Legal ethics refers to the ethics to be followed by people who are in the legal profession and it constitutes the instructional behaviour and regulation of their professional capacities. This is a definition that not only describes the relationship between a lawyer and their client, but also describes the relationship of a lawyer with society as a whole. These duties are also the responsibility of legal educators who must offer legal education to the public without discrimination, paralegals and private investigators.
Source of Legal Ethics
To oversee that every legal professional follows the rules and regulations of the country’s legal system, associations of barristers and court rulings are set up in every country. Court rulings are more common these days and hold greater weight. Therefore, court rulings are being used to enforce the law. The lord chancellor’s advisory committee on legal education and conduct is the association of barristers in England and Wales. These are the bodies that are responsible for creating and maintaining the guidelines necessary to practice and sustain legal ethics in the courtroom or otherwise.
The Importance of Legal Ethics
In any profession, ethics has a vital role to play and is even more essential for lawyers and people working in the legal department where they are viewed with suspicion. An enforced code of conduct is therefore, essentially important to ensure that the practitioners and legal system are honest and credible and can be accounted for.
Another reason why the legal system requires such strong ethics because of the people that lawyers see as clients and are mostly morally questionable people. Therefore, legal ethics are extremely important to help the lawyers navigate between conflicting interests from clients and the moral law of the land. However, this does not mean that the client is always at fault. Legal ethics also protects the rights of the client and safeguards them from discrimination before the law.
Breaches of Legal Ethics
Legal ethics are determined by bodies and associations formed specifically for this purpose, and therefore the legal ethics vary from place to place, including the punishments involved. However, there are a few malpractices that are common throughout the board. Some of these are given below.
●The lawyer is bound by the law to inform their client about the case, and should not keep from the client any information regarding the case or delay it intentionally.
●The lawyer should not misappropriate the funds provided by the clients by showing negligence to the client or to the case they handle.
●A lawyer who is funded by a client must work for them even if there is a conflict of interest on the part of the lawyer.
●Forging of documents or fabrication of evidence is a great misdeed on the part of a lawyer.