October 20, 2021

The Ethics and Morality of Legal Profession


Ethics and also the legal community ar closely connected. The follow of law could be a noble profession. Therefore, conformist one’s conduct and behaviours to an exact set of skilled norms is a vital side of this profession. Legal ethics is merely outlined as a code of conduct which can be written or unwritten. Such a code of conduct is supposed to control the behaviour of a practising legal skilled towards the court, the presiding decide, his consumer and his adversaries within the courtrooms.

It is united that ethics could be a elementary necessity in any profession and not simply the legal community. so on a general note Ethics primarily denotes human behaviour and their normal of moralities. A attorney or AN advocate should conform sure skilled codes with reference to the normal of truthful addressing the consumer and conjointly includes the standard of confidentiality needed between them and uphold the self-control.

Advocates and contributors to the sphere of law have lived their lives with the very best sense of justice, ethics and also the obligation to allow back to society and ar the terribly embodiment of however a attorney ought to be. it’s the duty of a ‗Noble‘ Advocate to safeguard law, assist justice and facilitate prevail peace in society, even at the price of his financial interests. The nobility of his profession demand subsiding the disputes and avoiding furtherance of those disputes by each potential suggests that. Thus, the advocate ought to place before his shoppers the drawbacks in seeking court‘s help, namely, expenses, prolonged processes, hardships, etc, that may somewhat be avoided.

The Bar could be a public establishment and is underneath legal obligation to impart whole-souled cooperation for the event of law. History has aforesaid with grace and appreciation that however the eminent lawyers once independence started creating law a legal science. once we bring up lawyers in pre-independence era, last a part of eighteen th century the eminent lawyers helped within the development of enacted laws still as customary laws. These lawyers were the one who had their morals and worked on the principle of ethics. The lawyers United Nations agency were eminent in their own field got as such concerned in freedom struggle wherever their reasoning, rationality and logical factors helped them to unravel several acute issues. several of them compete vital role within the formation and shaping of our constitution that eventually clad to be one in all the most effective constitutions of the globe.[1]

Importance of ethics and morality

The legal system The system of any government is executed through the administration of justice. A sound and healthy system for administration of justice is critical to uphold the rule of law as mandated by the Constitution yet on attain peace and stability within the nation. Courts, judges and lawyers, in turn, ar same to be the torchbearers and true upholders of this method. As courts have faith in the pleadings rendered by lawyers, this duty rests on their shoulders. the arrogance of individuals might suffer a blow and access to justice is also hindered if lawyers ar unable to profess ethics in their skilled conduct. There can not be AN complete list of those desirables however honesty, fairness, equity, and integrity ar a couple of qualities within the seek justice. The code of skilled responsibility delineates conduct that’s “rational”, “judicious” and according to the “norms of the profession and also the rule of law”.

The relationship between lawyers and shoppers is alleged to be supported the uberrima fides principle, which suggests utmost honestness. The abuse of this religion wouldn’t solely block administration of justice however be accountable for deterioration of the noble profession. Moreover, any such single incident puts a heavy punctuation on the whole fraternity, and skilled ethics then become indispensable. The oft-quoted maxim, “Not solely should justice be done; it should even be seen to be done” is applicable to judges. At an equivalent time, it’s true for lawyers conjointly whereas dispensing their duties as officers of the court.[2]

Changes in Law over the times

In Ancient Bharat it had been the mandate that the King ought to decide cases lawfully. The pre-existing law coated several aspects and spectrums together with orders or authority given to Shastras, smritis, customs, rajdarma, moral law, livelihoods, social regulation, employment background law, psyche, school of thought of equality, etc. Laws, to some extent, naturally embrace internal ethical discipline and coercion by higher authorities. it’s referred to as that the observance of the Rule of Law in trendy society could be a trigonometric function qua non for the survival of democracy.

Now that this work has gained the nobility, nobody during this world will argue that lawyers ar to blame for the rule of law and build the courts a lot of protecting guarantee of intangible citizens’ rights. Lawyers ar thus accountable to envision that the Rule of law is maintained and every one its functions ar protected.

The objectives therefore embrace preventing the expansion of deviant behavior in a very civilized society, acquisition of a pattern of corrupt and depraved behavior, etc. a typical system – a system supported recorded judicial precedents – came to Bharat with land archipelago Company. the corporate was granted a document by King King of Great Britain in 1726 to determine politician Courts in Madras, urban center and Calcutta. 

At the time of the start of independence, India’s freelance parliament was the location of a draft document that will cause a brand new nation. it’ll be the official mind of B. R. Ambedkar to border a constitution for a brand new freelance nation. The Constitution of Bharat could be a notable altogether body, legal and judicial matters within the country. it’s broad and supposed to be sensitive.

The Constitution modified the direction of the program introduced earlier to additional the interests of the colonial and state states in Bharat, firmly on the social aspect. The Constitution conjointly stipulates that legal interpretation seeks to empower vulnerable members of society. [3]

The Advocate Act, 1961

 The All India Bar Committee had come up with a few recommendations based on the Law Commission’s recommendations relating to the legal ethics and legal profession. Thus, under the auspices of these recommendations, the Legislature implemented the Advocate Act, 1961. Subsequently, the Bar Council of India was established by the Parliament under Section 4[4] of the 1961 Act. This Act lays down the functions of the Bar Council of India (BCI)[5] under Section 7[6]. The Bare Council of India thus lays down standards of professional Code of conduct and etiquettes to be followed by advocates under Section 7(1)(b)[7]. Interestingly, this very function of the Bar is also laid down under Section 49(1)(c). According to Section 49(1)(c), the Bar is empowered to make rules for the standard of professional ethics that needs to be observed by advocates.

Bar Council of India Rules

Bar Chamber of India Rules is framed by the BCI under Part VI of Chapter 2. This chapter deals with the standard of professional ethics and conduct of legal counselors. It is vital to go through the rules briefly to get it the significance of proficient morals of a legal counselor towards the Court and the Client.

Rules on Advocates Duty towards Court

 The Bar Council of India prescribes certain duties that an advocate must fulfil.

1.Act in a dignified manner: any advocate before the court  while presenting his case is required to have self-respect and conduct himself with dignity. In re D.C. Saxena, AIR (1966)[8]– This rule actually empowers an advocate to submit a complaint against a judicial officer. However, such a complaint shall be submitted to the proper authority.

2.An advocate must maintain a respectful attitude while at court and shall respect the dignity of the judicial office: In the case of U.P. Sales Tax Service Association v Taxation Bar Association (1995)[9] it was stated that the survival of a free community is endangered if an advocate doesn’t show respect or recognises the dignity of the judicial officer. It potentially lowers the spirit of the court.

3.Not to communicate in private: this rule was well clarified within the case of Rizwan-Ul-Hassan v. State of U.P. (1953)[10] It was observed that an advocate should not attempt to look for positive choices by any illicit means counting bribing the court or communicating any support in private. In this way, this rule forbids any private communication with the judge which would be particularly with respect to a pending case. It is considered as a net frame of proficient unfortunate behavior in the event that at all an advocate tries to impact the choice of the court by having private communication with the judge.

4. Refuse to act in an unlawful way towards the opposition: An advocate is additionally required to anticipate his client from turning to unjustifiable hones relating to the court, contradicting direct or inverse parties or indeed co-parties. The advocate must sincerely limit and clarify the suggestions and the results of such unjustifiable hones. This run the show too engages an advocate to deny to speak to a client in case he/she demand .

5.An advocate shall have his own sense of judgement and mustn’t use strong language in the court of law: This is another important Rule laid down that the advocate is expected to have his own sense of judgment regarding the cause or the case he/she is representing. In the case of M.Y. Shareef & Anothers. V. Hon’ble Judges of Nagpur High Court & Ors. (1954)[11], it was observed that an advocate is not a mere mouthpiece of the client. Legal counsel must exercise his/her own judgement. An advocate must also restrain oneself from the use of scurrilous remarks while in pleadings. They shall use intemperate language during pleadings in court.

5.Appear in legitimate dress code: Legal profession is one of the few professions that have a assigned uniform. The court requests that an advocate must essentially appear up improper dress code. There have been occasions in court where cases have either been delayed or rejected for that matter due to the need of appropriate dress code that ought to have been taken after by the speaking to lawful direct. Hence, in case an advocate is disgracefully or insufficiently dressed, he isn’t as it were looked down upon but also his appearance could be a breach of the endorsed dress code.

6.Refuse to appear before relations: this rule is laid down in Section 30 of the Advocates Act, 1961. This rule was laid down in arrange to maintain a strategic distance from strife of intrigued and predisposition in judgment. In case there’s a family tie existing between the directing legal officer and an advocate, at that point the advocate might not show up in such cases and should ask for the alter in seat.

7.Refuse to appear in front of relations: this rule is laid down in Section 30 of the Advocates Act, 1961. This rule was laid down in order to avoid conflict of interest and bias in judgment. If there is a family tie existing between the presiding judicial officer and an advocate, then the advocate shall not appear in such cases and shall request for the change in bench.

8.Not to wear bands or gowns in public places: the advocate cannot utilise his/her gown or band in other public places unless in any ceremonial occasions that the Bar Council of India and the court may prescribe.

Rules on Advocates Obligation towards Client

Just as an advocate owes obligation towards the court he/she is additionally committed to take after Rule 11 to Rule 33 that endorses an advocate’s obligations towards his client. They are as takes after:

 1.Bound to acknowledge briefs: Rule 11 lays down that an advocate is bound to accept any brief within the court that’s in the event that he proposes to require up without any expense at the Bar chamber.

In S.J. Chaudhary v. State (1984)[12], the Supreme Court held that if an advocate doesn’t attend a case day to day he would be liable for breach of professional duty. This observation was based on the fact that a lot of advocates don’t appear at the court and then his client has to bear the brunt of it.

2.Not to withdraw from service: Rule 12 provides that an advocate shall give the client reasonable and sufficient notice before withdrawing from an engagement. He shall not withdraw without any reasonable grounds. If he withdraws himself with sufficient cause he is bound to refund the fee even a part of it if not earned.

3.Not to appear in matters where he himself is a witness: Rule 13 provides this rule as it can give rise to a conflict of interest. It must be noted that if an advocate is a witness of a party and he is asked to represent the other side then only such an advocate shall refrain from taking up such matters

In Kokkanda B. Poondacha v. K.D. Ganpathi (1995) the Court has upheld this rule as the parties could be disadvantaged.

1.Full and frank disclosure to the client: Rule 14 provides that an advocate is expected to be honest with his client before the commencement of his engagement. He is obligated to reveal whether he has any connection with the other side of parties and any interest in their case. Otherwise, this creates controversies and also affects his client’s judgment to carry forward such an engagement.

2.Uphold interest of the client: Rule 15 provides that an advocate owes his loyalty to his client and must uphold the interest of his client fearlessly and honestly by all fair means. He shall not give regard to unpleasant consequences that he may bear.

3.Not to suppress material or evidence: suppressing material evidence is absolutely disregarded in the court of law. This rule is provided under Rule 16. It basically provides that if a prosecutor in a criminal trial tries to suppress material evidence that may lead to the innocence of the accused or taint the justice of the victim if shall be considered a gross breach of professional conduct and can also invite legal trouble for themselves. Thus, such an act or omission shall be scrupulously avoided.

4.Not to disclose the communications between the client and himself: Rule 17 is also one of the most important obligations followed by an advocate. A non-disclosure agreement is always signed between the client and the advocate. Since there exists a fiduciary relationship between the client and the advocate, breach of confidentiality is taken seriously even at the court of law.  This rule is also incorporated in Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872[13]

5.Not charge depending on the victory of things: Rule 20 gives that an advocate might not charge depending upon the victory of the claim. Such a hone is contradicted to open approach. An such contract for a unexpected nature of charge against Section 23 of the Indian Contract Act.

6. An advocate must not loan cash to his client: Rule 32 gives that when an advocate loans cash to his client at that point intrigued is made. Such a creation of interest if not permitted because it influences the advocate’s sense of judgment additionally forbids the client to think upon some time recently commencing with engagement.

7.Not show up for inverse parties: Rule 33 gives that an advocate might not speak to the opposite party after pulling back from the case on sake of the previous party.

The fiduciary relationship between Legal counselor and Client

On a common note, a guardian relationship is that of believe and certainty. Any client anticipates their attorney to preserve a tall degree of constancy and great confidence as their secret data rests with the lawyer as they got to know the subtle elements of the case in arrange to discover out perfect way” ,the most ideal way to drag their clients out of the legitimate inconvenience or query.

Within the case of V.C. Rangadurai v. D. Gopalan (1979)[14], the Court watched that the connection between the advocate and his client includes the most elevated individual believe and certainty. Hence, their relationship cannot be totally treated as simply proficient owing to the private nature of the data that the client gives to his legal counselor. In this way, the lawyer-client relationship is simply fiduciary in nature

Advantages of Having Codified Professional Ethics

There are 4 vital focal points of having a code for professional morals to be taken after in Indian Courts:[15]

 Firstly, a Code of Professional morals gives a sense of social control. Each presently and after that each calling and industry  a newcomer enters it. In this way, codified proficient morals makes the newcomer aware of the benchmarks that have to be  met with, within the calling. A Codified frame of morals moreover keeps the ancient individuals of a proficient crew in line agreeing to the standard of social prerequisite and expectations.

 Secondly, without a code of proficient morals the government or by society may attempt to control the measures through its organizations. In this way to anticipate such control and obstructions, a code is required. Subsequently, it is accepted and drilled that in arrange to institutionalize a certain set of rules, conventions and morals, it ought to be done by the calling itself so that legislative interference is kept away.

Thirdly, higher standards of conduct can only be developed by codifying it. The codes bring about a sense of permanence and crystallize the standard of best ethics about the profession.

Fourthly, the existence of code will have great educative, corrective and appreciable value for both the lawyers and the laymen.


Professional Ethics ar key to making sure that a personal is freelance, competent, economical and responsive legal work. wherever there ar broad rules of conduct or ethics, they ought to make sure that the advocates ar needed to follow shopper care procedures, doing their best the interest of the shopper, and to fulfil their duties as advocates. Ethics could still impose principles inclination, honesty and integrity within the manner lawyers behave and strengthen public confidence within the administration of justice.

The main purpose of legal conduct is to take care of the respect and dignity of the legal community, to guard the spirit of friendly cooperation, to determine respectful and impartial co-operation together with his shopper, opponent and witness, to determine a spirit of brotherhood within the Bar itself; and guaranteeing that advocates perform their duties to the overall public. The legal community is that the mainstay of presidency. Legal work isn’t a business however a profession. Created by the govt. for the advantage of the community.

However, we must remain mindful about placing the burden of care disproportionately on certain groups of lawyers, for example, women, or blurring the thin line between care and charity165 when paternalism trumps empathy. Concerns about legal relativism in the existing legal arena of stable, universal and predictable rules must also be addressed. Despite this, care and relational theories hold the power to transform legal discipline and institutions and merits serious consideration from the legal profession in India.

[1]Ritu Gupta ,Importance of Ethics: A Question of Integrity,India Legal, (Dec 2 , 2018 ).

[2] Ashok Bhushan , Role of Ethics in Dispensation of Justice,  J T R I , (March, 2014).

[3] LAWYERS SERVICES, https://www.lawyerservices.in/Advocates-Act-1961-SECTION-49-General-power-of-the-Bar-Council-of-India-to-make-rules ( last visited Apr. 14, 2021).

[4] INDIAN LAWS INFO, http://www.indianlawsinfo.com/home/section/2387/section-4-in-advocate-act-1961/bar-council-of-india ( last visited Apr. 14, 2021).

[5] THE BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA, http://www.barcouncilofindia.org (last visited  Apr. 14, 2021).

[6] INDIAN LAWS INFO, http://www.indianlawsinfo.com/home/section/2390/section-7-inadvocate-act-1961/bar-councill-of-india ( last visited Apr. 14, 2021).

[7] LAWYERS SERVICES, https://www.lawyerservices.in/Advocates-Act-1961-SECTION-49-General-power-of-the-Bar-Council-of-India-to-make-rules ( last visited Apr. 14, 2021).

[8] AIR1996 SCC (7) 216, JT 1996 (6) 529.

[9] AIR 1995 SCC (5) 716.

[10] AIR 1953, 185 SCR 581.

[11] AIR 19, 1995 SCR (1) 757.

[12] AIR 618, 1984 SCR (2) 438.

[13]INDIAN LAWS INFO, http://www.indianlawsinfo.com/home/section/2387/section-126-in-indian-evidence-act-1872/bar-council-of-india ( last visited Apr. 14, 2020).

[14] AIR1979, 1979 SCR (1)1054.

[15] Diganth Raj Sehgal, Indian courts and Professional ethics, IPLEADERS BLOG ( Apr. 14 , 2021, 5:46 PM).

Author: Riya Rathore (School of Law,UPES Dehradun)


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