No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor-Explain.
Laws are rules that are enforced in society to maintain order and protect harm to people and property. Law has been dated back to at least the 1760 BC, when the code of Hammurabi was written by the Babylonian king. In an ideal world laws are what people abide to, to avoid breaking the law and incurring fines or jail sentences. Roosevelt is correct that “no man should be above or below the law however this is stark to what it is like in reality. In 1970’s the United States of America was hit by a political scandal, the Watergate scandal. It involved a break in the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate headquarters in Washington DC. The four men that were accused of breaking and entering were linked to President Nixon and the FBI found recordings that exposed President Nixon trying to cover up the break in. Court proceedings occurred and President Nixon resigned (1974). President Nixon escaped impeachment by the House of Representatives and any given convictions from the Senate. Graham Ford became the next president and handed down a unconditional presidential pardon to President Nixon. President Nixon was immunized against any legal actions in regards to the involvement of the Watergate scandal. President Ford believed that it was in the best interest for the Americans and that it was an American tragedy. Equal Justice under Law” is a basic tenet of our Republic. Those words are engraved on the edifice of the United States Supreme Court. It is one of the concepts that make us unique as a nation. That the law must be applied equally to everyone regardless of his/her station in life is a rule that must never be compromised. As citizens it is our duty to have a basic understanding of the legal principles upon which this nation is built and we must insist that we remain true to the rule: “Equal justice under law”.
2. PART A: LAW MUST BE APPLIED EQUALLY TO EVERYONE:
a) No Manipulation of The Law:
There is no one who can get away with anything, no man who is pre-guilty. Everyone must obey it. Law must be followed for every man to be equal; there is no other choice to do this. The law is the bottom line. No man is above or below it, which means no one can break the law and get away with it. And it isn’t up to any individual whether he/she can obey any specific law (the permission part) it means no one is exempt from the law but the law doesn’t target anyone and that it isn’t a request it is an order Rich or poor, famous or not, politician or civilian, all people are required to follow the law, it is not optional. People of this nature, which have the position, power, wealth and metaphorically the world at their feet have a tendency to abuse their power. They have a means to manipulate the law, act above it and impose laws whilst not having to provide any reason or rational in the breach or provision of order. Contrary to this are people that are caught out below the law and unable to get fair legal representation. In 2007, a 10 year old aboriginal girl made national headlines. It was a case of the girl being raped in Aurunka, Cape york, Australia by 9 rapist. The rapist got 12 month probation and the courts decreed that no criminal record be recorded. The belief made by the judge was that the girl was forced and probably agreed to have sex with all. This situation emphasized the issue of a bureaucratic culture that imbues the judiciary system that Australia accepts a lesser standard of rights and responsibilities for Indigenous people than of its fellow citizens.
b) Society & The Law:
In a world is full of greed and inequality, laws will be continuously abused and mishandled. It is the nature of humans in a position in power to abuse and oppress. The gap between the poor and the rich is widening and parallel to this we see governments exploiting their power and existence to manipulate the law into their own hands to benefit. The world is made up of many people just as the same as each droplet in the sea makes the ocean. I believe if we looked after each other and did our own part; abide by the laws to ensure safety to you and others, advocate for the unheard. This would make a difference to the society and the law which we experience. This would mean that no man is above the law and no man is below the law; and we would ask for any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it. Laws are not made to create hardship or disharmony but to implement justice, peace and equality. Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition.
3. PART B: EQUAL JUSTICE IN THE SOCIETY:
Our form of government does not enter into opposition with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbors, but are an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the law secures equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition. Equal justice under law” is one of America’s most firmly embedded and widely violated legal principles. It is a rhetorical flourish commonly encountered in ceremonial rhetoric and occasionally even constitutional decisions. But it comes nowhere close to describing the justice system in practice. While this is not, of course, the only legal context in which rhetoric outruns reality, it is one of the most disturbing, given the fundamental nature of the rights at issue. It is a shameful irony that the nation with the most lawyers has among the least adequate systems for legal assistance. It is more shameful still that the inequities attract so little concern. An estimated four-fifths of the legal needs of the poor, and the needs of two to three fifths of middle-income individuals, remain unmet. Over the last two decades, national spending on legal aid has been cut by a third, and increasing restrictions have been placed on the cases and clients that government-funded programs can accept. Entire categories of the “unworthy poor” have been denied assistance, and courts have largely acquiesced in these limitations, as well as in ludicrous limitations on fees for court appointed lawyers in criminal cases. The case law governing effective assistance of counsel and access to no lawyer services is a conceptual embarrassment. Yet neither the public nor the profession has been moved to respond in any significant fashion.
a) Conceptual Failures
The essay begins with some conceptual challenges. In theory, “equal justice under law” is difficult to oppose. In practice, however, it begins to unravel at several key points, beginning with what we mean by “justice.” In conventional usage, the concept seems largely procedural. “Equal justice” is usually taken to mean “equal access to justice,” which in turn is taken to mean access to law.ii But as is frequently noted, a purely procedural understanding by no means captures our aspirations. Those who receive their “day in court” do not always feel that “justice has been done,” and with reason. Money often matters more than merits, in all the ways that Marc Galanter described in his classic article on “why the haves come out ahead.”iii Substantive rights and procedural obstacles can be skewed, and even those who win in court can lose in life, given post-judgment power relations. These difficulties are seldom acknowledged in bar discussions of access to justice, which assume that more is better, and that the trick is how to achieve it. Any serious effort to equalize access would require not only massive public expenditures but also the prohibition of private markets. Part of the reason that we are reluctant to confront these issues involves the scale of additional subsidies that would be necessary to provide minimal, let alone equal access. Unlike most other industrialized nations, the United States recognizes no right to legal assistance for civil matters and courts have exercised their discretion to appoint counsel in only in a narrow category of cases. Legislative budgets have been equally minimal. The federal government, which provides about two-thirds of the funding for civil legal aid, now spends only about $300 million for such assistance. This works out to roughly $8 per year for those officially classified poor and recent estimates suggest that well over 10 times that amount, on the order of $3 to $4 billion dollars, would be required to meet the civil legal needs of low-income Americans. Such estimates substantially understate the magnitude of expenditures necessary to guarantee minimal access, since they do not include the unmet needs of middle-income Americans that are now priced out the legal process, or collective concerns such as environmental risks, community economic development.
b) Political Failures
Much of the problem in securing broader access to justice stems from the public’s failure to recognize that there is, in fact, a problem. A wide gap persists between popular perceptions and daily realities, Most Americans are convinced that the legal system coddles criminals, a view reinforced by news and entertainment media. In the courtrooms that the public sees, lawyers like those representing O. J. Simpson’s leave no stone unturned. But they are charging by the stone. Most defense counsel cannot. And it matters. Between half and four-fifths of counsel entered guilty pleas without interviewing any prosecution witnesses. The inadequacy of representation leaves many legislative bodies unmoved, given an electorate more interested in getting tough on criminals than in subsidizing their defense. The chair of a Missouri appropriations committee expressed common attitudes with uncommon candor in announcing publicly that he “did not care whether indigent criminal defendants were represented or not. Although recent exonerations of wrongfully convicted defendants through DNA evidence have somewhat increased public concerns about the adequacy of their defense, budget priorities have rarely changed in response. With respect to civil legal assistance, the public is more supportive, but equally misinformed. Although the vast majority of Americans favor providing legal assistance for the poor in civil cases, most would rather see it come from volunteer attorneys than from government subsidies, and 40 percent want to support only advice, not litigation. For many claims, such as those involving challenges to welfare legislation or prison conditions, one Denver legal aid attorney aptly noted that he only thing less popular than a poor person is a poor person with a lawyer. Not only are Americans ambivalent about ensuring legal assistance, they are ill informed about the assistance currently available. Almost four-fifths incorrectly believe that the poor are now entitled to legal aid in civil cases, and only a third think that they would have a very difficult time obtaining assistance. Such perceptions are wildly out of touch with reality. Legal services offices can handle less than a fifth of the needs of eligible clients and often are able to offer only brief advice, not the full range of assistance that is necessary. Wait lists of two years for non emergencies are common, and entire categories of the “unworthy poor” are excluded from federal support, such as prisoners, undocumented immigrants, or individuals with claims involving abortions, homosexual rights, or challenges to welfare legislation.
It is a national disgrace that civil legal aid programs now reflect less than 1 percent of the nation’s legal expenditures. And it is a professional disgrace that pro bono service occupies less than 1 percent of lawyers’ working hours. We can, and must do more, and our greatest challenge lies in persuading the public and the profession to share that view. More education about what passes for justice among the have-nots should be a key priority. Law schools have a unique opportunity and a corresponding obligation to insure that access to justice remains a professional aspiration. I am grateful for an opportunity for this reminder of all that still stands in the way.
i. See infra at.
ii. See Geoffrey Hazard, Jr., “After Legal Aid is Abolished,” 2. J. of the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics 375, 386 (1999); Stephen Pepper, “Access to What?,” 2. J. of the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics 269 , 272 (1999); Jack B. Weinstein, “The Poor’s Right to Equal Access to the Courts,” 13 Conn. L. Rev. 651, 655 (1981).
iii. Marc Galanter, “Why the Haves Come Out Ahead?: Speculators on the Limits of Legal Change,” 9 Law and Soc’y Rev. 95 (1974).
iv.R. H. Tawney, Equality 103 (l964 ed.).
v. And Justice for All, supra note 1, at 40 (putting the figure at $3.6 billion); Hazard, supra note , at 380 (estimating between $4 and 5 billion).
vi. John Dwyer, Peter Neufield, & Barry Scheck, Actual Innocence 204 (1999).
vii.Cole, No Equal Justice, 83; Stephen B. Bright, “Counsel for the Poor: The Death Sentence Not for the Worst Crime but For the Worst Lawyer,” 103 Yale L. J. 1835, 1850-54 (l995); J. Michael McWilliams, “The Erosion of Indigent Rights: Excessive Caseloads Resulting in Ineffective Counsel for Poor,” ABA Journal March, 1993, 8.
viii. Stephen Bright, “Keep the Dream Alive,” unpublished speech, excerpted in Yale Law Report, Fall 1999, at 22.
ix. Margaret L. Steiner, “Adequacy of Fact Investigation in Criminal Lawyers’ Trial Preparation,”1981 Ariz. St. L. J. 523, 538; Mike McConville and Chester Mirsky, “Guilty Plea Courts: A Social Disciplinary Model of Criminal Justice,” 42 Social Problems 216 (1995).
x. Ron Ostroff, “Missouri Remains Unable to Pay Indigents’ Counsel, National L. J. , May 11, l981, at 2.
xi. Innocence Protection Act of 2000, 5.2690, 106th Cong. §201-203 would provide significant incentives for state to meet minimal standards for representation of indigent dependants in capital cases and would provide federal funding for efforts by public agencies and private nonprofit organizations to improve such representation.
xii. John Asher, quoted in Robert Pear, “With Welfare Changes Looming, Legal Aid for the Poor Grows Scarce,” N.Y. Times September 5, 1995, at A1. For legislative restrictions on federally funded legal aid, see infra.
xiii. Pickering, supra note (noting that less than 10 percent of federally funded legal aid cases are litigated and the average expenditure is only $300 per case).
xiv. See Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-134, Section 504, 110 Stat. 1321; 45 C.F.R. pt. 1610-1642; see infra note on challenges to these restrictions.
xv. See “Legislature 95: Legal Aid Agencies Face Ax: Lawmakers Object to Help for Migrant Workers,” News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (Apr. 15, 1995) at B1; Anne Windishar, Editorial, “Poor Need Legal Help Now More Than Ever,” Spokesman Review (Spokane, Wash.) (Mar. 6, 1995) at A12. Law school clinics also have been targets. See Peter A. Joy, “Political Interference with Clinical Legal Education: Denying Access to Justice,” 74 Tul. L. Rev. 235 (1999);
xvi. 351 U.S. 12 (1956).
xvii. Coles, No Equal Justice, 87; Bright, supra note ; Stephen J. Schulhofer, “Effective Assistance on the Assembly Line,” 14 New York University Review of Law and Social Change 137 (1986): Scott and Stuntz, “Plea Bargaining as Contract,” 101 Yale L. J. 1909, 1957 1958 (1992); Bruce A. Green, “Lethal Fiction: The Meaning of ‘Counsel’ in the Sixth Amendment,” 78 Iowa Law Review 433, 499-501 (1993).
xviii. See Coles, supra note at 87; Bright, supra note at ; Green, supra note at 499-501.
xix. Victor E. Flango and Patricia McKenna, “Federal Habeas Corpus Review of State Court Convictions,” 31 California Western Law Review 237, 259-60 (1995).
xx.McFarland v. State, 928 S.W. 2d 482, 506, n,20; Herbert, “Cheap Justice,” 15; Bruce Shapiro, “Sleeping Lawyer Syndrome,” The Nation, April 7, 1997, 27-29 (quoting Judge Doug Shaver).
xxi. Tippins v. Walker, 77 F. 2d 682 (2d Cir. l996); Burdine v. Texas, 66 F. Supp. 854 (S.D, Tex. l999).
xxii. Frances A. McMorris, “Giuliani’s Hard Line Breaks Strike at New York City Legal Services,” Wall St. J. (Oct. 6, 1994) at B11; F.T.C. v. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Assn. 493 U.S. 411 (1990) (finding that a boycott by District of Columbia defense attorneys seeking higher compensation constituted an antitrust violation). The efforts continue. See New York County Lawyers’ Assoc. v. Pataki Docket number 1029872000 (N. Y. Sup. Ct, filed April 7, 2000).
xxiii. Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, American Bar Association, Responding to the Needs of the Self-Represented Divorce Litigant 12-13 (1994); Family Law Section Committee on the Probate and Family Court, Massachusetts Bar Association, Changing the Culture of the Probate and Family Court, 29 (1997); [hereinafter Changing the Culture] Goldschmidt, “Litigants,” supra note at 29-34; Engler, supra note at 2049; Roger Cramton, “Delivery of Legal Services to Ordinary Americans,” 45 Case W. Res. L. R. 531 (1993); Dianne Molvig, “Growing Solutions to Unmet Legal Needs,” 69 Wis. Law. 10 (1996).
xxiv. Lillian C. Henry and Gillian N. Bush, “California’s Family Law Facilitator and Arizona’s Self-Service Center: Success and Limitations of Two Systems Designed to Meet the Challenges of Legal Services,” 34 (Stanford Law School, 1999, unpublished paper on file with author); See also Elizabeth McCough, “Let Me Show You How,” 48 Fla. L. Rev. 481 (1996) (only 44% of surveyed participants in a pro se divorce assistance program had obtained a divorce); Bruce Sales, et al., “Is Self Representation a Reasonable Alternative to Representation in Divorce Cases?” 37 St. Louis L. J. 553, 563 (1993) (finding that most of surveyed pro se divorce litigants had some college education).
xxv. Engler, supra note at 2012-2015; Changing the Culture, supra note , at 51; Goldschmidt, “Litigants,” supra note at 19; Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362 (9th Cir. 1986).
xxvi. For scholars’ views, see the sources cited in Deborah L. Rhode, “Professionalism in Perspective: Alternative Approaches to Nonlawyer Practice,” New York University Review of Law and Social Change 22 (1996): 701; Deborah L Rhode, “The Delivery of Legal Services by Nonlawyers,” Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 4 (1990): 209. For other experts, see Commission on NonLawyer Practice, American Bar Association, Nonlawyer Activity in Law-Related Situations: A Report With Recommendations (Chicago: American Bar Association, 1995); State Bar of California Commission on Legal Technician’s Report (San Francisco: July 1990).
xxvii. See sources cited in Rhode, supra note and Herbert Kritzer, Legal Advocacy 193-203 (1998); Judith Citron, The Citizens Advice Bureau: For the Community, By the Community (1989); In re Unauthorized Practice of Law Rule Proposed by the Carolina Bar 422 §§ 2d 123, 124-5 (S.C. 1992); Mathew A. Melone, “Income Tax Practice and Certified Public Accountants,” The Case for a Status Based Exemption From Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules,” Akron Tax Journal 41 (1995); California State Bar Commission Report, supra note , at 41. See also Yegge, supra note , at 407, 418. In the one reported survey of consumer satisfaction, nonlawyers rated higher than lawyers. Rhode, Delivery of Legal Services, 230-231.
xxviii. For examples of such proposals, see sources cited in Rhode, “Professionalism,” 715; California Commission on Legal Technicians Report, supra note
xxix. See Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services, “Proposal to the Chief Judge Judith Kayes for an Attorney Pro Bono Requirement,” 52 Record of the Association of the Bar of New York, 367 (1997); Esther Lardent, “Mandatory Pro Bono in Civil Cases: The Wrong Answer to the Right Question,” 49 Md. L. Rev. 78, 98-99 (1990).
xxx. In re Amendments to Rules Regulating the Florida Bar- 1-3.1 and Rules of Judicial Administration 2.065, 630 So. 2d 501 (Fla. 1993).
xxxi. ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct , Rule 6.1; ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility, EC 2-25, 8-3.
xxxii. Aric Press, Eight Minutes, American Lawyer, July 2000, at 13.
xxxiii. Kate Ackley and Bryan Rund, “Pro Bono Casualty of the Salary Wars,” Legal Times, April 10, 2000, 1, 18; Roger Partoff, “Too Rich To Give,” American Lawyer, April 2000, at 15; Anthony Perez Cassino, “Skyrocketing Pay and Public Service,” N.Y. L. J. March 31, 2000 at . Mark Hansen, “Trickle-away Economics,” ABA J. July 20, 2000.
xxxiv. Stephen Gillers, “What We Talked About When We Talked About Ethics: A Critical View of the Model Rules,” 46 Ohio St. L. J. 243, 245 (l985).
xxxv. See proposals in California Commission, And Justice for All, supra note 49-50, 58-60; D’Ahlembert, supra note .;
style=”text-align: justify;” size=”1″ />
 President Ford believed that it was in the best interest for the Americans and that it was an American tragedy.
 it means no one is exempt from the law but the law doesn’t target anyone and that it isn’t a request it is an order Rich or poor, famous or not, politician or civilian
 See, Stephen Bright, “Keep the Dream Alive,” unpublished speech, excerpted in Yale Law Report, Fall 1999, at 22.
 This would make a difference to the society and the law which we experience. This would mean that no man is above the law and no man is below the law; and we would ask for any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.
 It is a rhetorical flourish commonly encountered in ceremonial rhetoric and occasionally even constitutional decisions. But it comes nowhere close to describing the justice system in practice.
 See, Ron Ostroff, “Missouri Remains Unable to Pay Indigents’ Counsel, National L. J. , May 11, l981, at 2
 in ceremonial rhetoric and occasionally even constitutional decisions. But it comes nowhere close to describing the justice system in practice. While this is not, of course, the only legal context in which rhetoric outruns reality
 See, Innocence Protection Act of 2000, 5.2690, 106th Cong. §201-203 would provide significant incentives for state to meet minimal standards for representation of indigent dependants in capital cases and would provide federal funding for efforts by public agencies and private nonprofit organizations to improve such representation.
 Any serious effort to equalize access would require not only massive public expenditures but also the prohibition of private markets. Part of the reason that we are reluctant to confront these issues involves the scale of additional subsidies that would be necessary to provide minimal, let alone equal access.
 Such estimates substantially understate the magnitude of expenditures necessary to guarantee minimal access, since they do not include the unmet needs of middle-income Americans
 See, Victor E. Flango and Patricia McKenna, “Federal Habeas Corpus Review of State Court Convictions,” 31 California Western Law Review 237, 259-60 (1995).
 See, Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, American Bar Association, Responding to the Needs of the Self-Represented Divorce Litigant 12-13 (1994); Family Law Section Committee on the Probate and Family Court, Massachusetts Bar Association, Changing the Culture of the Probate and Family Court, 29 (1997); [hereinafter Changing the Culture] Goldschmidt, “Litigants,” supra note at 29-34; Engler, supra note at 2049; Roger Cramton, “Delivery of Legal Services to Ordinary Americans,” 45 Case W. Res. L. R. 531 (1993); Dianne Molvig, “Growing Solutions to Unmet Legal Needs,” 69 Wis. Law. 10 (1996).
 See, Engler, supra note at 2012-2015; Changing the Culture, supra note , at 51; Goldschmidt, “Litigants,” supra note at 19; Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362 (9th Cir. 1986).
For: The Lawyers & Jurists
M.L.Hotel Tower Ltd,208,Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Sarani,
Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000.
Country code+ Ph No.
Direct cell with country code:
Local Code :