RELATION BETWEEN BAR AND BENCH – A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

INTRODUCTION

The main duty of judiciary is dispensing justice and this process involves functioning of two wheels named Bar and Bench which act like two wheels of the vehicle. Functions of both are supplementary and complementary to each other. Mutually respecting is mandatory to maintain cordial relations. Effectively administering justice in courts requires operation of harmony between bar and bench.

Role of bar-bench relation in relation to administration of Justice
  1. Bar: Bar is a term used to represent licensed attorneys to practice in courts or a court of any state.
  2. Bench: Unlike the Bar, Bench contains judges. The official capacity of court that includes members of the legal profession-bench.

DUTIES OF THE BAR

To preserve respect for the Court, not just for the temporary judicial office holder, but also for the Court’s paramount significance. Judges, unable to defend themselves, are entitled to the Bar’s protection against unfair criticism and uproar. A lawyer has the right and obligation to file a severe complaint against a judicial official with the relevant authorities. Such allegations should be encouraged and the individual making them should be protected.

  1. Relationships with Judges

A lawyer should never provide a judge undue attention or hospitality that is uncalled for by the parties’ personal connections. He should avoid doing anything to seek or appear to obtain a judge’s particular personal regard or favour.

  1. Conduct towards Judges during Trial

To maintain respect and confidence in the judicial office, the lawyer should always conduct himself in a polite and courteous manner towards the judge. The lawyer has the right to thoroughly and correctly convey his client’s case. He should actively submit all relevant reasons against any erroneous decision and ensure that the case record is comprehensive and correct. One should let fear judicial disfavour or even penalty stop him from doing so. In no case should a lawyer divulge his client’s secrets. Unless the opposing counsel is present and the judge is informed, a lawyer should not discuss a pending case with any court unless the opposing lawyer is present.

  1. Candour and Fairness

The lawyer should be honest and fair before the court and other attorneys, and should inform the sitting judge of any pending court cases, even if the judgement is against his client. However, the lawyer has the right to differentiate. In correctly using a decision overruled or repealed statute as authority or asserting as fact whathas not been established are all examples of dishonesty and unfairness. If you gather witness testimony, prepare affidavits, and offer     causes, you must deal with the facts honestly.

ROLE OF BENCH TO STRENGTHEN THE BENCH-BAR RELATION

  1. JUDICIAL RESPECT –Just as advocates respect Judges, Judges should respect advocates and fellow Judges.
  2. PATIENT & BRIEF HEARING- Judges should be objective in all cases.
  3. AVOIDANCE OF INTERRUPTIONS- Judges may interfere solely to minimise duplication and waste of time.
  4. Assuring that the knowledge is still relevant
  5. For more information, please call.
  6. In order to expedite the case’s disposal,
  7. The court’s stance on a specific issue is conveyed.
  8. JUST AND PROGRESSIVE INTERPRETATION- The objective should be to treat all parties fairly.
  9. AVOIDANCE OF UNREASONABLE ADJOURNMENTS- Adjournments are issued to provide parties a chance to submit their case.
  10. SPEEDY DISPOSAL- As the saying goes, “justice delayed is justice denied.”
  11. KNOWING IN LAW- Judges should be well-versed in the law.
  12. INDUSTRIOUSNESS- This entails consistent and methodical effort and research.

INTER-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BAR AND THE BENCH

  • The independence of the court and the legal profession is founded on a free and independent judiciary. The Bench is responsible for nurturing the Bar’s ideals.
  • According to an old saying, “courts and attorneys are two essential components of the chariot of justice.”
  • While not part of the justice delivery system, lawyers have the same obligations and responsibilities as judges. As a result, only maximum collaboration between the Bar and the Bench can achieve our constitutionally mandated aims.
  • These two polar opposites reflect two separate aspects of daily existence. Justice cannot be achieved in court administration without agreement between the Bar and the Bench.

THE PRINCIPLES OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT

These principles set ethical behaviour for judges in place:

  • INDEPENDENCE- In order to be ruled by the rule of law, a person must be guaranteed judicial independence.
  • IMPARTIALITY- it doesn’t matter who’s making the choice as long as it is made on an impartial basis.
  • INTEGRITY- It is necessary for an individual to maintain integrity in order to execute the judicial duties correctly.
  • PROPRIETY- Without the appearance of propriety, all the operations of a judge are undermined.
  • EQUALITY- Ensuring that everyone receives equitable treatment in court is crucial to proper judicial performance.

Battle of the Bar and the Bench: Critical Analysis of the Powers of the High Court and State Bar Councils under the Advocates Act, 1961

As the legal profession evolved post-independence, the Advocacy act, 1961 was passed. There was a need for a unified bar council regulation, and most importantly, an All- State Bar Council.[1] All were integrated into the new law. The Supreme Court has interpreted the unusual Section 34(1) of the Advocates Act carefully in a series of cases.  Thus, there is a negative difference of opinions between the Bench and the Bar.  By establishing interim procedures to resolve the disagreements, the perfunctory section’s ambiguities would be amicably resolved. The inquiry considers all stakeholders and their obligations. The Supreme Court in P.D. Gupta v. Ram Murti and Others case has laid down his opinion on Bar and Bench relation in the following words:

An advocate should be fair to his client, the court, and the other party. Justice must be administered in an uncorrupted manner. Administration of justice impacts both the Bench and the Bar. The Bar provides judges; judges and advocates complement each other. An advocate’s main duty is to inform the court on the law and facts of the case and help the court in making a judgement. To guarantee proper justice administration, an advocate must be allowed to properly present the case in court without being interrupted by the judge.

The High court in Mahant Hakumat Rai v. Emperor  held that: An advocate may demand to be heard by the court in which they practise, but they must be brave and independent, and they may protest to any judge’s wrong conduct. He would be right in demanding a proper hearing and objecting to any judge interruptions while presenting the case and doing his duty to the client. However, professional decorum and judicial acknowledgement would help to reduce conflicts between the Bar and the Bench.[2]

COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. EXPECTATION FROM OUR LEGAL SYSTEM

Asking whether or not the following two questions have already been answered establishes public trust in the legal system. Ensure conflicts are solved promptly and fairly, delivering justice swiftly to ensure peace and order in society? Additionally, identify those that are voiceless? is it needed for the development of the economy? While it’s a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough to ensure security and purity of power. We must have a positive relationship with the Bar-Bench.

THE JUDGE’S PERSONA

The average citizen has confidence in the country’s judicial system. Both the Bench and the bar have a responsibility to uphold and strengthen these principles by their dedication and behaviour.

STAKEHOLDER’S PARTICIPATION

Stakeholders are everyone who participates in the assessments. Stakeholders include Commission employees, lawmakers, interpreters, enforcers, customers, beneficiaries, and anyone adversely affected by the act. The goals of civil justice reform are to reduce time, cost, and complexity while improving the delivery of justice.

PROBLEM – SOLVING ENGAGEMENT

A collaborative governance approach would enable stakeholders to voice their concerns rather hide them. While both the judiciary and the lawyers occasionally had conflicting interests, both institutions were obligated to honestly represent their own. As a result of the bench and bar’s aligned personal interests taking over the public interests, conflict would occasionally occur as a necessary outcome of good participation. Contrariwise, negotiated agreements would reflect the stark and public differences in the interests and orientations of both the bench and bar

SOCIAL ENGINEERING

The law, according to Pound, “is social engineering, which involves finding a balance between society’s opposing interests coexist. Both are critical. So, if a dispute or conflict develops while faithfully fulfilling pledges and obligations, maintaining a conciliatory attitude should be the ultimate aim.

CONCLUSION

Colonial Courts have not yet fully developed into a representative democracy. Thereby demonstrating a lack of maturity in both parties’ roles as equally accountable authorities charged with administering justice. What is required now is an amicable and mutually respected Bar and Bench with lofty aims for the public good and the protection of aggrieved people’, citizens’ and others’ constitutional and basic rights. They should not lose sight of their own integrity or the dignity of the tiniest guy possible while they work together. Our Country’s Father desired to be an advocate. Judges in India regarded him with reverence and penalised him for alleged disrespect.

Author(s) Name: G Sai Sangamitra (Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Vishakapatnam)

References:

[1] Malcolm Katrak & Bahraiz Irani, ‘Battle of the Bar and the Bench: Critical Analysis of the Powers of the High Court and the State Bar Councils Under the Advocates Act, 1961’ (2019) <https://amity.edu/UserFiles/aibs/950c2019%20AIJJS_58-71.pdf> accessed 16 August 2021

[2] Mr. Justice Mirza Hameedullah Beg, ‘Role of bench and bar’ <http://www.allahabadhighcourt.in/event/RoleoftheBenchandtheBarMHBeg.pdf> accessed 16 August 2021

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