Drugs - A matter of conscience

No one prevents a lawyer from meeting his client in the prison for professional reasons. A culprit enjoys his constitutional rights to obtain the services of a lawyer or lawyers of his choice.  However, the situation gets complex when there is an abuse of the number of visits from the lawyer or when there are numerous unsolicited visits as is being revealed by the Commission of Inquiry on Drugs.
It is this abuse that automatically raises a number of questions in the mind of the common man.  He is perplexed.  One question he asks himself is whether the lawyer is visiting his client so many times or meeting too many of them at one and the same time for the sole reason of defending the rights of the latter or is there something else involved?  Another question that is haunting the common man is whether the lawyer is concerned with performing his duty or is he more interested in his fees?
However much lawyers insist on the point that they are merely doing their work in representing their clients in the court, the truth remains that they will be generously paid.  You simply don’t take a notorious drug lord as client only to obtain peanuts.
If lawyers feel that it is their duty to stand for drug dealers just like they would do for any other citizen, there is also something called professional embarrassment.
The lawyer ought to ask himself if he is doing the right thing in defending a confirmed drug dealer. The latter is up to the neck in an illegal activity. And the activity is such that hundreds and hundreds of people fall victims to the products that they sell to them. Parents suffer on seeing their children turn into addicts and they can’t do anything about it. Drugs break homes and cause grief. They shatter the health of the users. There is a high economic cost involved in the hospitalization and rehabilitation of the victims. Moreover, productivity is affected. Jobs are lost. Besides, our island gets a bad reputation.
While many people are sincerely trying their best to make of Mauritius a better place to live in, some are bent on devastating it in the name of easy money. In recent times, the use of drugs has soared. The dealers have targeted the younger generation by introducing newer drugs under varied names on the market. We have even reached a point where drugs have made their way into the school compounds.
Drug dealers work for their own interests above all. They are in business and find in the commerce of drugs a means of amassing money. You die or not as a result of taking drugs isn’t their problem. They are predators. Money is their God.
In this specific context, how far is it worth defending them?  The Constitution may provide for legal assistance but what about professional conscience?  Doesn’t this ever prick the lawyers? Don’t they ever think of the victims and their families? Don’t they ever realise that these people require justice too?  Do they ever try to understand what it means to lose a loved one to drugs?
The lawyer has a choice. The lawyer who measures the full impact of drugs both on the victims and their families will, I’m sure, choose to listen to his inner voice or his conscience.  Consequently, he will defend with all his power the rights of the victims rather than do everything to save the dealers.
This is the kind of lawyer we need to clean Mauritius.