government news item as a market testing exercise for the government. If the news item appears to be favourably received, the government will make it official policy (as with the extension of the confinement) but if too many people shout and swear, then the government will quietly drop it, and ensure that there is no mention of "Fake News" regarding those two disreputable agencies. 

It is the same with the Tavern Council....Its scandalous position in the Sowkhee v Nobin case shows either a complete ignorance of the constitutional rights enshrined in our constitution, or vanity and hardheadedness on a scale that brooks no allegiance to logic or to the basic duties of a professional association towards its members.

These members pay up to Rs 4000 every year and many of them should now question how that money is being spent by those charged with defending their interests. 

By any standard, the affidavit of Lovena Sowkhee was in the public interest, as the Chief Judge ruled, because it highlights the one right that should never be taken from all of us: the right to legal representation when the agents of the state decide to deprive you of your liberty.

We may not like many of our lawyers, we may mock many of our zavokas (and Lord knows many of them deserve our scorn and derision), but in extreme situations where a police force decides to arrest you presumably on orders "depi la o", then I for one would most certainly want the services of a good lawyer as soon as possible....especially when the same police force then decides to play an evil game of cat and mouse with your absolutely sacred right to legal representation.

I will include a copy of the "The Mauritius Bar Association Act, 1957" in the first comment, and I would urge you to look at Section 3 of that Act and to then decide whether the current Board has complied with its legal duty to 3 (b)(c) in particular":

"(b) the upholding of the honour, dignity, reputation and independence ofthe members; and(c) the furtherance of the interests of members in connection with thepractice of their profession." In fact, look at the whole of Section 3 and decide whether in the Sowkhee v Nobin case, which subsection the board of the Bar Council has not breached...

Thank God for people like Antoine Domingue  and other lawyers who have decided that enough is enough, and that their Association has in this case not only badly let down one of its members but also strove to rub her face in the mud after kicking her down.

To summarise, they not only at first refused to accept service of the affidavit of one of its own members but also recommended that her complaint should be rejected by the Chief Judge and costs awarded against her!

This in itself puts into perspective the strong words used by the Chief Judge towards the SLO lawyer and those of the Bar Association, which apparently upset the poor pets so much that the President decided to flaunt her vanity again on those two paragons of independent and fair news, the MBC and MorpiON News...An action that is now the subject of a defamation action against her by the Chief Judge.

Just to show you how big headed and quite devoid of the basic ethics of the legal game these bozos are, they twice refused to attend a meeting organised by the Chief Judge. How childish!

It is like the PM holding a cabinet session and the ministers deciding they have become too big for their boots and will therefore show petulance and irresponsibility by not attending. Can you imagine this ever happening if the Head of the Civil service decides to hold a meeting and no one attends? Whether you like him or not, Chief Judge Eddy Balancy is the Head of the Judiciary, and when he asks a lawyer to see him, basic manners and a sense of ethics should at the very least compel you to attend. 

I am told that Antoine Domingue and others have requisitioned a Special Meeting of the Bar to consider and vote for a motion of no confidence in the Chairperson and all the members of the council for 'having noticeably failed to fulfil the objects of the association and to defend the interests of the bar', and for its quite disgraceful and unethical treatment of its member, Lovena Sowkhee.

Even though the vast majority of lawyers never vote in the elections to the Bar council (same as very few zourlanus vote in the elections to the Media Trust...), I hope many will now take the opportunity to show this small collection of massive egos that they are not fit to represent them.

Of course, the people who love to use the word "honour" should themselves do the honourable thing now and resign. Hopefully they retain enough self awareness and dignity to realise that they have badly fucked up and that it is now time for decent people to take over...

Samedi 2 Mai 2020

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