Lawyers Role in Globalised Economy
It is a great pleasure to address the Lawyers of All India Human Rights Federation ,in the YMCA in the back drop of the ancient Chartered High court of Madras and one of the oldest Law colleges in India- the Madras Law college and now called as Dr Ambedkar Law college. I am reminded of the days forty years before this day I graduated in this prestigious Madras Law college and enrolled in Tamilnadu Bar council of India and argued in this ancient High court of Madras.
The Law Profession and nobility:
The Law profession used to be called as noble profession. The robes symbolises the religiousness, unattached but commitment to the cause and greatness of the profession as a Mission with divinity. ‘Lawyer’ is a creation of statute of the Parliament to advocate the others need and protect and enhance the Justice. Hence it is noble and honourable profession. More so, same professional fills the third pillar of Constitution of India in democracy – the Judiciary. Therefore it is the only profession which stands nearer to the citizens to protect the rights and duties and the constitution from and through Parliament, Executive and Judiciary. Now this profession got “vishwarupa” as International Lawyer to protect the world citizens and the United Nations Charter, International Human Rights, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, World Trade Organisation and such otherorganisations and Institutions created by comity of Nations by covenant, conventions and agreements. Hence role of the Lawyer in terms of philosophical ‘ sky is the limit’ – is the real opportunity one can enjoy as professional.
Municipal law- State Law- National Law -International Law:
This is the order of the evolution of law. Now the reverse is happening as the law of nature more than two ways and multi ways evolution and devolution . The International laws, covenants, conventions and agreements followed by such regional bi- lateral and multilateral obligations decides the National, State and municipal laws. To put the matter in simple terms , we are world citizens and bound by world law. This is the great change of law of jurisprudence and law of jurisdiction . The world Trade Organisation allows multi ways of movement of production, goods,finance and all services of signatory countries. The digital high ways makes the world citizens to learn , practice and enjoy the new world of opportunity. The present situation can well be described as mythological descriptions of ‘Naradha with string instrument in hand’ who can move without the help of any vehicle to reach Sky or pass through water bodies or goes underneath the earth.,and learn and practice as one calling ‘ International Lawyer- Jurist’ with digital instrument .
Are we enjoying this new world :
The datas reveal that Indians are occupying many of the high positions and high posts in different countries in various capacities because of their hard work and talent . Then why the resident Indians are hesitant and delay the connectivity to international opportunity sitting in India?The answer is very simple that human civilisation has recorded that alien civilisation were resisted by any society initially as part of protectionism. But the history says that Indian civilisation is the one ,which has greatest adaptability and novelty of acceptance of others ideas and imbibe as part of their life and many a times convert it into their own and give more to others to enrich others. Then what can be the other reasons for hesitation. Is it ill- preparedness . The Indians are said to be quick learners in the evolution of human civilisation . Therefore let us start our preparation and learn through the high way digital technology rather than blaming and agitating against the vagaries of nature in social change and world of invasion in modern warfare of commercial battle.
Indian Corporate sector and Multinationals:
It is a strange phenomena to observe our Indian corporates who are gradually becoming acquirers of Companies in Europe, USA and Africa leaving the space of Multinational Companies in India. More so Indian corporates invest in China and other Afro Asian countries for manufacturing but trading in India . This attitude makes the placement of Law consultancies of Multinational companies in India, very secretly. The All India Advocates Association and Bar Association are agitated for loosing their field and to attract the attention of the Government by calling for boycotting of courts by self inflicting injuries to Indian judicial system. It is the duty of every Lawyer to protect the interest of the profession. This profession is also becoming “service industry ” in terms of international commercial vernacular. The nobility can be in the way of presentation and behaviour of professionals but this profession is also subjected to market driven economy. This tsunami of market economy can not leave an island of Legal profession in safe high ground.
As one can understand that the Multi national companies fully depend upon the International Law Consultancies who are well equipped for domestic Municipal laws, State laws and National laws , for initiating any investment in any such country. The Indian lawyers are much attracted in such International Consultancies for better salary in India itself. Because they feel that majority of arguing lawyer market is in the hands of few Senior Lawyers who are Woking on case by case basis and sharing minimum to fresh comers and Junior Advocates. The other towns and city lawyers were not exposed to new opportunities as Indian Environment is of secrecy rather than transparency because of fear of the market mechanism. I feel to give a piece of example case to illustrate this proposition. :
Sample work for MNC in International Law Consultancy:
If a Multi National company wants to invest in Thoothukudi in Tamilnadu for establishing a factory on food processing they will engage an International Law Consultancy to prepare a report on land laws, price regulation, registration process, agricultural laws, government policies,labour laws, labour wages, material costs ,cost of purchase of goods , mode of engaging the contractor, training the skilled people , professionals , customs-Excise-Income Tax laws , Sales Tax , professional Tax, Toll gate levy and the Municipal laws , State laws and National laws in all theses aspects in addition to market system , multi nodal transport system such road,rail, air and sea. Every thing will be outsourced according to the requirement. The dispute resolution preferably by arbitration rather than court as they assess the India Judiciary is architecturally well established but procedurally unfriendly to business of this modern world because of huge delay in dispute resolution.
This chain of law- consultants are ,now in India , filled up by laymen as real estate brokers, labour contractor, power brokers, petty politicians , black marketeers etc. These type of people are unknown to MultiNational Companies since they want to earn returns on legal way .But in practical terms the real estate brokers purchased land for huge money and broker commission, on power of Attorney attested by Notary to avoid registration charges and stamp duties and are waiting for MNC Law consultants for registering sale for much more price to get high margin for them. If the expected legal method and transparency in every stage of investment by proper regulatory mechanism is applied , the government can get good taxation revenue simultaneous control of price rise .This is to be looked into by new Company law and other allied legislation in Parliament and Legislative Assembly. Law Consultants in other countries are doing research and lobby for changes in law to facilitate for better commerce .This example will give the segment of opportunity for various specialists.
Arguing Lawyers in regular courts:
One glaring part is the arguing lawyers in regular courts are missing in the chain. It is the part of game to engage senior lawyers according to the need of circumstances. Hence there is no need of fear for arguing lawyers of loosing cases who are tied up on different courts on individual litigations for long years on part payment without knowing the date of completion of litigating period.Our Indian courts are having more than 30 million cases pending in various courts.The Supreme court of India is having 39,780 pending cases.There are 21 High Courts having 3 million cases pending while in subordinate courts 26.3 million cases are pending disposal. Allahabad High Court had some 1.09 million pending cases . In Madras High court 406, 949 cases are pending.Other than these Constitution created , formal Judicial Institutions there are hundreds of quasi judicial Forums , constituted by legislation in Parliament and State Legislatures ,where the dispute resolutions are pending for many years. More over every year the Parliament is creating new statutory dispute resolution bodies on the advise of executive employing retired Bureaucrats and Judges.
There are 1 million Advocates practicing in different States and in different courts. Every year 80, 000 students are coming out of Law college in India. The area of judicial occupation is enlarging every day. When there is a law enacted in Parliament and State Legislature or the rules or notifications are made by Executive, immediately there are need for dispute resolution bodies and Lawyers .
Difference between Indian Corporates and MNC ‘s on Dispute Resolution:
If a random conclusion is made on the approach of Indian corporates on laws and regulations , is that they are brought up by in house and domestic law consultants to solve the problems. But the Multi National Companies embark upon prevention of violation of laws and regulation and for that smooth path they prefer the International Law consultants who are doing the professional guidance in both end and multi ended aspect. It is the way Indian corporates are also opting after enlarging their business in various other countries .
Lawyers role in Global Political and non political areas:
The conventional thinking of lawyers as arguing lawyers in robe will be shrinking in the globalised economy. The ‘time’ is the main resource in the the international business. The luxury of prolonged litigation is not appreciable in this modern world. As a Parliamentarian and Sr Lawyer , I feel that all the three wings of the State – Parliament, Executive and Judiciary is not realising need of Judicial Reform to catch up the demand of the modern market driven economy. The Union and States are much more behind in realising importance of Judicial Reform on false pretension of ‘ avoid the territory of judicial independence ‘. This will create immobility of Judicial system .
The Lawyers are having main role to move the political and non political arena to reform the judiciary . If the Lawyers during Independence movement are taken as fore-runners in reform of the Indian society why not today. In the last three decades through PI L, Lawyers made the executive and Parliament to realise their role to reform the laws and implementation in the field of transport, sewage system, education, Right to information, public health, environment , anti corruption, policing etc., Similarly best Lawyers are best rulers and chief Executives . The world is open. Let us occupy our position by changing our status from spectators and speculators to achievers and doers.