With the ridiculously high court fees and legal fees to be paid to lawyers, the system of arbitration needs a rethink to prevent abuses of the legal system. Going to courts today, to be represented by legal counsels, can be a make or break situation where a person can be bankrupted or made to cough out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. As such, where are the safeguards for innocent but poor victims who are hauled to courts by the rich and powerful with their sharp and clever legal counsels paid to do the job?
Though there exists a parallel system now in the form of mediation and small claims tribunal to handle petty litigations, it is still not enough to prevent those with the means to get their way to brutalise the poorer victims by abusing the legal system and making the courts serve their private agenda, in the process, bankrupting a defendant even when the case is ruled in favour of the defendants. Settling out of court or through mediation etc or even winning a case is not good enough as the main purpose of the complainant could be to force the defendant to pay for all the legal fees and court fees and the hassle and the stress of going to court. That itself is a very heavy penalty, an injustice that is legal. The govt cannot allow this to go on without making changes to the legal system to make sure that such abuses are removed from the system of legal and social justice.
The main issue is to make the complainant who made spurious or unwarranted, unjustified complaints to pay dearly to the defendant. Also, the legal counsels representing the unreasonable complainant and filing spurious or unsubstantive charges must be made to pay as well, and not allowed to hide under the pretext of client’s advice or client’s instruction. When a case is unjustified in the name of the law, they must not pursue with the case. If there is no prima facie case they must not forced an issue to bring charges against a defendant. If they think they could get away with such accusations on the ground that it is a 50/50 case, let the judge be the final arbiter to decide if the legal counsel is taking advantage of the legal system, abusing the system, and be made to pay for the cost of wasting the court’s time and the time and stress on the defendant.
Let this be part of the judge’s responsibility to punish errant lawyers and their clients for attempting to make the court and the legal system as their hatchet man. Otherwise the courts will be filled with all kinds of nonsensical and petty suits when one party has an agenda or an axe to grind.
The court of law and its integrity must not be compromised and the institution must be respected especially by the legal community. Anyone who thinks he can pay to use the court and legal system to serve his private agenda and personal grudges must not be allowed to get away with it. And the legal counsel must not be accomplice to such distortion of the justice system.