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Lawyers are essential agents of the administration and machinery of justice. Lawyers influence change. We are meant to be fearless people. Our mantra, in section 42(1)(a) Legal Profession Act, 1976 to uphold the cause of justice without regard to our own interests uninfluenced by fear or favour, is proof of this. Yet, there are some of us lawyers who fear living our lives. We fear death less than we fear life. And that is what the pervading culture and institutions would have us believe, that we can do nothing for ourselves but for them.

I would like to see our young lawyers shake themselves out of our complacency, comfort and move forward. Many of us complain in the court canteens and in our private emails about the rude judges we face, the unhelpful court staff we deal with, the demanding bosses we have, the ruthless clients we service and the low pay we receive. Yet, when there are opportunities to change the institutions which prop these up, we do nothing. There is no time, I am afraid or I do not know how.

The messengers and those who do attempt to reform what is existing are shot, and the message hijacked and lost. Those in positions of comfort take pride in seeing reform agendas and change advocates fail as their positions continue to be consolidated. Those in power fear change. They fear change because they fear living life. Life is a continuos process of challenges, ideas, change, reform, rebirth and action but they fail to see it that way.

Similarly, young lawyers fear change because we have always been comfortable in allowing the senior ones to take charge, make decisions and govern our lives. We feel overawed and we fear challenging the well-established. We are lazy. Flowing from this, there is no impetus for some of the Bar Council members to participate, work and act effectively. This is very frustrating for those who actually want to change things and make things better for you and me.

The are also some Council members who actively do not do any work for the betterment of the Bar but merely indulge in certain activities to ensure their profile stays high in order to win votes for the next elections. These members are hindrances to the Bar.

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