Do we know each other
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Do we know each other?. John Varghese Assistant Professor in Law Government Law College, Kozhikode. Agenda. Who are lawyers?. What is the relationship between law and medicine?. How can we Sync?. Role of lawyer in Society.

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Do we know each other?

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Do we know each other

Do we know each other?

John Varghese

Assistant Professor in Law

Government Law College, Kozhikode

Do we know each other


Who are lawyers?

What is the relationship between law and medicine?

How can we Sync?

Role of lawyer in society

Role of lawyer in Society

Doctors visit the workplace of lawyers in any of the three different capacities

Doctors visit the workplace of lawyers in any of the three different capacities:

  • As a witness- when doctors are called in as expert witnesses to testify before courts

  • As a defendant or accused- when doctors are sued in courts for negligence or criminal offences committed by them.

  • As a complainant or plaintiff-when they are being wronged against- this also comes often because doctors have money and thieves target doctors as a bounty!

Lawyer visit doctors as patients only!

Basic idea about legal process

Basic Idea about Legal Process

  • Any legal process has four stages:

    • Collection of facts or data(Investigation)

      • Collection of data in a criminal case is done by police for prosecution and the accused for himself and in civil cases it is done by the parties themselves.

    • Presentation of this facts before appropriate forum(Trial)

      • Trial is the process where the collected data is presented to the court- Done by a lawyer who is trained to present the data properly

    • Adjudication of the dispute(Judgement)

      • Adjudication is the process where the court analyses the data and comes to a decision.

    • Execution of the judgment.(Execution)

      • Execution is the process where the fruits of litigation actually reaches the winner.

Role of lawyer is perceived by many as a necessary evil


  • The legal profession was abolished in Prussia in 1780 and in France in 1789.

  •  The Devil's Dictionary (1911) defined lawyer as "LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.“

Many persons who charted the course of modern indian history were lawyers

Many persons who charted the course of modern Indian history were lawyers…..

Sardar Patel

Dr B R Ambedkar

Mahatma Gandhi

…and most other leaders of Indian struggle for independence, were lawyers…

Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Jawaharlal Nehru

Many other lawyers altered the course of world history

Many other lawyers altered the course of world history……

Karl Marx(law student)

Abraham Lincon

Nelson Mandela

V I Lenin

Fidel Castro (law Student)

Thomas Jefferson

Franz Kafka

Barrack Obama

Lawyer in society

Lawyer in Society

  • Role of a lawyer varies from society to society

US Lawyer

English Queens Counsel

Australian lawyer

Indian lawyer

Even their dress varies…..

A lawyer is

A lawyer is:

  • A representative in Courts & Tribunals

  • A researcher and drafter of legal documents

  • Client manager and counsel

  • Provider of legal advice

  • Administrative process manager, eg Intellectual Property management

  • Contracts Manager- Drafting, negotiating and managing contracts including property transactions(drafting and conveyance)

  • Administrator or Executor: Carrying out the intent of the deceased.

  • Prosecutor of criminal suspects

Role of lawyers

Role of lawyers

  • Lawyers bring law to non lawyers by advising clients and by drafting documents to serve the clients’ interests within legal constraints.

  • Lawyers make the system of justice work-The lawyer plays a crucial role in operating the system of justice, by shepherding cases through the system.

  • Lawyers play an important role in law making as well.-Apart from acting as legislators, arguments made by lawyers when adopted by judges, especially in Constitutional matters becomes law of the land.

  • Lawyers are the guardians of the rule of law. (the ideal that all people stand equally before the law and neither expect nor receive special treatment from it).

A lawyer to a client a doctor to a patient

A lawyer to a client = A doctor to a patient

  • A lawyer is a Solution Provider

  • A lawyer designs, plans and executes legal strategies

  • A lawyer treats legal wounds

Relation between law and medicine

Relation between law and Medicine

Part II

Where do we sync

Where do we sync?

  • Core theme of both law and medicine is public welfare.

  • Role of doctors and lawyers in the society is to keep the society sound .

  • Practice of both these professions depends a lot on personal judgment of the professional.

  • Medicine and law are both are mistaken by those who do not know about these professions- medicine as a science and law as an art, where both these professions are a combination of science and arts.

Law has a number of specializations super specialisations

Law has a number of Specializations & Super Specialisations

  • Constitutional Law

  • International Law

  • Criminal Law

  • Civil law

    • Consumer Law

    • Family law

    • Corporate Law

    • Intellectual Property Law

    • Maritime Law

    • Financial Law

    • Commercial Arbitration-National and International

    • Electricity Law

    • Infra Structure Law

    • Space Law etc……………………

Areas of law where medicine and its knowledge is important

Areas of law where Medicine and its Knowledge is important:

  • Criminal law

  • Consumer Protection Law

  • Medical negligence law

  • Medical ethics-Euthanasia, MTP etc.

  • Some part of law of insurance-Health Insurance

Lawyers working in these areas only need to study basics of medicine so that they can handle matters coming to them successfully.

Basic science knowledge would be sufficient for the others

Where do we differ

Where do we differ?

  • The central theme of medicine is public health- which is definite. Every practitioner is sure of what public health is.

  • Central theme of law is public justice- which varies according to circumstances and philosophies.-Every practitioner has his own notion of justice

Amartya sen s story of 3 children

AmartyaSen’s Story of 3 children

Once there were three gifted children..Anne, Bob and Cate…and there was a flute.

Anne says of the three, only she knows how to play the flute, which Bob and Cate doesn’t dispute

Cate says she is poor and she has no other toy than this flute, which Anne and Bob doesn’t dispute

Bob says he made flute, which Anne and Cate doesn’t dispute

If all these 3 children are fighting for the only available flute- Justice will be served when which of these children gets the flute?

How can doctors and lawyers sync

How can Doctors and Lawyers Sync?

Part III

We need to understand each other

  • Doctors need to also understand the application of law depends on the judge’s philosophy who is an interlocutor between two parties, where as in the application of medicine, there is no such third party.

Doctors need to understand that basic nature of law is adversarial & the core theme of law is a variable called justice which varies according to individual philosophy of lawyers and judges.

We need to understand each other

Lawyers need to understand that medicineis not only a science but also an Art –the Art of healing where individual judgment of the Doctor which is a variable impacts the decision making process.

There are some initiatives already

There are some initiatives already..

but we need much more at the ground level….

  • Existing Initiatives: India

  • Bar Council Legal Education Rules 2008 has made Health law and Forensic Science as optional subjects.

  • The Institute of Law & Ethics in Medicine (TILEM), NLSIU, Bangalore-research, CLE Workshops, Journal- Health Care: Policy, Law and Ethics

  • Institute of Medicine and Law, Mumbai -Runs courses for law professionals and doctors,Also publishes a law report called Medical Law Cases for Doctors

  • International Initiatives:

    • The Medical Law Review, Oxford University Press

    • Medical Law International, Sage Publications

    • Medicine and Law Journal- World Association of Medical Law, Ghent Unversity, Belgium

How can we understand each other better

How can we understand each other better?

  • BCI has introduced Health law and forensic science as optional subjects for Integrated LLB Course- Problem- Lack of /identification of qualified faculty in law colleges

  • By conducting contact programmes –like the present one & also at educational institution level.

  • By arranging academic internship in law and Medical colleges

  • By introducing seminar/diploma courses for law students in subjects like medical law, forensic science, and medical ethics.

  • By establishing IMA chairs in law colleges-where research on medico-legal issues can be taken up- short term courses for lawyers and doctors can be conducted by these chairs.

  • By setting up a proper mechanism for training and certifying specialist lawyers, judges and doctors on medico legal issues-all persons involved in such matters are aware and sensitive of each other and the process

  • Instead of focusing on National Law Schools and Universities, education and training should be focused on mass educational institutions.

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