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Professional Ethics Revision Notes

BPTC Law Notes > Professional Ethics Notes

This is an extract of our Professional Ethics Revision Notes document, which we sell as part of our Professional Ethics Notes collection written by the top tier of City Law School students.

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Professional Ethics Revision Notes 10 Golden Rules

1. CONFIDENTIALITY Preserve the confidentiality of your lay client's affairs.

2. DUTY TO COURT You must not knowingly or recklessly mislead the court.

3. DUTY TO PROFESSION You must not engage in conduct: (a) which is dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister; (b) prejudicial to the interests of justice; or (c) which will diminish public confidence in the legal system or bring the legal profession into disrepute.

4. DISCRIMINATION You must not discriminate in relation to any person by reason of race, colour, ethnicity, religion, nationality, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or political persuasion.

5. INDEPENDENCE You must not permit your absolute independence, integrity, and freedom from external pressures to be compromised nor do anything which could lead to the inference that it is so compromised.

6. CAB RANK You must observe the "cab rank" rule: A barrister must accept instructions if it is in his field of expertise, whatever the instructions and whomever the client

7. PROFESSIONAL EMBARRASSMENT A barrister would be professionally embarrassed and must refuse instructions if: (1) He lacks sufficient experience or competence to handle the matter; (2) He has inadequate time or opportunity to prepare to case; (3) The instructions seek to limit his ordinary authority or discretion in the proceedings, or require him to act otherwise than in conformity with the law or this code; (4) If he may be a witness in the matter; (5) If by some connection with client or a member of the court it would be difficult for him to maintain professional independence or the administration of justice may be or appear to be prejudices. (6) There is a conflict of interest or a risk of a conflict of interest between the barrister and the client or between any one or more of his clients; (7) There is a significant risk that information confidential to a client or former client may be revealed or used without their consent; (8) He has been instructed by a lay client who has not instructed a solicitor and it is in the interests of the client or of justice for him to do so. Written Standards 3.5: Where a barrister has accepted a brief from one party in proceedings, he should not accept a brief for an appeal or further stage in the proceedings without the consent of the original party. A barrister may refuse instructions:

(1) The require him to work other than during the course of his ordinary working year. (2) If it is not for a proper fee, considering the complexity, difficulty, and length of the case, his ability and seniority, and any expenses his will incur. (3) Offered under a CFA. If at any time a barrister considered the client should be represented by another he should so advise the client. A barrister must withdraw and return instructions if: (1) If he would be professionally embarrassed; (2) If he would be required to be a witness of fact, but only if he would withdraw without jeopardising his clients interest; (3) He has accepted instructions from more than one client and a conflict of interest or risk of conflict arises or a risk of a breach of confidence and all clients do not consent to him continuing; (4) The case is publically funded and the funding was obtaining by false or inaccurate information and action to remedy the situation was not taken immediately by the client; (5) The client refuses to authorise him to make a disclosure which a duty to the court requires him to disclose; (6) Client refuses to disclose a document that should be disclosed; (7) If a barrister reads something he shouldn't have and he would be embarrassed by the contents, he must withdraw if it will not jeopardise the interests of his client; A barrister may withdraw if: (1) He has advised his client that he should get alternative representation or that there is a conflict of interest between the lay client and another party (his profession client for instance) and the lay client and the client doesn't heed his instructions. (2) Other substantial reason for doing so. (3) His instructions have been withdrawn. A barrister must NOT: (a) cease to act without explaining why; (b) return instructions to another barrister without the client's consent; (c) return a brief where a date has been set without the consent of the client or the court; (d) except where the barrister must withdraw a barrister must not withdraw or return instructions where the client will be unable to find counsel in time for prejudice not to be done.

8. ARGUMENTS A barrister must not: (i) devise facts; (ii) make allegations unsupported by your instructions and the evidence; (iii)plead fraud without clear instructions AND sufficient evidence to raise a prima facie case; or

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