( By: Advocate Ch. Abdur Rahman Nasir)
Trade is the action of buying and selling goods and services, to merchandize or exchange of goods by goods, money or services in a commercial transaction, to buy and sell the goods or services is called Trade. Trade or commerce, involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. A network that allows trade is called a market. Commercial transaction involving the sale and purchase of a good”, service, or information is called Trade. The World Trade Organization, which came into existence as a result of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations on 1 January 1995 is main Institution to deal with and regulate the International Trade.
The International Bar Association (IBA) has created a database of information about the regulation of trade in legal services. It is undeniable in legal parlance that the Lawyers/Advocates trade in Legal Services, as they provide legal services to the individuals, companies and Government Institutions in lieu of specific professional fee. Hence, they trade in services. As per established definition of Trade, “it is the action of buying and selling goods and services, to merchandize or exchange of goods by goods, money or services in a commercial transaction, to buy and sell the goods or services is called Trade”. The legal services provided by the Lawyers does include in the Trade, so it is called Trade in Legal Services, which is recognized world-widely.
In this context Lawyers do trade in services that are legal services, which trade is called Trade in Legal Services, hence the Lawyers also fall in the category of Traders dealing in services of legal field.
In the present situation of pandemic Corona Virus, the Government of Pakistan is lenient and compensating the traders and small traders but is totally ignoring the Lawyers community as a whole who are also suffering a lot in this lock-down and stay at home policy of the Government of Pakistan, which is not only a kind of injustice to the Lawyers rather it is developing sense of deprivation, discrimination and step mother treatment to legal fraternity, who have no regular income or sources except daily earnings through professional activity.
It is earnestly desirable in this pinching state of affairs, that Government of Pakistan, must consider the Lawyers and announce comprehensive relief package to the Lawyers of Pakistan promptly, to treat them as equal citizens and advancing the cause of justice in the society. Every Lawyer is to be exempted from payment of utility bills of their houses and offices for at least four (4) months or till the present situation is not restored to its normalization, the lawyers residing on rent must be paid their house rents in addition to sufficient cash package for their food and other daily requirements of themselves and of their families and interest free loans must be granted to the Lawyers refundable on nominal easy installments after passing the crises. The Government of Pakistan have been granted funds by the foreign donors, like World Bank, Asian development Bank etc. specially for dealing the pandemic situation, in addition to Government’s own earnings through direct and indirect taxation, levies, duties and price-hike.
(The Author of this short Article is a practicing Lawyer Advocate Ch. Abdur Rahman Nasir, Islamabad, Pakistan, Chairman, Organization for Peace, Justice and Education (PJEON)® and a Candidate for Member, Islamabad Bar Council).