Pakistan’s bar associations are probably more active and organized than equivalent associations elsewhere in the world. It was the organized and political nature of these bar associations that was instrumental in the restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his judges through what came to be known internationally as Pakistan’s ‘Black Revolution’. Whether we are happy with the outcome of the above mentioned movement is another debate, however, the movement represented the collective strength of the legal fraternity and it is something which can hopefully be used for good national causes some day.
It is often said that lawyers in Pakistan spend the better half of the year preparing for and contesting in bar elections at the district, high court, provincial and Supreme Court level. The elected office bearers are then often viewed as ‘influential’ lawyers and demand high fees for representing their clients. In the process, (in many cases) very little is done about the actual welfare of the lawyers and the bar associations that these lawyers are elected to represent.
The reason perhaps is lack of accountability.
We hope to change that and will welcome those seeking to be elected to positions of responsibility at the various bar associations across Pakistan to inform their electorate about their manifesto and reasons for running for office. At the same time, we will encourage and welcome their ‘constituents’ to provide feedback during the year on their officer bearers’ performance. All of this will require a lot of resources and we hope to at least start from somewhere.
We are looking for Bar Correspondents at all bar associations across Pakistan and if you are a motivated lawyer, especially without affiliation with any political party or lawyer’s group, we encourage you to write to us on [email protected].
If you are an office bearer at one of the bar associations, we encourage you to contact us on [email protected] and provide the latest news about your bar and we will give you a platform to highlight the good things happening at your local bar. We hope that by highlighting the good deeds of a few, we will help raise the ‘bar’ and expectations and that it will encourage other bar leaders to follow suit.