There is a world of difference between the studies in America and that in Pakistan. In the former, there is a premium on originality; while in the latter on cramming'. If you say in support of your opinion that so and so also holds the same opinion, and if that so and so is a 'big' name, you are regarded as a good student in Pakistan. On the contrary, if you present a strong argument of your own in support of your opinion, you are very much appreciated in the American Universities. It is high time we adopted the innovative method of teaching. What bothers me most is the fact that even the professors of law think that the Supreme Court's judgement on a question of law is the last word on the subject. The Supreme Court is, undoubtedly, final; but not infallible. In the law colleges here, nobody thinks of writing a critical appreciation of the controversial judgements of the Supreme Court. While at Yale, I learnt that on a question of law, the Supreme Court of the United States changed its opinion after reading an article in the Yale Law Journal. This was possible because it was reason that was at work there, not complexes. In our country, unfortunately, it is just the opposite. And it is regrettable. Let us now have a look at the Ministry of Law. Only a little after my return from the US and resumption of the charge of solicitor, there was a change of government. A new attorney general was appointed who dutifully called on the solicitor (i.e. me) and kept taking instructions from me about the cases in courts. In other words, he complied with the rules and requirements of his office. But this did not last long. The discipline of the ministry/division was thrown to the winds and the status of the attorney general was raised even above the office of law secretary - perhaps only to favour one individual. As far as I know the status quo ante has not been restored since. One of the functions of the solicitor is to keep the Government of Pakistan from unjust litigation. Sometimes an administrative ministry insists on such litigation. In such a case, the Solicitor may even refuse to engage a counsel for the government. By discouraging unjust litigation, the solicitor does not only promote the cause of justice but also saves the precious time of courts. When the solicitor takes such a stand, it is also the duty of the secretary and minister to support him. Is this practised today? If not, who is responsible? Is it not the duty of every government (whether federal or provincial) to do justice? I think it is time every government took account of itself and abstained from being party to injustice. As a matter of fact, the so-called bureaucracy has been so demoralised that no officer today is willing to take a stand against the wrongdoing of the government in power. Bureaucracy is like a tool, which is used by the government. It should be used only for legal purposes. In the days when the civil servants enjoyed the constitutional guarantees, most of them not only refused to be used illegally, but also advised the government correctly. Ever since those guarantees have been taken away, they are totally at the mercy of the party in power. This, however, does not mean that all civil servants were angels. Some of them were certainly black sheep: in which case, again, it was the duty of the higher authorities to keep a vigil on such bureaucrats. But where the higher authorities are themselves incompetent, dishonest, or selfish, God alone can rescue this country. According to the custom today, before recording his own opinion on the file, every officer ascertains the wish of his superior officer and moulds his own view accordingly. This is dishonesty on the part of the subordinate officer and foolishness on that of the superior one. For, thus, the superior officer stands deprived of the benefit of a different opinion. In fact, not many people in the government these days know that it is always beneficial, before taking a decision, to consider all the possible points of view. This might as well be due to lack of good sense and absence of intellectual maturity. It should also be borne in mind that if those in authority make the civil servants abuse their powers for their (the former's) sake, the latter will also do so to serve their own interests. In either case it is the public that suffers for whose benefit the whole paraphernalia of government and bureaucracy has been set-up. I do not know when we are going to display enough maturity by rising above self-interest. The writer is a retired judge of the Lahore High Court