12 March 2007

When Lawyers Attack

BBC News has photos of the violent clashes in Pakistan between police in riot gear and lawyers in suits and ties. I've not seen anything like this since an ill-advised practical skills session at a police brutality law CLE. The Beeb's reporters chalk these riots up to "growing tension":
The Bar Association says the court shutdown is total.

"It's a complete boycott of the superior and lower courts by all lawyers," Court Bar Association president Munir Malik told the AFP news agency.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says the clash in Lahore reflects growing tension in the country since President General Pervez Musharraf removed the chief justice from his post on Friday.

The president had received "numerous complaints and serious allegations for misconduct, misuse of authority and actions prejudicial to the dignity of office of the chief justice of Pakistan," the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan news agency reported.

Lawyers, opposition parties, human rights activists and some judges have condemned the move as unconstitutional and a blow to the independence of the judiciary.

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