Nepal's lack of judges hinders legal profession
Lawyers in Kathmandu have claimed that the lack of judges in Nepal's highest court is hurting the legal profession and the public, while law students are already beginning to fear for their futures.
According to the Himalayan Times, there are only six judges left in the apex court, and the state lacks a mechanism for adding appointments.
Senior advocate Harihar Dahal said: ‘With the retirement of seven ad hoc judges, the legal profession is going through turbulent times. Only a limited number of cases are heard in the apex court. While lawyers are forced to twiddle their thumbs, those who are awaiting justice are suffering no end.’
Nayan Paridhi – a student in his final year of a law degree – told the newspaper that a crisis is building towards breaking point. There are already 15,000 cases pending before the apex court.
‘If the trend continues, courts will be piled up with files, and in the absence of judges in sufficient numbers, there will be no hearing. What will happen to those who are in the profession of law?’ asked Mr Paridhi.
The report states there are some 8,000 practising lawyers in the Kathmandu Valley and around 5,000 in the surrounding countryside, while hundreds of students graduate from law colleges every year, hoping to build legal profession careers.
Harikrishna Karki, the newly elected president of the Nepal Bar Association, said the longer the apex court remains without adequate number of judges, the more unjust it will be for the common people.
Supreme Court spokesperson Shreekanta Paudel said the court administration has started discussing the crisis seriously.