Not, in itself, a startling headline.. but in addressing the Law Society of England and Wales on the theme of ‘Lawyers’ independence, the Rule of Law and national security – striking the balance’, I wonder if President Mary McAleese thought at all about her role, among many others, in ensuring that legal professionals and the courts are able to help to safeguard public confidence here. And I wonder if anyone in the audience thought to mention that ‘good’ UDA or, indeed, Jackie MacDonald, and whether the right balance was being struck here. Didn’t think so.. Adds see belowFrom the PA report on the UTV website
Ms McAleese said legal professionals had the choice to be courageous champions of a rule of law and stand in the role of vindicator, judge or advocate for the despised, or simply be operators of whatever the system decides, like the death camp soldiers.
She added that both they and the courts had to help safeguard public confidence.
Ms McAleese, a trained barrister, was speaking out at the conference, Lawyers Independence: The Rule Of Law And National Security – Striking The Balance, in London.
She said some lawyers have paid a cruel personal price for maintaining their independence and for insisting that respect for even the most calumnified defendant`s human and civil rights is a signature value, while terrorism does exactly the opposite.
“Terrorists value their own cause so highly that the rights and suffering of the individual are of no emotional or moral consequence to them except as a means to their own ends,” she said.
“We are rightly aghast at their easy contempt for the men, women and children from whom they so cruelly take life, health and peace of mind.”
Added Oh, and RTÉ reports that the President is – ‘persistently optimistic’ that the Northern Ireland parties will be able to reach a deal on the restoration of the Stormont Assembly by the November deadline.
“I have every hope that come November we are going to see the sea change that so many of us have been hoping and waiting for. I am very, very hopeful.”