“A man is great by deeds, not by birth” – Chanakya
This post talks about the career story of the Indian jurist Soli Sorabjee, the divine guidance for law aspirants. This post is bound to entice you to work in the legal field and earn accolades.
Personal life and education:
Born in Mumbai on March 09, 1930, Sorabjee belongs to a Parsi family. He was blessed with a baby girl named Zia Mody, who is also a lawyer in one of the leading Law firms in India. Sorabjee was a colleague and very close friend of Nani Palkhivala, an eminent lawyer.
Sorabjee did his schooling from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and earned his LLB degree from the Government Law College Mumbai in 1952.
The Indian jurist Soli Sorabjee entered the legal practice after the Constitution came into force. He started his legal career in 1953 by getting admission into the BAR association and practicing Law in the Bombay High Court. Soli was designated as a senior counsel in 1971 by the Supreme Court of India. He was a member of the Citizen’s Justice Committee, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims representing pro bono. He was one of the first lieutenants who very quickly came to be counted amongst the competent Generals. Sorabjee, twice appointed as the Attorney General of India in 1989 for a year and again for six years from 1998, sets the benchmark for that office in modern times.
The renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Sorabjee, prior to being appointed as the Attorney General of India, was nominated as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria by the United Nations in 1997. He was responsible to report on the human right situations in that country.
Soli is a member of the UN Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities since 1998. He also served as a chairman of the UN Sub-Commission till 2004. Amidst these, from 2000 to 2006, he decreed as the member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. He has been instrumental in overturning the censorship orders and bans on publications.
Soli Jehangir Sorabjee, an attorney, a distinguished international jurist and a human-rights advocate, was the member of the Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament Law of the International Law Association. He also served as the vice president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
Awards and Accolades:
Sorabjee was awarded the Kinloch Forbes Gold Medal in Jurisprudence and Roman Law when he was in Law School. The champion of Freedom of Speech and Expression, Sorabjee was honored with the second-highest civilian award in India, the Padma Vibhushan Award in March 2002 for his defense of freedom of speech and the protection of human rights. He was also honored with Justice K. S. Hegde Foundation Award in April 2006.
Sorabjee as a Writer:
The prolific writer, Sorabjee has many publications to his credits. He wrote on the issues of protection of human rights, freedom of speech and expression and upholding constitutional law. He has authored books like The Laws of Press Censorship in India in 1976, The Emergency, Censorship and the Press in India in 1977 and Law and Justice in 2004. He is also inclined towards writing monographs and essays. Some of his collection are Fundamental Rights as published in “Public Law of India” in 1979, The Constitution and the Governor as published in “The Governor, Sage or Saboteur” in 1985, Protection of Human Rights in Emergencies and Equity in the United States and India published in “Constitutionalism and Rights”. He has also written many articles and columns for various newspapers and journals.
To summarize, the Indian jurist Soli Sorabjee’s skills earned him a lot of success and acknowledgements. He held several offices in organizations of international and national repute. He is now the grand old man of the Indian Bar Council.
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