Professional ethics in the legal profession

In this article, Aditi Lakhanpal of Rayat Bahra University Mohali Punjab discusses Professional ethics in the legal profession. What can we learn from legal luminaries?

Professional ethics in the legal profession

In law, a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.” –Immanuel Kant[i]

A paramount stride to being an individual who is capable of being comprehensive as to take a look upon the matter of ethics in broad-spectrum. Ethics are a moral doctrine that administers demeanor or the directing of an action. Ethics is a prerequisite of humanoid existence for the reason that it is the methodology of determining a root of an act. Thus, we have a standard value by which all our actions are determined. Devoid of, hominids would action without any reliable direction. An elementary of one’s moral principles intended for humans is the means of endurance. Other fundamentals take in self-regard and coherence of interests. Further, there are numerous of essentials—individuality, uprightness, scrupulousness, pride, generosity, rationality and liberty. Professional ethics entail of those necessary principles on which the profession has been put up. Legitimate principles are one of the professional ethics which deals with demeanor grounded on the sense of duty that a legal representative feel bounded to the law court, to the client, to his coworkers in the line of work, as well as to the society. Those responsibilities are owed to almost each person exhibits the social order regard for the legitimate profession and the society concern the profession serves. In lieu of amateur dealing with legal representatives, the utmost appropriate direct orientation about legal representatives ethics are the “Code of Professional Responsibility” that delineates the expectations from lawyers, and the “Code of Judicial Conduct”  that expressly applies to those in the Judiciary.

Professional ethics in the Legal profession

Code of professional Responsibility

Every single discipline, profession, job and every calling has a cutting edge. At that cutting edge, lines are drawn. Lawyers and judges are society’s ultimate line drawers. On one side of the line, the conduct, action, or procrastination is appropriate; on the other side of the track, it is not. [ii]Code of professional responsibility delineates a conduct that is “rational,” “judicious,” and consistent with “norms of the profession and the rule of law.” Lawyers and judges must be just and realistic in their dealings with their clients, counsel, and litigants. Our Constitution enshrines that the right to consult and to be defended by a lawyer of one’s choice is a fundamental right of a person and so; it is the duty of a lawyer to defend such person. Legal representatives accountability in our society is that he ought to stand “as an armor” in the security of moralities and to hold off corrupt. From the line of work charged with these sense of responsibilities, there must be expected those potentials of truth-speaking, high wisdom of honor, granite freedom of choice, of the firmest adherence of fiduciary accountability, that have thru the centuries been compendiously pronounced as “ethical character”. Some legal representatives have taken the barred route and, as a result, have been underprivileged of their privilege to practice law which validates termination from practice or dismissal takes account of great corruption. Great corruption is contemplative of immodesty to practice. Lawyers as custodians of the law play a dynamic part in the protection of society. The serenity of this responsibility entails an understanding by the legal representative of their connection with and function in our legal system. A consequent onus of legal representative is to uphold the highest ethics of ethical conduct. A legal representative shall at all times maintain the uprightness and pride of the legitimate profession.  Further in the light of professional ethics in the legal profession certain amendments in Advocates Act 1961 [iii]have been constructed.  This are-

  • The meaning of misconduct is “all-inclusive besides drafted in the utmost potential provocative manner.”
  • The license of Practice of an Advocate can be annulled or suspended on a complaint about his behavior or conduct made by a Justice or a Judicial Officer.
  • The Bill put forward imposition of a fine of Rs. 3 lakh and cost of proceedings in a complaint filed by a litigant against legal representatives. It addition provides for payment of compensation up to Rs. 5 lakh to a person aggrieved by a lawyer’s transgression. It also recommends imposing a fine of Rs. 2 lakh on a lawyer, if he does not cooperate in the disciplinary proceedings.
  • Advocates shall not be able to claim the security of non-receipt of fees while defending themselves against any proceedings initiated against them.

Code of Judicial Conduct

Judges have an exclusive representation in the egalitarian rule by way of the evenhanded interpreters of the law and the executors of fairness. A justice of the peace must not merely be well experienced in law, but he must act reasonably as well as fairly and provide judgments that are unbiased and bona fide. Judicial professional integrities work for the two-fold principle of governing judges in these activities and as well making the community attentive of what to look for from judges.


The code of judicial conduct holds ethical values and doctrines that assist judges in demarcating among moral and fallacies while carrying out their functions. Judges have remarkable authority and accountability since they resolve matters that affect the parties involved in a case. Hence, a judge must keep an eye on the law and execute judicial obligations generously and independently to make a true judgment. He has a duty to oppose external powers, for instance party-political force or else pressures that might influence him to make an unethical judgment.

Egalitarian Demeanor

Ethical rules mentor judges continuously regarding exactly how they can ensure fairness and refrain from immodesty in the award of justice. Every single individual is entitled to egalitarian conduct before the law. If the judge has particular information of the disputed facts, relations to any of the parties otherwise an interest in the result, a judge has a duty to abstain from deciding matters. In any of these cases, the principled judge will give away from the case.

Public Morale

 The law lords administer the law, before the Constitution, public must stay assertive of attaining shield for their privileges and sovereignties. A judge constantly has a duty to act thru nobility and carry out his callings to the utmost ethics to advocate and sustain the honor of his organization. Public confidence aids when individuals bring their issues to court of law and have a faith that a judge will act nobly and uprightly in the discharge of his duties.


Obedience to professional moral code upholds clarity and stimulates judges to take accountability in lieu of their acts, which empowers them to be held responsible to their profession, government, and the society. A judge who acts unscrupulously takes the law lords into disgrace and possibilities of losing his position either through impeachment or failing to be re-appointed.


  • Legal representatives are not born skilled with awareness of the bylaw and its ethical outlooks. They all start as youngsters within their kinfolks as of where they grab their most primitive understanding of fair and fallacious and their wisdom of equanimity and reasonable.
  • Good behavior to parents and regard for others are prompt values that are generally cultured as element of ethics. Subsequently, these ethics transform into regard for and acquiescence to the law and the legal authorities.
  • Formal learning and drill on principles initiate at school; principles are armor-plated as rules and principles of demeanor imparted in classes on virtuous manners and right bearing, civics, societal educations, and religion. Guidance in these ethics and ideals should idyllically reinforce as youngsters mature into their challenging years of youth and as they buildup greater experience in the outside world.
  • This point of life, also, aids as an indispensable foundation of a coming legal representative’s ethical demeanor. Meanwhile a student enters law institute; educationalists are confronted with law students with their peculiar moderately matured beliefs, some of them by now completely implanted. This is an actuality that law schools should agree to take as a starting socket in training Legal Ethics.
  • Afterward law school and the Bar, the turns of the profession and the administrative authorities twitch. The legitimate profession, through the Bar and the law corporations, must aid and monitor its lawyer-members emancipate their ethical onuses, while the administrative authority – the Supreme Court – must be authoritarian though unbiased and evenhanded. The community dealing with legal representatives, alternatively, must also is responsive of legal representative’s ethical and professional onuses.
  • This responsiveness and their authoritarian demand for acquiescence must be there to impart to legal representative the need to toe the straightforward and confined aisle of ethical conduct. It is imperative for one and all to have ethical modules in every single profession for the reason that at the sundown it guides the moral awareness of that individual person in anything he does. [iv]
  • We all toil to work for the interest of the social order, and in lieu of the legitimate practitioners, it is an honorable profession that they should, consequently, endeavor towards work to safeguard public faith plus confidence.

This was all on Professional ethics in the legal profession. What are your views on Professional ethics in the legal profession? Please comment below and let us know. 

Suggested Readings.

Professional Misconduct Under The Advocates Act, 1961

Right of a lawyer to practice in India and duties of a lawyer






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