By BENNY SANDEKA
CHIEF Justice Sir Salamo Injia has blasted lawyers for their lack of professionalism both in the court room as well in the public.
The Chief Justice said the conduct of lawyers in Papua New Guinea is a matter "of public and private concern" in this country.
"You often see lawyers coming in representing their own relatives, relatives by marriage, drink and become disorderly in public places and the list goes on," said the Chief Justice.
The Chief Justice highlighted this on Friday when presiding over the admission of one batch of 82 new lawyers admitted to the bar.
"Lawyers often find short-cuts in cases without giving the opportunity to other parties to present their cases," Sir Salamo said.
The Chief Justice said, the legal profession is a noble profession with high standards of morality. It is not only a highly paid profession but one that upholds integrity.
"Your personal character is important in discharging your duties as a lawyer," said the Chief Justice.
"Personal character and integrity account for fifty per cent of qualifications for a lawyer to be admitted to the bar."
The Chief Justice said, the personnel character for a lawyer is embodied in the fit and proper persons qualifications for a lawyer prior to being accepted to the Legal Training Institute and throughout the period of studies at LTI.
"Admission to the bar should not be seen as a mere formality. It is the discretion of the courts based on the fit and proper persons interviews conducted by the Attorney General's office."
The Chief Justice said, in the past, admission for lawyers into legal practice is seen as mere formality. But he said such a view of the admission to the bar must cease and lawyers must ensure they display the highest discipline at all times both in the courts and outside of courts. Eighty two new lawyers were admitted to the bar on Friday.