The legal profession has developed a sense of ethical standards, which is often codified in laws and regulations. These are known as the legal professional principles.
Lawyer-client privilege should be regarded as an essential condition for the practice of law and may be judicially compelled only in accordance with recognized exceptions.
Confidentiality is the principle that requires a professional not to disclose confidential information. This includes personal and private information. This information can be divulged to unauthorized parties only in certain circumstances, such as attorney client privilege. This privilege encourages frank communication between attorneys and their clients, as well as promotes compliance with the law. However, the attorney-client privilege can be waived if the information is revealed to third parties not involved in the representation.
It is also important for researchers to keep information confidential when they interact with research subjects. This is especially true when dealing with sensitive issues, such as a woman’s decision to undergo Female Genital Mutilation. Keeping this information secret is a duty for the researcher, but it can be difficult in practice when working in vulnerable communities where confidentiality may not be respected as much as in urban settings. In such cases, the duty to protect confidentiality must be balanced with other legal obligations.
Loyalty encourages people to remain faithful to one another, fosters lasting relationships and helps organizations provide stability. It can be a positive force in any group, providing a sense of consistency that keeps individuals focused on long-term goals and prevents unproductive conflict from arising.
It also encourages people to stand up for those they know and care about, especially when the person or organization is being treated poorly. This type of loyalty stems from empathy and a deep connection that comes from knowing the person or group well.
While some defenders of loyalty assert that it entails jingoism, in most contexts privileging an object of loyalty (B) does not require disparaging others (C). For example, the duty of undivided loyalty to a current client prohibits undertaking representation adverse to the client absent his informed consent. This principle is commonly cited in decisions regarding attorney client privilege. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for law firms to develop and maintain loyalty with their clients.
Professionalism is the behaviour that is expected of a member of a Profession. Professions typically have well defined laws, ethics and conventions that demand a high standard of conduct in their dealings with the public. A person is considered a professional within a Profession when they have acquired a level of expertise through education, research and training and are recognised and accepted by the community as possessing specific knowledge and skills in the area of their practice.
Legal professionals are part of a profession and are required to uphold the laws, ethics and principles that are inherent in the Profession. The MRPC also recognises that communication between legal professionals and their clients is protected by attorney client privilege. Similarly, the work product of legal professionals is protected by legal professional privilege.
Legal ethics are moral principles that legal professionals use to guide their actions. They are not just a set of rules for distinguishing right from wrong like the Golden Rule or the Hippocratic Oath; they also provide guidance on how to act in a variety of situations, such as when it’s appropriate to withhold information from clients.
The ethical rules include the principle of confidentiality, which is an essential part of attorney client privilege. It applies not just to communications between lawyer and client but to any information acquired during representation, regardless of its source. Another important legal professional ethical principle is that lawyers must not be subjected to intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference in the performance of their functions, or in respect of any action taken in accordance with recognized standards and ethics. A legal profession that is self-regulated can be an effective force in preventing abuses of power and protecting the independence of government under law.