Mangaluru, Mar 16, 2015: Presiding at the valedictory function of Victoria Iuris 2015, law fest organized by SDM Law College and Centre for PG Studies and Research in Law on March 15, Justice Kumar said foreign lawyers could at best focus on niche areas such as intellectual property rights or constitution matters pertaining to taxation. However, their entry will also pave the way for Indian lawyers to go abroad and practice and this will only give their careers a new direction he noted. Indian lawyer fraternity should not harbor fears about the entry of foreign lawyers in to the country. The Bar Council of India should reconsider their stand.
He stressed Indian lawyers are also the best and can do well in any given legal environment, the judge opined that unlike their counterparts in the West, especially USA who specialize in one aspect of law, Indian legal minds are able to argue on multi aspects of law. Citing an example when a delegation of US lawyers visited the Karnataka Judicial Academy, he said they were taken aback when the president of the academy answered their queries on diverse legal areas.
In opposing the entry of foreign lawyers, Justice Kumar reminded the Lawyers that they are only undermining their abilities and not seeing the larger picture where even they can go and brush shoulders with the best legal minds across the world. Entry of foreign lawyers or firms is based on principle of reciprocity and if they enter India, Indian lawyers too will get the toehold they need to go to those nations and establish themselves with their legal acumen, he asserted.
At the same time, Justice Kumar also regretted the loss of confidence in the abilities of individuals who in the past were considered an institutions unto themselves. "Earlier, a lawyer was considered to be an institution unto himself in that he/she was learned in aspects of law that the people looked up to them for advise," he said, adding that the diminishing relationship between a junior lawyer and their seniors that established many a legal career too must be revived.
National Law School of India, Bengaluru emerged overall winners of the 13-odd competitions held over the last four-days. Nicky Collins of NLSIU was adjudged the best male advocate and Ridhima Thoonoli of JSS, Mysuru the best woman advocate of the law festival. Justices S Abdul Nazeer, and Justice Venugopala Gowda, and Lawyer P P Hegde, chairman, Karnataka State Bar Council, and A Rajendra Shetty, member, SDME Society were present. The meet brought out many vital points.