COMPETITION OVER JUSTICE
23 Mar, 2012
Bar Council Chairman addresses Cayman Islands on Ethics and Rule of Law
Michael Todd QC (pictured), the Chairman of the Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, this week addressed an invited audience in Grand Court Number One of the Cayman Islands on ‘Ethics and the Rule of Law’. The lecture formed a part of a Chancery Bar Association business development mission to the Islands. Examining the role of the advocate within the justice system, he said that with the stakes of litigation now being so high, advocates’ cardinal and primary duty to the Court must not be overlooked. He also reflected on the continuing and fundamental relevance of a strong ethical code and the Rule of Law to the modern legal environment.
Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, said: “In political terms, as I have said many times already, in my short period as Chairman of the Bar, access to justice is too often sacrificed on the altar of price competition, as a matter of political dogma, and if not on that altar, then as a sacrifice to populist opinion. Further, in countries across the world, when Government expenditure is being cut back, in some cases drastically, how do we ensure that effective access to justice remains as part of a properly funded infrastructure?
“We all, Government, the judiciary and legal practitioners, have a duty to ensure effective access to justice, in the legal system we provide and in our management of litigation before our Courts.
“If we want justice systems which are the envy of the world, which command respect from other jurisdictions, which attract inward investment and instil confidence in those looking to do business in our respective jurisdictions, and which command respect, we must make that investment in access to justice, in the Rule of Law. A jurisdiction which does not exude its support for the Rule of Law, its investment in the quality and integrity of its judicial system, of its judiciary, and of its legal practitioners, cannot, and will not, prosper.”