Retired Judges says NC’s decision restrictiveDamcho Zam, Thimphu
Jan 7 2016
Some retired judges in the country say they should be allowed to represent clients as lawyers in the courts. They say the National Council’s decision not to amend the clause in the Jabmi Amendment Act 2003, which says retired judges are not allowed to appear as lawyers, is depriving them of opportunity to invest their knowledge.
“The reason for not allowing the retired Judges to appear as lawyers is because they feel that Judges will develop favoritism towards the retired Judge as a respect,” said a retired Judge, Kinzang Tobgay. He said there could be cases when both the clients hire retired Judges as their representatives.
During the recent parliament session, the National Assembly had amended the clause. The amended clause said the retired judges will be allowed to represent clients as lawyers in the High Court and Supreme Court.
However, after the amendment act reached the Upper House, the representatives decided not to make any change in the clause.
A few retired Judges feel it could have been the fear of favoritism that stopped NC members from amending the clause.
If this is the case, Kinzang Tobgay said the credibility of the Judges is undermined.
Others said if the clause is not amended, it could threaten their livelihood. “We have to work for a living and to work we have to look for works in which we are already experienced. And stopping someone from doing what they desire is against Constitution. It states that every person has the right to do what he/she desires,” said a retired Judge, Khandu.
The Jabmi Amendment Act 2003 is scheduled to be discussed in the next joint sitting.