At the end of the day, lawyers are also human beings with their individual ideology and philosophy of life and death, morality and ethics, politics and religion. But what many of the lawyers fail to do is to distinguish between these two lives- one where he is an advocate, a professional and the second one, his personal life that he lives where he approves of certain political policy or religion. When he is in his place of professional space, all that matters are texts. like Jacques Derrida said, “there is nothing outside of the text.”these words couldn’t be more appropriate for any other profession. Philosophy aside, lawyers need to observe texts with great care and try not be biased while doing that.
One good example to make things easier for the readers can be the preamble to the Constitution of the people’s republic of Bangladesh. We can find out many questions and then the answers to the questions just by simply reading the first line of the third paragraph carefully, “Further pledging that it shall be a fundamental aim of the state to realise through the democratic process a socialist society, free of exploitation…” Now, this sentence answers three of the very significant questions and answers. they are as follows-
(a) what is the basic goal of our state? answer: people who don’t study law will probably get very emotional hearing this question. I know a person who wrote a whole poem about this and I am pretty sure you’ve heard it as well. some might say our goal is to become a rich country, another one will probably be a wannabe avenger (I am not joking, these were real answers from real people!). But as lawyers, we are bound to turn on our researcher mode and read the line carefully.What do we see? “a fundamental aim of the state is to realise a socialist society.” There it is, we have our answer now. the basic goal of our state is to found a socialist society.
(b)which kind of socialism will prevail in our state? answer: this is a tricky one. there are many types of socialism- utopian socialism, Fabianism, democratic socialism, evolutionary socialism, etc. Again, individuals may be supporters of any kind of socialism. But an existing law doesn’t ask you what it should be like. , it rather imposes itself upon you. Personal opinions stemming out from history, philosophy, religion, etc, do not matter here. what kind is to operate out socialist country? the text above shows that it is “free from exploitation”. We are to have a socialist society where nobody will be exploited. That makes sense, as the reason why we fought our liberation war was because the Bangladeshis of east Pakistan were severely being exploited by the west Pakistanis. That struggle against them eventually led to a nine month long bloodshed.
(c)How are we to achieve that free from exploitation socialist society? answer: it has been clearly expressed here that it should be gained by a Democratic process. Contrary to popular belief, socialism and democracy can co-exist, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Although this type of state are not very common. So, as can be seen from the above discussion, merely one sentence can be interpreted to this about 300 words. That’s why lawyers need to read like a lawyer does, that is emphasising on every single word and interpreting those with an open mind. legal activism is a whole other chapter, maybe we’ll talk about it the next time. A lawyer talks only when he knows what the rules are. He is not a historian, nor a philosopher. Lawyers are a very different kind of strict force that work only when they do not get biased by personal beliefs and opinions.