What amendments are the lawmakers boasting about. Disappointing with so called amendments made. To what effect and what real changes? Nothing! And Dasho Ritual Raj Chhetri is acting so uninformed or just being so pretentious ? He is quoted as stating that Bar Association and Council though spelt out in 2003 Jabmi Act were not formed. Why not add the fact "not encouraged " to form. I was there from the very beginning of all this.
The previous act was at least honest in stating that former drangpons are not permitted to be Jabmi. This present amendment maintained the same objective but in a political language. It automatically disqualifies High Court Judges and limits the impact of a drangpon Jabmi on a particular case. The strength of a case must be built at the base when it is first arbitrated. If you are barred at the onset, your contribution is hampered or rendered useless at later stage of appeal case.
The political establishment is still not prepared to grant private ( ordinary citizens ) litigants the right to all avenues including a seasoned former justice to seek justice. Pro bono service is not much of a sweetener if choice of good experienced Jabmi is subverted by the Act itself. The establishment is directly and indirectly barring former Justices from effective role in the process for justice. This will protect the existing wide field for political interventions. The restriction has very little to do with the objective to curb personal influence of a former Judge. It is put there to check or better still diminish professional abilities of a former justice to ensure justice within the parameters of law.
I agree that those who have been convicted of crime should not be Jabmi.
Now what the hell is this supposed to mean to quote " lawyers who fulfill the criteria to become Jabmi till the enactment of this act shall be automatically registered as Jabmis." Unquote.
What really happens to those Jabmis who do not have a law degree as in definition of an academic lawyer but have all the practical experience and knowledge of Bhutanese Laws. Do not think it is a question of personal matter because I am raising it.
I am glad that I did not waste my years doing a law degree. Actually it was His Majesty the great Fourth who asked what professional studies I wanted to undergo. When I said law, the King said " we do not need a hangman. Choose another. And I did. Today looking back I find that my life got enriched by my other professional studies and professions. Law is something I have it inborn. A gift of womb. And on several occasions have demonstrated that inborn gift of the womb in the Royal Courts Of Justices including Appeal cases against the Government Prosecutors ( institutionally qualified lawyers ). Defended my clients very successfully. I stopped representing clients quite sometime back because Bhutan is a very small society and at times it is socially awkward as well as inconvenient. So I sticked to advising and where absolutely necessary to writing the legal brief.
I thought lawmakers will not lose the sight of all important process of Justice when reviewing the Jabmi Act. But No! They just got excited in re- enforcing the restriction on the former Justices and proud of the ways they achieved the objective without showing their fangs.
I suppose the Jabmi Act does not take away a citizen's right to represent self or family member in a court case. If it does that then I suppose the Royal Assent to such an abusive Bill will be withheld the first time. Ofcourse the Parliament can wrest Royal Assent in the second attempt.