Conflict renders lawyers jobless

Kathmandu, February 28:

While the Nepal Bar Association is celebrating its golden jubilee, lawyers today expressed serious concern over the threat to their profession in several Maoist-hit districts where they are nearly out of job due to the lack of cases.

“If suitable programmes were not implemented, lawyers’ profession would collapse in such districts,” constitutional lawyer Bhimarjun Acharya said.

According to him, only about 5,000 lawyers among the total 25,000 lawyers have been actively practicing across the country. “The NBA can launch programmes to preserve the profession in such areas,” he added.

“The NBA has been involved in political issues rather than professional development,” Nagendra Yadav said. Indra Bahadur Adhikary said the NBA is not giving sufficient attention to develop the skills of the lawyers despite getting financial aid from international donors. “We have been demanding the leadership to allocate at least 40 per cent budget for the development of upcoming lawyers,” he added.

Another advocate Birendra Prasad Shah said though the NBA has been actively involved in protecting the Constitution and independence of the judiciary, it has failed to develop professionalism.

General Secretary of the NBA Madhav Baskota said a forthcoming convention would discuss about what could be done to preserve the lawyers’ profession in the Maoist-hit areas.

About 2,000 lawyers including representatives from Law Asia, ICJ and Norwegian Bar Association will participate in the convention. The bar body has decided not to invite Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Paudel and ad hoc judge Pawan Kumar Ojha into the convention.