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Professional ethics

Independance

The Barrister is always free to accept or to refuse his assistance to a client who requests it.

He may even refuse it after having initially accepted it (for example where a disagreement arises between him and his client) but he may not unexpectedly abandon his client subject to the accusation of serious professional misconduct giving rise to possible damages.

He must under all circumstances remain independent with respect to everyone, including his client.

He must in conscience decide whether a situation is likely to compromise his material, moral and / or intellectual independence.

With respect to his independence, the Barrister is the master of the arguments he puts forward and the grounds which he intends to assert, and may even have a point of view concerning the file different from that of his client.

He must show the same independence before judges and legal auxiliaries.


Confidentiality

Confidentiality, more generally called “professional secrecy” is the guarantee for the client that everything which he may have entrusted and / or disclosed to his Barrister shall never be disclosed by the latter even before or at the request of the authorities.

Any breach thereof may be sanctioned under article 226-13 of the French Criminal Code by imprisonment of one year and a fine of € 15,000.

However, secrecy on the part of a Barrister is different from that entrusted in a priest, insofar as the Barrister is the custodian of confidential information for the sole purpose of allowing the client to win a case, whereas the priest hears a confession for the purpose of granting a pardon.

The secrecy entrusted to the priest is absolute whereas that of the Barrister is relative, that is to say subject to the freedom of conscience of the latter to reveal all or part of it in the interests of the cause for which he is responsible.

In other words, the Barrister determines that which is covered or not covered by secrecy.

The only limit to this interdiction is the case where, pursuant to confidential information received, the Barrister becomes an accessory to the fact or joint perpetrator with his client of a crime or an offence.


Tact - Independence - and confidentiality

This notion governs all of the professional rules concerning the profession of Barrister, who must strictly comply with them on a daily basis.

These three words constitute the real ethics of the profession without which it could not have fulfilled and could not at present fulfil the requirements of the clients.