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Wednesday , October 16 2019

When ‘rights’ get politicized!

The hot weather in Kuwait is being reflected on the local political scene, where several legislative bills were presented to the Parliament for voting, among them were controversial bills which sparked reactions and public debate.

One of these bills, which received much attention, is the bill allowing graduates from the Faculty of Shariah and Islamic Studies to work in the legal field; whereas some legal articles consist of items prohibiting law lecturers in the Faculty of Law at Kuwait University from practicing their profession while teaching in the university. Another one bans members of the Parliament, who are lawyers, from practicing law during their tenure in the Parliament.

Naturally, these are summaries and headlines without details.

I am not here to support or oppose this and that, but to draw attention to several issues, such as allowing only the Faculty of Law graduates to work in legal fields or fields pertaining to law. This is tough for them.

By default, graduates of the Faculty of Shariah and Islamic Studies, majoring in jurisprudence principles, work in legal and administrative fields, including the Public Prosecution. This has been going on for decades and no one opposed it.

The decision to allow graduates from Shariah and Islamic Studies Faculty to work in the legal field was a verbal decision and it has no legal text.  This was sanctioned by State officials more than three decades ago and was subjected to local political development at the time.

Some lawyers are also against such laws, but the question is: Why is this objection happening only now?  Is there a law which is about to be endorsed in this regard, instead of leaving the matter to verbal connotation?

It is ethically understandable for members of the Parliament to be barred from practicing law in order to avoid practices which could raise suspicion on them, but it remains incomprehensible to bar law lecturers from practicing their profession.

Despite the fact that some law students complain about some law lecturers who fail to adhere to their teaching schedule, why not apply the same concept, for instance, on doctors who lecture in colleges and at the same time work in hospitals and even engage in private practice, or the pharmacists as well?

Why not apply the same concept on lecturers who teach Shariah and Islamic Studies while serving as Imams in mosques or employees in charitable organizations, governmental legal institutions, banks, investment institutions and other fields?  Why bar law lecturers only?

I believe the concept behind the laws in question is not subjective and the diligence was unsuccessful. I will not go further into details about this issue, lest I aggrieve someone.

Nonetheless, I find strange and suspicious the position taken by the Kuwait Lawyers Association in absolutely supporting the law which harms the interests of an important caliber of its members.

As per my information, some of those affected by this law are preparing to petition the matter at the Constitutional Court. I believe that once it is done, the dots will be connected and the image will be clear.

Twitter@alzmi1969

“Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all,” Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC).

By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi

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