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International Code of Ethics (1964)
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International Code of Ethics
adopted at Oslo on July 25th, 1956 and amended by the
General Meeting of the International Bar Association at Mexico City,
July 29th, 1964.
1. This Code of International Ethics in no way is intended to supersede existing national or local rules of legal ethics or those which may from time to time be adopted.
A lawyer shall not only discharge the duties imposed upon him by his own national or local rules, but he shall also endeavor when handling a case of an international character to adhere to the rules of this Code subject necessarily to the rules existing in those other countries in which he is active.
2. A lawyer shall at all times maintain the honor and dignity of his profession.
He shall, in his practice as well as in his private life, abstain from any behavior which may tend to discredit the profession of which he is a member.
3. A lawyer shall preserve independence ire the discharge of his professional duty.
A lawyer, practicing on his own account or in partnership where permissible, shall not engage in any other business or occupation if by doing so he may cease to be independent.
4. A lawyer shall treat his professional colleagues with the courtesy and fairness.
A lawyer who undertakes to render assistance to a foreign colleague shall always keep in mind that his foreign colleague has to depend on him to a much larger extent than in the case of another lawyer of the same country. Therefore his responsibility is much greater, both when giving advice and when handling a case.
For this reason it is improper for a lawyer to accept a case unless lit call handle it promptly and with due competence, without undue interference by the pressure of other work. To the fees in these cases Rule 19 applies.
5. Except where the law or custom of' the country concerned otherwise requires, any oral or written communication between lawyers shall in principle be accorded a confidential character as far as the Court is concerned, unless certain promises or acknowledgments are made therein on behalf of a client.
6. A lawyer shall always maintain due respect towards the court lawyer shall without fear defend the interests of' his client and without regard to any unpleasant consequences to himself or to any other person.
A lawyer shall never knowingly give to the Court incorrect information or advice which is to his knowledge contrary to the law.
7. It shall be considered improper for a lawyer to communicate about a particular case directly with any person whom he knows to be represented in that case by another lawyer without the latter's consent.
8. It is contrary to the dignity of' it lawyer to resort to advertisement
9. A lawyer should never solicit business and he should never consent to handle a case unless at the direct request of' the party concerned. However, it is proper for a lawyer to handle a case which is assigned to him by a competent body, or which is forwarded to him by another lawyer or for which he is engaged in any other manner permissible under his local rules or regulations.
10. A lawyer shall at all times give his client a candid opinion of any case.
He shall render his assistance with scrupulous care and diligence. This applies also if he is assigned as counsel for an indigent person.
A lawyer shall at any time be free to refuse to handle a case, unless it is assigned to him by a competent body.
A lawyer should only withdraw from a case during its course for good cause, and if possible in such a manner that the client's interests are not adversely affected.
The loyal defense of a client's case may never cause an advocate to be other than perfectly candid, subject to any right or privilege to the contrary which his clients choose him to exercise, or knowingly to go against the law.
11. A lawyer shall when in the client's interest endeavor to reach a solution by settlement out of court rather than start legal proceedings.
A lawyer should never stir up litigation.
12. A lawyer should not acquire financial interest in the subject matter of a case which he is conducting. Neither should he, directly or indirectly, acquire property about which litigation is pending before the court in which he practices.
13. A lawyer should not represent conflicting interests in litigation and should only do so in other matters where he considers to do so is in the best interests of both clients and they do not object. This also applies to all members of a firm or partnership of lawyers.
14. A lawyer should never disclose, unless lawfully ordered to do so by the Court or as required by Statute, what has been communicated to him in his capacity as lawyer, even after he has ceased to be the client's counsel. This duty extends to his partners, to junior lawyers assisting him and to his employees.
15. In pecuniary matters a lawyer shall be most punctual and diligent.
He should never mingle funds of others with his own and he should at all times be able to refund money he holds for others.
He shall not retain money received for his client for longer than is absolutely necessary.
16. A lawyer may require that a deposit is made to cover his expenses, but the deposit should be made in accordance with the estimated amount of his charges and the probable expenses and labor required.
17. A lawyer should never forget that he should put forward first not his right to compensation for his services, but the interest of his client and the exigencies of the administration of justice.
His right to ask for a deposit or to demand payment for his services, failing which he may withdraw from a case or refuse to handle it, should never be exercised at a moment on which the client or prospective client may be unable to find other assistance in time to prevent irreparable damage being done.
The lawyer's fee should, in the absence of non-applicability of official scales, be fixed on a consideration of the amount involved in the controversy and the interest of it to the client, the times and labor involved and all other personal and factual circumstances of the case.
18. A contract for a contingent fee, where sanctioned by the law or by professional rules and practice, should be reasonable under all circumstances of the case, including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation and subject to supervision of court as to its reasonableness
19. A lawyer who engages a foreign colleague to advise on a case or to cooperate in handling it, is responsible for the payment of the latter's charges except express agreement to the contrary. When a lawyer directs a client to a foreign colleague he is not responsible for the payment of the latter's charges, but neither is the entitled to a share of the fee of this foreign colleague.
20. No lawyer should permit his professional services or his name to be used in any way which would make it possible for persons to practice law who are not legally authorized to do so.
No lawyer shall delegate to a legally unqualified person not in his employ and control any functions which are by the law or custom of the country in which he practices only to be performed by a qualified lawyer.