Attorneys to be selective in defending decisions of state agencies

Published On: December 26, 2016 10:06 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 26: The first convention of the government attorneys concluded on Sunday stating that the attorneys could be selective in defending decisions of state agencies.

The convention that went for three days in Kathmandu issued a 30-point declaration and said that the attorneys cannot and should not defend decisions of state agencies if they violate laws. 

When asked to explain the declaration point, Joint-Attorney General Rajan Bhattarai, also the spokesperson at the Office of Attorney General, said that if a decision made by a state agency apparently violate existing laws than the attorneys are not bound to defend it. 

"If some agencies violate statute of limitation set by concerned law in a case, how could an attorney defend that violation?" Bhattarai said while elaborating the declaration. 

Likewise, the convention has decided to remind all the state agencies that the government attorney would not have other options than rejecting defense if the agencies do not provide necessary information, details and documents on time. "We go to defend the agencies at the court but we have to face difficulty at the courtroom in the absence of required documents. If we don't get necessary documents and information to prepare for defense, how can we defend them at the court?" said Bhattarai.

The convention also declared that the attorneys cannot defend government decisions taken against the public interest. Likewise, the convention stated that it would be inappropriate for the government attorneys to defend agencies, which consult individual legal advisors while taking decision and do not inform the Office of Attorney General in doing so. 

"The declarations made by the convention are intended to remind all the state agencies that the Office of Attorney General is not only the legal advisor of the government but also to the state as a whole," said Bhattarai.

The convention expressed commitment to follow the Code of Conduct set for the Government Attorneys and pledged to introduce a system of reward and punishment for the effective implementation of the code of conduct.   

Likewise, the government attorneys have declared that they would not attend programs organized by NGOs at individual level and inform the higher authorities if they have to attend such programs in their official status.

The attorneys also have expressed commitment to develop victim-friendly environment at offices of the government attorneys realizing the fact that it is their responsibility to guarantee access to justice, support victims and protect witnesses.

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