NCBA Group PLC (NCBA.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2016 interim results for the first quarter.For more information about NCBA Group PLC (NCBA.ke) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the NCBA Group PLC (NCBA.ke) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: NCBA Group PLC (NCBA.ke) 2016 interim results for the first quarter.Company ProfileNCBA Group Plc is a financial services institution in Kenya offering banking products and services for the retail, commercial and corporate sectors. It also offers stock brokerage, bancassurance, leasing and investment banking services through operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Its full-service offering ranges from transactional banking products and services to unsecured and secured loans, secured diaspora loans, property purchase loans and insurance premium financing as well as asset-based lending, capital expenditure loans and construction loans. NIC Bank Limited offers institutional banking services to non-government organisations, diplomatic missions and their affiliate donor/aid entities as well as government institutions, multi-nationals, domestic corporates and medium- to high-net worth individuals. Formerly known as NIC Bank Limited, the company changed its name to NIC Group Plc in 2017. Its head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. NCBA Group Plc is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange
[March 31, 2020] A word to the Church regarding the theology of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:March 31, 2020John Donne, Priest, 1631Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,We find ourselves in the strange position of fasting from physical gathering for worship of almighty God, not out of sloth or disobedience, but in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, for whom the primacy of love for God and neighbor is the way of life. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, refraining from physically gathering together to hear God’s holy word and receiving the sacrament of holy communion is itself an act of love for God and our neighbor.As one of our spiritual ancestors once cried, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137). How shall we sing the Lord’s song in this alien and strange land of COVID-19? How shall we conduct the public worship of Almighty God? How shall we provide pastoral ministrations to people who are sick, dying, and any in need? How shall we baptize? Ordain? How? I thank God for the bishops, priests, deacons, and the whole people of God who have been faithfully seeking ways to sing the Lord’s song in ways that truly worship God and simultaneously help to heal and protect human life.It is my conviction that the Anglican way of following Jesus has deep within it a way and habit of worship and liturgy that is of significant help to us in this moment. It may well be that the breadth and depth of the Anglican way of common prayer can come to our aid now, when for the sake of others, we abstain from physical, public gathering to hear God’s Word and to receive the Sacrament.With this in mind I convened a group to help me compose a theological reflection on how this Anglican way gives guidance in this moment. I hope this will be a framework, a theological context, or a signpost pointing in the direction of some of the wisdom of the Anglican way of common prayer. This is not in any sense a set of guidelines, directives, or mandates. I commend this work to you.O God, our help in ages past,Our hope for years to come,Be thou our guide while life shall last,And our eternal home.God love you. God bless you.Keep the faith,+MichaelThe Most Reverend Michael B. CurryPresiding Bishop and PrimateThe Episcopal ChurchAn Offering of Reflection by Presiding Bishop Michael CurryOn Our Theology of Worship: Questions in the Time of COVID-19Across The Episcopal Church the current Pandemic has given rise to many questions about challenges to our liturgical life. Bishops are being asked, “May we do this or that? Will you permit this or that way of celebrating the Eucharist or delivering Holy Communion to the members of our congregations?” Some years ago in an essay titled “Is There a Christian Sexual Ethic?” Rowan Williams observed that in the then current debates about marriage rites for same sex couples, this “permissible/not permissible” way of conducting the conversation was a dead end. The real (and much more productive) question for a sacramental people, he said, was not simply whether a given practice was “right or wrong,” but rather “How much are we prepared for this or that liturgical action to mean?” How much are we prepared for it to signify? Sacraments effect by signifying.Sacraments are actions that give new meaning to things. The current questions about the way we worship in a time of radical physical distancing invites the question of what we are prepared for a given sacramental encounter to mean. Sacraments are communal actions that depend on “stuff”: bread and wine, water and oil. They depend on gathering and giving thanks, on proclaiming and receiving the stories of salvation, on bathing in water, on eating and drinking together. These are physical and social realities that are not duplicatable in the virtual world. Gazing at a celebration of the Eucharist is one thing; participating in a physical gathering and sharing the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist is another. And, God, of course, can be present in both experiences.And that is surely the most important thing to remember. From the time of Thomas Cranmer, mainstream Anglicanism has insisted that the Holy Eucharist is to be celebrated in community, with no fewer than two people. In contrast to some medieval practices, the Prayer Book tradition was deeply concerned with reestablishing the essential connection between the celebration of the Eucharist and the reception of Holy Communion. Over time, of course, many factors contributed to a general decline in the celebration of the Eucharist well into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Morning Prayer became the common service of worship on the Lord’s Day. And while it is good and right that the situation has changed dramatically, that the Holy Eucharist has again become the principal act of worship on Sunday across our church, few would suggest that the experience of Morning Prayer somehow limited God’s presence and love to generations of Anglican Christians. There are members of our church today who do not enjoy a regular sustained celebration of the Eucharist for a variety of reasons other than this Pandemic — they are no less members of Christ’s Body because of it.Practices such as “drive-by communion” present public health concerns and further distort the essential link between a communal celebration and the culmination of that celebration in the reception of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. This is not to say that the presence of the Dying and Rising Christ cannot be received by any of these means. It is to say that from a human perspective, the full meaning of the Eucharist is not obviously signified by them. Our theology is generous in its assurance of Christ’s presence in all our times of need. In a rubric in the service for Ministration to the Sick (p. 457), The Book of Common Prayer clearly expresses the conviction that even if a person is prevented from physically receiving the Sacrament for reasons of extreme illness or disability, the desire for Christ’s presence alone is enough for all the benefits of the Sacrament to be received.Richard Hooker described the corporate prayer of Christians as having a spiritual significance far greater than the sum of the individual prayers of the individual members of the body. Through corporate prayer, he said, Christians participate in communion with Christ himself, “joined … to that visible, mystical body which is his Church.” Hooker did not have in mind just the Eucharist, which might have taken place only quarterly or, at best, monthly in his day. He had very much in mind the assembly of faithful Christians gathered for the Daily Office.While not exclusively the case, online worship may be better suited to ways of praying represented by the forms of the Daily Office than by the physical and material dimensions required by the Eucharist. And under our present circumstances, in making greater use of the Office there may be an opportunity to recover aspects of our tradition that point to the sacramentality of the scriptures, the efficacy of prayer itself, the holiness of the household as the “domestic church,” and the reassurance that the baptized are already and forever marked as Christ’s own. We are living limbs and members of the Body of Christ, wherever and however we gather. The questions being posed to Bishops around these matters are invitations to a deeper engagement with what we mean by the word “sacrament” and how much we are prepared for the Church itself — with or without our accustomed celebrations of the Eucharist — to signify about the presence of God with us.[31 de marzo de 2020] Una palabra a la Iglesia, sobre la teología del culto durante la pandemia del COVID-19, de parte del Obispo Primado de la Iglesia Episcopal:31 de marzo de 2020John Donne, sacerdote, 1631Estimados amigos en Cristo Jesús,Nos encontramos en la extraña posición de prescindir de la reunión física para adorar a Dios todopoderoso, no por pereza o por desobediencia, sino en obediencia al Señor Jesucristo, para quien la primacía del amor a Dios y al prójimo es el estilo de vida. En el contexto de la pandemia del coronavirus, prescindir de reunirse físicamente para escuchar la santa palabra de Dios y recibir el sacramento de la Santa Comunión es en sí mismo un acto de amor a Dios y a nuestro prójimo.Como uno de nuestros antepasados espirituales clamó una vez: “¿Cómo cantar las canciones del Señor en una tierra extraña?” (Salmo 137). ¿Cómo cantaremos las canciones del Señor en esta tierra extraña y hostil del COVID-19? ¿Cómo celebraremos el culto público del Dios Todopoderoso? ¿Cómo proporcionaremos ministraciones pastorales a las personas enfermas, moribundas y necesitadas? ¿Cómo vamos a bautizar? ¿A ordenar? ¿Cómo? Le doy gracias a Dios por los obispos, sacerdotes, diáconos y todo el pueblo de Dios que han estado buscando formas de cantar fielmente las canciones del Señor, de manera que en verdad adoren a Dios y, al mismo tiempo, ayuden a sanar y proteger la vida humana.Tengo la convicción de que la manera anglicana de seguir a Jesús contiene en su interior una forma y hábito de adoración y de liturgia que es de gran ayuda para nosotros en este momento. Bien puede ser que la amplitud y profundidad de la forma anglicana de oración común pueda ayudarnos ahora, cuando, por el bien de los demás, nos abstenemos de la reunión pública y presencial para escuchar la Palabra de Dios y recibir el Sacramento.Con esto en mente, convoqué a un grupo para ayudarme a componer una reflexión teológica sobre cómo esta forma anglicana brinda orientación en este momento. Espero que esto sea un marco, un contexto teológico o una señal que apunte en dirección a algo de la sabiduría de la forma anglicana de oración común. Esto no es en modo alguno un conjunto de pautas, directrices o mandatos. Les encomiendo esta labor.Dios, nuestro apoyo en los pasados siglosNuestra esperanza en años venideros,Sé tú nuestra defensa en esta vidaY nuestro hogar eterno.Dios les ama. Dios les bendiga.Guarden la fe,+MichaelEl Reverendísimo Michael B. CurryObispo Presidente y PrimadoLa Iglesia EpiscopalUna ofrenda de reflexión del Obispo Presidente Michael CurrySobre nuestra teología del culto: preguntas en tiempos del COVID-19A través de la Iglesia Episcopal, la pandemia actual ha dado lugar a muchas interrogantes sobre los retos que la misma le impone a nuestra vida litúrgica. A los obispos se les pregunta: “¿Podemos hacer esto o aquello? ¿Permitirán esta o aquella forma de celebrar la Eucaristía o de impartir la Santa Comunión a los miembros de nuestras congregaciones?”. Hace algunos años, en un ensayo titulado “¿Existe una ética sexual cristiana?”, Rowan Williams observó que en los debates que entonces tenían lugar sobre los ritos matrimoniales para parejas del mismo sexo, esta manera de plantear el diálogo entre “lo permisible y lo no permisible” resultaba un callejón sin salida. La verdadera interrogante (y mucho más productiva) para un pueblo sacramental, decía él, no era simplemente si una práctica dada era “correcta o errónea”, sino más bien “¿Cuánto estamos preparados para que esta o aquella acción litúrgica tenga sentido?” ¿Cuánto estamos preparados para que tenga significado? Los sacramentos surten efecto por lo que significan.Los sacramentos son acciones que dan un nuevo significado a las cosas. Las preguntas actuales acerca de la forma en que adoramos en un momento de distanciamiento físico radical invita a la pregunta de cuán preparados estamos para un determinado encuentro sacramental que tenga significado. Los sacramentos son acciones comunitarias que dependen de “cosas materiales”: pan y vino, agua y aceite. Dependen de reunirse y dar gracias, de proclamar y recibir las historias de la salvación, del baño lustral, de comer y beber juntos. Estas son realidades físicas y sociales que no son duplicables en el mundo virtual. Contemplar una celebración de la Eucaristía es una cosa; participar en una reunión presencial y compartir el pan y el vino de la Eucaristía es otra. Y, por supuesto, Dios puede estar presente en ambas experiencias.Y eso es seguramente lo más importante de recordar. Desde la época de Thomas Cranmer, el anglicanismo predominante ha insistido en que la Sagrada Eucaristía se celebre en comunidad, con no menos de dos personas. En contraste con algunas prácticas medievales, la tradición del Libro de Oración estaba profundamente interesada en restablecer la conexión esencial entre la celebración de la Eucaristía y la recepción de la Santa Comunión. Con el tiempo, por supuesto, muchos factores contribuyeron a un descenso general en la celebración de la Eucaristía hasta fines del siglo XIX y principios del XX, y la Oración Matutina se convirtió en el oficio común del culto en el Día del Señor. Y aunque es bueno y correcto que la situación haya cambiado drásticamente y que la Santa Eucaristía haya vuelto a ser el principal acto de culto dominical en toda nuestra Iglesia, pocos sugerirían que la experiencia de la Oración Matutina de alguna manera limitó la presencia y el amor de Dios a generaciones de cristianos anglicanos. Hay miembros de nuestra iglesia en la actualidad que no disfrutan de una sostenida y regular celebración eucarística por una variedad de razones amén de esta pandemia: no son menos miembros del Cuerpo de Cristo por ello.Prácticas como “llevar la comunión” presentan problemas de salud pública y distorsionan aún más el vínculo esencial entre una celebración comunitaria y la culminación de esa celebración en la recepción del pan y el vino eucarísticos. No quiere esto decir que la presencia del Cristo que muere y resucita no pueda recibirse por cualquiera de estos medios. Quiere decir que, desde una perspectiva humana, el pleno significado de la Eucaristía no se manifiesta obviamente en ellos. Nuestra teología es generosa al afirmar la presencia de Cristo en todos nuestros tiempos de necesidad. En una rúbrica en el servicio de Ministración a los Enfermos (p. 379), el Libro de Oración Común expresa claramente la convicción de que incluso si alguna persona no puede recibir físicamente el Sacramento por razones de extrema enfermedad o discapacidad, el solo deseo de la presencia de Cristo es suficiente para recibir todos los beneficios del Sacramento.Richard Hooker afirmó que la oración comunitaria de los cristianos tiene una significación espiritual mucho mayor que la suma de las oraciones individuales de los miembros del Cuerpo [de Cristo]. A través de la oración colectiva, dijo, los cristianos participan en la comunión con Cristo mismo, “unidos … a ese cuerpo visible y místico que es su Iglesia”. Hooker no tenía en mente solo la Eucaristía, que, en su tiempo, podría haber tenido lugar trimestralmente o, en el mejor de los casos, una vez al mes. Tenía muy presente la asamblea de fieles cristianos reunidos para el Oficio Diario.Aunque no sea exclusivamente el caso, el culto virtual puede adecuarse más a los tipos de oración representados por las formas del Oficio Diario que por las dimensiones físicas y materiales que exige la Eucaristía. Y en nuestras circunstancias actuales, al hacer un mayor uso de este oficio, puede haber una oportunidad para recuperar aspectos de nuestra tradición que apuntan a la sacramentalidad de las Escrituras, la eficacia de la oración en sí, la santidad del hogar como la “iglesia doméstica” y la seguridad de que los bautizados ya están marcados para siempre como propiedad de Cristo. Somos miembros vivos del Cuerpo de Cristo, donde sea y como sea que nos reunamos. Las preguntas que les hacen a los obispos sobre estos asuntos son invitaciones a un compromiso más profundo con lo que queremos decir con la palabra “sacramento” y cuánto estamos preparados para que la Iglesia misma —con o sin nuestras habituales celebraciones de la Eucaristía— signifique respecto a la presencia de Dios con nosotros. Rector Washington, DC Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Bath, NC Episcopal Church Office of Public AffairsPosted Apr 1, 2020 Featured Events Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Health & Healthcare, Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Smithfield, NC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Albany, NY Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Knoxville, TN This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Martinsville, VA Submit a Press Release Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Belleville, IL Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Jobs & Calls A Word to the Church on Our Theology of Worship from the Presiding Bishop Rector Tampa, FL Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ COVID-19, Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Director of Music Morristown, NJ Youth Minister Lorton, VA Back to Press Releases Tags Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Collierville, TN The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Press Release Service Course Director Jerusalem, Israel TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Job Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ
United States Save this picture!+ 14 Share “COPY” Text description provided by the architects. This 6,000 square foot vacation home is located in the high desert of central Idaho. A 5-Bedroom house with a loft-like living space, it provides a sophisticated and relaxing year-round retreat for its New York City owners. Save this picture!Recommended ProductsPorcelain StonewareApavisaBetonPorcelain StonewareGrespaniaPorcelain Tiles – 20MMCoffee tablesBoConceptMadrid Coffee Table AD19Aluminum fenestration throughout the fir-sided, steel-framed and poured-in-place concrete structure carefully frames the picturesque and dramatic landscape of Sun Valley. Save this picture!The interior furnishings and architectural form of the structure are expressed in a unified luminous palette of materials that provide a harmonious environment for living. The man-made form maintains a strong presence in the rugged landscape, while the warmth of the interior materials link the house back to the natural environment.Save this picture!Project gallerySee allShow lessTwo competitions in Chicago announcedArticlesAD Round Up: Hotels Part IIArticles Share 2005 ArchDaily Spur Lane House / SPG ArchitectsSave this projectSaveSpur Lane House / SPG Architects ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/32246/spur-lane-house-spg-architects Clipboard CopyAbout this officeSPG ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductsWoodSteelConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesKetchumWoodHousesUnited StatesPublished on August 22, 2009Cite: “Spur Lane House / SPG Architects” 22 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021.
Scotland’s Digital Xtra Fund has become the country’s first charity dedicated to supporting digital skills initiatives for young people aged 16 and under.The Digital Xtra Fund, which works to encourage under 16s in Scotland to develop their digital skills through extracurricular activities, has so far distributed £400,000 to organisations delivering extracurricular activities and has an expected reach of 15,000 young people, across every local authority area in Scotland.Last month, it received official charitable status from Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, announced by Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, at Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together 2017.A key objective of the charity is to promote gender balance by encouraging more girls to engage in digital and consider STEM subjects while in school. Objectives also include building stronger links between young people and Scotland’s tech industry, promoting the range of pathways into the tech sector, and targeting underrepresented groups.It is asking Scotland’s tech industry for donations, sponsorships and offers of in kind support to help it deliver its objectives, with BT Scotland and Be Positive two of the first industry contributors.Funding for Digital Xtra Fund is provided by partners of the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, which include the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, Education Scotland, ScotlandIS, and industry representatives.Minister Somerville said:“The Digital Xtra Fund highlights the Scottish Government’s determination to close the digital skills gap faced by all sectors across the economy but also brings together a range of exciting digital opportunities for young people in one easily accessible place and does so in a new and innovative way. Investment in the digital skills of our young people is crucial to Scotland’s future.”Image: project currently funded by Digital Xtra Fund Advertisement About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. 58 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis14 Digital Xtra Fund becomes Scotland’s first dedicated digital skills charity for young people AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis14 Melanie May | 3 April 2017 | News Tagged with: Digital Funding Scotland 57 total views, 1 views today
Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown May 27, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information to go further Organisation December 23, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Local paper ordered to vacate office for fire code violation BelarusEurope – Central Asia News Follow the news on Belarus RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” RSF_en Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the way the Belarusian authorities harass outspoken news outlets using regulations unrelated to media legislation to disguise their real goal.In what seems to be the latest example, officials in the western city of Slonim ordered the staff of the independent weekly Gazeta Slonimskaya to vacate their offices by 1 January on the grounds that the building violates the fire code.“Although apparently linked to security issues, Gazeta Slonimskaya’s eviction from its offices is very suspicious,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Belarus is a country where independent media are constantly persecuted. We fear that this order is a veiled attempt to suppress one of the few local newspapers with a reputation for independent views. We urge the Belarusian authorities to act transparently and to respect freedom of information.”Editor Viktar Vladashchuk regards the eviction as just the latest of many government manoeuvres aimed at silencing outspoken media. Gazeta Slonimskaya has operated out of a two-room office rented from Partner Slonim, a private company, since 2008. Even if Vladashchuk sounds confident about the newspaper’s future, he says it must quickly find new premises to avoid any break in publication.“I know the local administration repeatedly tried to convince the owner to evict us, but he always refused,” Vladashchuk said. “In October, the authorities sent firemen to check the place. After a long inspection ending in November, they gave orders to evacuate the entire second floor (where the newspaper has its office).”A Partner Slonim representative confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that the fire department has banned the company from renting out the second floor on the grounds that it does not comply with fire regulations, but he said the order affected all of the second floor’s tenants, not just Gazeta Slonimskaya.Vladashchuk said the authorities have regarded Gazeta Slonimskaya as an opposition newspaper ever since its launch in 1997.“We have always done our job (…) writing about ordinary Belarusian citizens, about the average Slonim inhabitant,” he said. “Ever since our first issue, the authorities have shown their displeasure with our coverage.” News June 2, 2021 Find out more BelarusEurope – Central Asia News May 28, 2021 Find out more News “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says Receive email alerts
Receive email alerts News August 10, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ortiz Franco’s killers said to be still at large May 13, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say MexicoAmericas Organisation MexicoAmericas News Follow the news on Mexico Jesús Blancornelas, the editor of the weekly Zeta, has challenged claims that Ray del Billar, an alleged drug trafficker arrested on 4 August in Tijuana, is the person who murdered journalist Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco. In an article yesterday in the daily newspaper Crónica, Blancornelas said this has been confirmed to him by deputy prosecutor general José Santiago Vasconcelos.Del Billar is just a “hoodlum of no importance” who had no role in Ortiz Franco’s murder, Blancornelas said. The person who killed the journalist would have shot the policemen chasing him rather than let himself he arrested, he said, adding that he believed Ortiz Franco was murdered by an individual known as Lazcano, who belongs to the Zetas, a group of former policemen and soldiers turned mercenaries._____________________________________________________05.08.05 – Detained Tijuana cartel member admits to murder of Francisco Ortiz FrancoReporters Without Borders today welcomed the arrest yesterday of Tijuana drug cartel member Ray del Billar, who has reportedly confessed to participating in the June 2004 murder of journalist Francisco Ortiz Franco. The organisation said it would continue to follow the case and called for an exemplary trial and sentence.Del Billar was arrested in Tijuana along with seven other traffickers as they were returning home from a downtown discotheque in a Cadillac with Californian licence plates. They were spotted by the Baja California police coordination group, operating under the “Safe Mexico” programme set up by the government in June to combat a wave of violence in the north of the country. The Cadillac tried to get away, resulting in a car chase that ended with their arrest.Aged 23 and known as “El Rey,” Del Billar is said to have admitted to participating in the murder of Ortiz, which was carried out by a Tijuana cartel section led by Arturo “El Nalgón” Villarreal Heredia to which Del Billar belonged at the time. Federal investigators, who handle all organised crime cases, had been after them since August 2004. The cartel’s overall leaders are the Arellano Félix brothers.An editorialist with the weekly Zeta known for writing about corruption and drug trafficking, Ortiz was murdered in the presence of his two children as he was returning home on 22 June 2004.________________________________________________________24.08.05 – Ortiz Franco murder investigation handed over to federal authoritiesThe Arellano Félix brothers drug cartel was behind the murder of journalist Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco, an 18 August 2004 press conference was told by deputy prosecutor-general for the republic, José Luis Vasconcelos, and prosecutor-general for Lower California, Antonia Martínez Luna. They said that the case had as a result been handed over to Mexican federal judicial authorities, which handle cases involving organised crime.Two months after the journalist’s death, the local prosecutor’s office had not come up with a suspect. On 22 July the weekly Zeta drew up its own list of those it suspected of “arranging or ordering the murder of Ortíz Franco”, pointing the finger in particular at Jorge Hank Rhon, elected mayor of Tijuana on 1 August 2004. José Luis Vasconcelos said that although the drug-trafficking lead was being given priority, the mayor remained a suspect.—————————————————————–20.07.2004- Zeta names suspects in Ortíz Franco murderThe weekly newspaper Zeta has named five men suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Francisco Javier Ortíz Franco in Tijuana on 22 June. Presenting the result of an investigation in its 22 July issue, it said three men were thought to have organised or ordered the killing – Jorge Hank Rhon, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate for mayor of the city, and two members of the Arellano Félix brothers’ drug cartel, Arturo (“El Nalgón”) Villareal and Eduardo (“El Niño”) Ronquillo. It said three people were believed to have carried out the murder – Ronquillo, Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano, of the Los Zetas gang, and Armando Gálvez Flores, a member of the Barrio Logan gang. Zeta said two of the journalist’s apparent sources – David Valle and José Encinas Filatoff, a former Tijuana policeman – had given him damaging information about local drug lords. The Baja California state prosecutor’s office was also looking into possible police involvement in the murder. Zeta editor Jésus Blancornelas said there were still agents of the Arellano Félix cartel and other gangs inside the city police force. ——————————————————————15.07.2004 – New leads in the Ortíz Franco murder investigationThe Lower California State prosecutor’s office is investigating the possible implication of drug-trafficker Carlos Ignacio Acosta Ibarra alias “Big Boy”, arrested on 12 July, in the murder of Francisco Javier Ortíz Franco, who was killed in Tijuana on 22 June. He is considered one of the key figures in Arenallo Felix brothers’ cartel. His arrest could provide a new lead on the murder. The authorities said that two years ago he deserted his job as police official. Since then he protected the activities of Efrain Perez Pasuengo alias “El Efra”, henchman for the Arenallo Félix brothers, now in prison. He was one of the confidantes of Mario Alberto Rivera Lopez alias “El Cris”, leader of the cartel’s hit squad, who was arrested with seven accomplices on 24 June. The prosecutor’s office has not however ruled out any of the earlier leads.——————————————————————-05.07.2004 – Zeta management points finger at suspect in Ortíz Franco murder Editor of Zeta, Jésus Blancornelas, pointed the finger at the man he views as chief suspect in the murder of Francisco Javier Ortíz Franco, in an article in Mexican daily Crónica on 2 July. Ortíz Franco was killed on 22 June in Tijuana, Lower California State. Blancornelas named him as Lazcano, a member of the “Zetas” group of former police and soldiers who turned themselves into mercenaries. Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, leader of the Gulf cartel, who is currently in jail, created the group in the 1990s.The suspect had probably arrived in Tijuana with two accomplices at the beginning of the year, he said.The leads followed by Zeta since the beginning coincide with those currently being followed by the Lower California prosecutor’s office. Mario Alberto Rivera Lopez, chief of a hit squad run by the Arellano Félix brothers drug cartel, arrested on 24 June with seven accomplices, was dropped as a suspect on 29 June. In its 25 June edition, Zeta named three suspect groups. These were: The “Zetas”, believed acting for Guillén; the Barrio Logan gang, linked to the Arellano Felix brothers and Jorge Hank Rhon, a politician of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). One of Rhon’s bodyguards was implicated in the 1988 death of journalist Héctor Felix Miranda, which Ortíz Franco had been investigating. The journalist was a member of a commission set up by the government and the Inter American Press Society (SIP) to re-launch an investigation into Félix Miranda’s murder. In his 2 July article, Blancornelas said he believed the murderers “received an order to kill (Ortíz Franco) and were paid for doing it. No-one yet knows who gave the orders,” he said. He added that there was no confirmation of the fact that the killers acted under the orders of Guillén or the Arellano Felix brothers.”As for the motive, according to Blancornelas, Ortíz Franco was preparing to make fresh revelations about drug-traffickers. One of his informers had apparently given him new information so compromising that a gang decided to silence him.He contended that “the Arellano brothers knew who the murderer was.” He was also convinced that the Lower California prosecutor’s office knew who was behind the killing. He believed the suspect and his accomplices had fled and were in hiding.The Zeta editor said the naming of a special judge and the handling of the case by the specialised united against organised crime (UECO), a week after the murder, had slowed down the investigation. On 29 June, the Lower California prosecutor’s office named Alonso Méndez, a member of UECO, as the judge handling the investigation. It also announced that the American FBI would have a role. In an unprecedented step a reward was offered of one million pesos (71,500 euros) for information on the case and a telephone line made available for information to be given anonymously. “Very few people will take the risk of giving information for a million pesos, knowing that they would be in danger of being killed in their turn,” said Blancornelas.Since the murder, two Tijuana media have been threatened. Overnight on 23 June, the daily Frontera received phoned death threats. The following day the weekly Cicuta got the following message: “You are next on the list”.————————————————————23.06.2004 – Reporters Without Borders shocked at murder of journalist in TijuanaReporters Without Borders has expressed deep shock at the murder in Tijuana, north-west of Mexico of Francisco Javier Ortíz Franco of the weekly Zeta, in front of his two young children.”We wish to express our solidarity with the editorial staff of Zeta, which has already suffered two previous attacks in the past because of its investigations into drug-trafficking and corruption”, said Robert Ménard, secretary-general of the international press freedom organisation. “We are all the more concerned because Franco is the second journalist who exposed drug-trafficking and corruption along the US border to be killed this year. Roberto Javier Mora García was murdered on 19 March. “As in the Mora García case, we urge the authorities to keep us informed of the progress of the investigation, that we will follow closely to ensure that the link with his work is fully investigated, the organisation added.Ortíz Franco was killed on 22 June as he was preparing to return home at midday. A masked and armed man got out of a black jeep and stood beside the journalist’s car just after he got into it. The gunman fired four times at point blank range killing him instantly. He suffered gunshot wounds to the head, body and left shoulder.The gunman and an accomplice, who was also masked, drove away in their vehicle that was found by police the same evening a few streets from the murder scene. Ortíz Franco’s two children aged eight and 10, who were in the car with him at the time, were uninjured.The weekly newspaper has called for a full investigation to find the killers and those behind the murder. “The editorial board is not pointing the finger at any suspect and has no theories until we have all the information. Legally the case is in the hands of the authorities,” it said in a statement released the same day.President Vicente Fox also expressed “concern and indignation”. In a letter to the weekly’s editor Jésus Blancornelas, he assured him he “has given orders to all federal security bodies to co-operate fully with the local authorities.”A founding member of Zeta in 1980, Ortíz Franco, 48, was the newspaper’s chief editorial writer and was known for his articles and reports on corruption and drugs.The murder was the third such attack against Zeta. Journalist and co-founder of the paper Hector Felix Miranda was murdered on 20 April 1988 and more recently, on 27 November 1997, the editor Blancornelas, was injured in a murder attempt in which his bodyguard was killed. to go further 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state Reporters Without Borders hails the arrest yesterday of Tijuana drug cartel member Ray del Billar, one of the suspects in the June 2004 murder of journalist Francisco Ortiz Franco (photo), an editorialist with the weekly Zeta. The organisation calls for an exemplary trial and sentence. May 5, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Reports RSF_en News April 28, 2021 Find out more
News Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Organisation News TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Turkey News RSF_en Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information News Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit April 28, 2021 Find out more April 29, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Harassment of media since March 2013 April 2, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is resuming its news feed with updates about harassment of news providers in Turkey.29.04.2013 – Only three journalists released at KCK trialsReporters Without Borders welcomes the provisional release of two journalists on 26 April by an Istanbul court that is trying a large number of Kurdish media personnel for alleged membership of a “media committee” created by the outlawed Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK).RWB is nonetheless deeply disappointed by the very limited nature of the measure. A total of 24 defendants who are Kurdish media employees and journalists are still detained.The two reporters released on 26 April, at the end of four days of hearings, were Zeynep Ceren Kuray of the Firat news agency and Sadik Topaloglu of the Diha news agency.Their 24 colleagues continue to be held on the grounds that “they could try to escape” and that the sentences requested by the prosecution are “very severe.” The next session of hearings will be held from 17 to 19 June, when the court will again consider their requests for provisional release.The court expects that by then the police will have arrested other Kurdish media personnel for whom warrants have been issued. It also plans to analyze the transcripts of phone calls about two journalists, Ertus Bozkurt and Yüksel Genç.Defence lawyer Firat Epözdemir argued during last week hearings that his clients are being prosecuted solely because they covered issues concerning Turkey’s Kurdish ethnic minority and that continuation of the trial is therefore inconsistant with the peace talks currently under way between the government and the Kurdish armed PKK.“The (PKK) press conference in Mount Qandil (in northern Iraq) on 25 April was attended by about 100 reporters working mainly for Turkish media,” he said. “They included representatives of the government news agency Anatolia. In this context, I do not understand why our journalists are being tried.”Another defence lawyer, Ercan Kanar, said: “The quality of journalism is regulated solely by the criteria of professional ethics. It should not be debated in a court hearing. The journalists here in this courtroom have already won their place in the world history of media freedom.”The court meanwhile drew the attention of prosecutors to the use by some defendants of expressions such as “so-called trial,” “defamatory indictment” and “so-called indictment.”Two Reporters Without Borders representatives attended the first day of the 12th session of hearings on 22 April as part of an RWB investigation into the impact that the government’s negotiations with Kurdish separatists could have on media freedom in Turkey.The two RWB representatives then spent three days in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir meeting with civil society representatives and journalists. Their request to visit Tayyip Temel, a journalist jailed in Diyarbakir since October 2011, was denied.In another trial involving allegations of KCK membership, a court in the southern city of Adana released Diha reporter Zeynep Kuris and five other defendants conditionally on 24 April. Arrested on 3 November along with Halime Parlak and Ergin Caglar of Azadiya Welat, she is still charged with KCK membership. Kuris and fellow reporter Özlem Agus made a name for themselves by investigating the mistreatment of adolescent detainees in Pozanti prison (in Adana province). She will be subject to judicial control until the next hearing, scheduled for 3 July.——–29.04.2013 – Four journalists still facing long jail terms in Ergenekon trialReporters Without Borders continues to closely follow the five-year-old “Ergenekon” trial in Silivri, 60 km northwest of Istanbul, where the 288th hearing was held on 26 April. A total of 275 defendants, of whom 66 are in preventive detention, are accused of participating in an ultranationalist and secularist conspiracy to topple the government.The defendant Bedirhan Sinal testified that the police provided him with a grenade to throw at the headquarters of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet (Republic). He said he ended up throwing a home-made gasoline bomb instead of the grenade in order to spare lives.In his testimony, Sinal also told the court that “an organization within the police has used me since a very young age and has occasionally shut its eyes to my criminal activity.”In his summation to the court on 18 March, prosecutor Mehmet Ali Pekgüzel said “the existence of a terrorist organization is established” and requested life sentences without possibility of pardon for more than 60 of the defendants, including the journalists Mustafa Balbay and Tuncay Özkan, who have been detained for the past five years.Long jail terms were also requested for more than 90 other defendants including the journalists Yalçin Küçük and Güler Kömürcü Öztürk.During the 26 April hearing, Özkan’s lawyer, Hüseyin Ersöz, urged a parliamentary commission that is investigating illegal phone tapping to evaluate the prosecution’s evidence against his client from the human rights perspective.Balbay and Mehmet Haberal, a defendant who – like Balbay – is still in detention despite having been elected to parliament in 2011, issued a joint statement calling on the authorities to “end this disgrace.”“The accusations brought against us relate solely to the rights to create a political party and to express and disseminate our ideas,” the statement said. “None of these activities involves any violence and they are all guaranteed by the constitution.”—–27.03.2013 – Opposition newspaper owner attacked in northwestReporters Without Borders condemns today’s attack on local journalist Cenap Kürümoglu in Tekirdag, in the northwestern region of Eastern Thrace, and hopes the local police will conduct a full and impartial investigation.The owner of the local daily Habertrak (Thrace Info), Kürümoglu was assaulted in the city centre by two masked men, who hit him with clubs and then fled when he called for help. He was briefly hospitalized with an eye injury.Police investigating the attack seized security camera recordings from shops on the street block where it took place.Kürümoglu said he thought the attack was linked to Habertrak’s editorial policies. The newspaper is critical of the local government and supports the nationalist and secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), the largest opposition party in the national assembly. “One of my assailants was short and the other was tall,” Kürümoglu said when he left hospital. “The henchmen of those who are robbing the city of Tekirdag are responsible. This kind of action will not intimidate me. There won’t be the least change in my newspaper’s editorial line, not with the first attack nor the fifth one.”This is the second case of violence against media personnel in the past two weeks. Two reporters were attacked by residents while covering the demolition of their homes in Ankara on 14 March.—–26.03.2013 – Ahmet Sik still facing seven-year jail term for contemptThe trial of well-known investigative journalist Ahmet Sik for contempt of court resumed today before a criminal court in Silivri, 60 km west of Istanbul. Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for the immediate withdrawal of the absurd charges brought against him.Sik is facing up to seven years in jail in connection with the comments he made on his release from Silivri prison on 12 March 2012 after a year in preventive detention as one of the defendants in the Oda TV trial.“One day, those who hatched this plot, and the policemen, prosecutors and judges who carried it out, will in turn be incarcerated in this prison,” Sik said outside the prison. “Justice will reappear on the day they enter it,” he added.A total of 39 prosecutors and judges in charge of the “Ergenekon” investigation brought complaints against Sik, accusing him of threatening and insulting them in connection with their duties. Four other judges may also file complaints. The next hearing is scheduled for 31 May. to go further TurkeyEurope – Central Asia April 2, 2021 Find out more
Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years August 21, 2020 Find out more ThailandAsia – Pacific Organisation News May 12, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News News Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom Help by sharing this information ThailandAsia – Pacific to go further Receive email alerts Follow the news on Thailand June 12, 2020 Find out more October 28, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New internet bill should be dropped News Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Reporters Without Borders has asked the Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology to change its approach to updating the Computer Crime Act of 2007.The law already authorizes the government to arrest journalists and bloggers for political reasons. If a newly proposed amendment were adopted, the government would have even more latitude to muzzle the independent and opposition media.“We support the five journalists association which have protested the bill,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The bill – in addition to eliminating a requirement for a judicial warrant to block a website – would allow that action without approval from the Ministry of Communications and Internet Technology, thereby distancing the law even more from international standards.”The press freedom organization added, “We request that the legislation be withdrawn in its entirety.”Any official attempt to amend the Computer Crime Act should be undertaken after consulting with representatives of the media and information sectors – a move not made in this case – RWB said. A cooperative effort would ensure that the crime of lèse-majesté could not be charged for political purposes. And expression of opinion and offenses arising from online publication would be decriminalized, the organization said.In a joint press release on 24 October, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcasting Journalists Association, Online News Providers Association, Information Technology Reporters and Academic Specialists on Computer Law Group declared that the bill would threaten the very infrastructure of the internet and would make website operators, internet service providers and users responsible for content.The government has defended itself by citing a referendum held before the bill was introduced. But the media associations said that neither they, nor any online businesses, were given any participation in drafting the proposed amendment.The 2007 law requires service providers to store individual data on web users for 90 days. Authorities may examine this information with no judicial oversight. The law also decrees prison terms for lèse-majesté, although this offense was not included in the first version of the law, in 2006.Thailand is ranked 135 of 179 countries in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
NewsLocal NewsLimerick students shortlisted in Doodle 4 GoogleBy admin – February 18, 2013 665 Twitter Previous articleLIT students plan treats of All SortsNext articleWeekend Munster Rugby Fixtures admin Four Limerick students have been named as finalists in the fifth annual Doodle 4 Google competition. They are now amongst 75 Irish students in with a chance of having their doodle displayed on the Google Ireland homepage for millions of people to see. Everyone in Limerick is now being urged to visit www.google.ie/doodle4google and vote for Jordan, Siobhan, Emma and Patrick.The following students are among 75 regional finalists in with a chance of winning the competition:Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up · Jordan Kelly (Group 2) from Colaiste Mhichil, Sexton Street· Siobhan Danaher (Group 4) from Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale· Emma O’Connor (Group 4) from Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton· Patrick Moynihan (Group 5) from St. Clement’s College, South Circular RoadThe 75 finalists were selected by a panel of judges, including rugby player Robert Kearney, Gary Granville, Professor of Education at the National College of Art and Design and Marianne Kelly, former Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.The finalists will now battle it out to top the public vote and to win the Doodle 4 Google title.Voting will close on the 4th of March. The five most popular doodles, one from each age category, will go forward to the final where one of Google’s professional doodlers will select the overall winner.John Herlihy, Head of Google Ireland, said, “This year we had the most entries that we’ve ever had, over 2,500, so our judging panel had an extremely tough time selecting the 75 finalists. Every one of our entrants should be tremendously proud of their success. Now, it’s over to the public to select our five class group winners. So I urge everyone in Limerick to go online, check out the fantastic creativity of our finalists and to vote for their favourite.”The five class group winners and their teachers will receive a Chromebook each. The overall winner will have their doodle shown on the Google Ireland homepage for a full day in April 2013. The winner’s school will also receive a €10,000 technology grant from Google and for the first time the winning student will receive a scholarship of €5,000 to go towards their college studies.For more information and to vote for the winning doodles go to: www.google.ie/doodle4google/ Facebook Advertisement Linkedin Email Print WhatsApp
ColumnsMy Lords Have Offered Us Eden, But Will We Take It? Zeeshan Diwan12 April 2020 6:33 AMShare This – xAs the initial excitement of having absolutely nothing to do slowly started turning into a surprising and unexpected want to go back to the ways of the practise, I realized that it may never be the same again, and shouldn’t. The Pandemic has done more for the environment than any PIL or Judge could, despite trying. We are saving on paper more than ever, thousands of lawyers aren’t having…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginAs the initial excitement of having absolutely nothing to do slowly started turning into a surprising and unexpected want to go back to the ways of the practise, I realized that it may never be the same again, and shouldn’t. The Pandemic has done more for the environment than any PIL or Judge could, despite trying. We are saving on paper more than ever, thousands of lawyers aren’t having to travel all over courts like they do every morning and frivolous petitions, which make up a large chunk of litigation in our country, are being kept at bay. With the Supreme Court spearheading the nation’s move towards formalized strategy to work over the Internet, without having the need to crowd the courts once again with lawyers, confused interns and anxious litigants, I truly hope this change is here to stay. I have thought in these two weeks how we lawyers, as officers of the court and citizens of this country concerned about law and order, can facilitate this giant leap taken by Supreme Court become a permanent feature rather than a mere ancillary measure to an exigency. The current way of working within the Pandemic should ideally be the norm, especially on “Regular” days at the Supreme Court, with a designated time slot for miscellaneous matters and thereafter, regular matters to be heard patiently, and without adjournment, from the comforts of our home/office. It would not only save millions in costs, but it would also save the court valuable time that it hitherto did not have. It would allow the court to be structured like never before and actually instill some discipline amongst the serial adjournment seekers and the ones who take up the court’s time ad-nauseum. Another positive offshoot to this would be the court being able to sit for an extended period of time, rather than the regular 1030 am to 4 pm as we have come to robotically attune ourselves to. The travel time of about an hour each side can be added as court hours, with the judges easily being able to accommodate the added hours with the time saved. This would again, help in trimming some of that bulge of the ever-increasing pile of files our overworked judges have to read through. The Solicitor General recently wrote a piece on the venue where the courts convene and the inapplicability of “coram non-judice” to this novel idea of holding court through use of technology. I wholeheartedly welcome such a move by one of the highest legal functionaries, as it shows the government, being the largest litigant in the country, is also keen on accepting this change. What I can only hope for and am unfortunately apprehensive of, is how to ensure this lasting change and new regime is accepted by the biggest stakeholders -us. We Lawyers typically have our day cleaved into two lives – 9 am to 5 pm is at court including travel, and the latter half, usually 6 pm to 9 pm being dedicated to the chamber. What happens a lot in these 12 hours, despite availability of internet and infrastructure at the Supreme Court, is a lot of time wastage for lawyers. Endless wait on cases, the unpredictability of time taken by the judges in patiently listening to litigants, endless wait if a Passover is sought and taken while twiddling thumbs for the Senior Counsel to grace the court with his presence. This novel and bold move of having video-conferencing, from the comforts of one’s chamber/office, would de-necessitate the daily rigours of court like the endless wait, the running around from court to court, since each case will have a time fixed, and thus, if the senior counsel is conflicted, there would be no option but to engage another, or better still, appear yourself. This new policy should bring with itself a strict no-adjournment policy by the court for unavailability of counsel. This would in turn, have a lasting impact on other advocates who do not get as much work because the bulk of it is taken by the elite few, leaving scraps for others to hope for. It would also allow us lawyers to most effectively use our time in chamber/office and maximize output, since the earlier 9 am to 5pm time spent in court, where effectively one would, if lucky, be productive for a maximum of an hour (not counting the elite crew of seniors, again). This could, with time, make us understand that while the law may be the mistress who takes up all our time, we actually can have a life away from this mistress, without the jealousy. Mental health amongst lawyers is often undiscussed because of a lack of any solution to the high-paced, stressful and high stakes profession it is, and many a time we lawyers underestimate the toll this takes on our bodies, mind and soul. We are often chided by other professionals for still being in school, due to the summer and winter breaks, but they don’t realise the toll an average 12 hour day, plus reading and preparation time for the next day, takes on us. Social life, family and friends have all been renounced across the board for us through the years, and very quickly, even as junior advocates, we realise the permanence of our routine. Success comes at a very high personal cost for most, and it is this personal time that we crave and not have enough of. This change in functioning of the court, through technology, can finally break the wheel, give us all time to focus on life’s other aspects, family, friends and society. These thoughts are fact, a word this entire fraternity is out to prove, one way or another. These facts of environmental impact, mental health of advocates, time wastage, the practise itself leading to piling dockets, are all facets of our daily lives which can finally change with this simple, novel move, if we accept it in letter and spirit, and don’t fall for the temptation to go back to the old ways that seem convenient, but were an unseen scourge all this time. Zeeshan Diwan is a Delhi based lawyer. Author’s views are personal.Next Story