The role of lawyers – basic principles

Among other things, the peoples of the world express their determination in the Charter of the United Nations, create conditions under which justice can be maintained, and announce as one of their goals the achievement of international cooperation, respect for human rights, and fundamental freedoms without distinction of race and sex, promote and consolidate the language or religion.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights upholds the principles of equality before the law. the presumption of innocence the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal and all warranties are required to defend a person charged with a criminal offense.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, moreover, proclaims the law. to be tried without undue delay. and the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent independent and impartial. law-based court.

The following basic principles concerning the role of lawyers, formulated to promote and ensure the adequate role of lawyers, should be respected and taken into account by States in their national legislation and practice, and lawyers, prosecutors, members of the executive and legislative bodies, as well as the general public. Where applicable, the principles also apply to persons performing legal services without having the formal status of a lawyer.

Access to lawyers and legal services

1. Everyone has the right to seek the assistance of a lawyer of his choice to protect and prove his rights and to defend them in all stages of criminal proceedings.

2. The State shall ensure that effective and equal access to lawyers is available to all persons within its jurisdiction within its jurisdiction with effective procedures and appropriate mechanisms, without any distinction such as racial discrimination, color of skin, ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, political or other views, national or social origin, property, birth or economic or other status.

3. The State shall ensure that adequate funds and other means of mutual legal assistance are available to those in need and, where necessary, other disadvantaged persons. The professional associations of lawyers are involved in the organization and provision of services, aids and other services.

4. The State and Professional Associations of Lawyers promote programs to inform the public about their legal rights and obligations and the important role of lawyers in protecting their fundamental freedoms. Particular attention should be paid to helping those in need and other disadvantaged persons to enable them to assert their rights and, if necessary, seek the assistance of lawyers.

Special guarantees in criminal matters

5. The State shall ensure that all persons are immediately informed by the competent authority of their right to be assisted by a lawyer of their choice, upon arrest or detention, or at the time of the accusation of a criminal offense.

6. Anyone without a lawyer shall, in all cases in which the interests of the judiciary so request, have the right to appoint a lawyer whose experience and expertise are commensurate with the nature of the accusation so as to ensure that it has an effective legal basis Assistance, if it does not have sufficient resources to pay for these services.

7. The State shall also ensure that any person arrested or detained, with or without charge, shall have immediate access to a lawyer, in any event no later than 48 hours after the arrest or detention.

8. All persons arrested, detained or held liable shall be given reasonable opportunity, time and facilities to be visited, consulted and consulted by a lawyer without delay, control or censorship and in strict confidentiality. Such consultations may be observed by law enforcement officers, but not intercepted.

Aptitude and training

9. The State, professional associations of lawyers and educational institutions shall ensure that lawyers have adequate education and training, and are familiarized with the lawyer’s ideals and honors, as well as with the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law.

10. The State, professional associations of lawyers and educational institutions shall ensure that, with regard to entry into, or employment in, the profession, on the grounds of race, color, sex, ethnic origin, religion, religion or profession political or other views, discrimination of national or social origin, property, birth or economic or other status. The requirement that a lawyer is a citizen of that country is not considered discriminatory.

11. In countries with groups, communities or areas whose needs for legal services are not met, especially where such groups have different cultures,

Traditions or languages or have been the victims of discrimination in the past, the state, professional associations of lawyers and training institutions should take special measures to give applicants from these groups the opportunity to enter the legal profession and should ensure that they receive training appropriate to the needs of their groups.

Duties and responsibilities

12. As an essential body of justice, the lawyer must at all times preserve the honor and dignity of his profession.

13. It is one of the duties of the lawyer towards his clients:

(a) to inform the client of his or her rights and obligations and of the functioning of the legal system, insofar as this is relevant to the rights and obligations of the client;

b) assist the client in every reasonable way and take legal action to protect his interests;

c) assist the client before courts or administrative authorities as necessary


14. In protecting the rights of his client and advocating for the cause of justice, the lawyer must endeavor to uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law and at any time independently and diligently by the law and recognized codes of conduct and conduct Act of honor of the lawyer.

15. The lawyer must always be loyal to the interests of his client.

Guarantees for the activity of the lawyer

16. The State shall ensure that the lawyer: (a) is able to perform all his professional duties without intimidation, disability, harassment or undue influence; b) is able to travel and freely consult with clients, both at home and abroad; and (c) not subjected to or threatened with persecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for acts consistent with recognized professional duties, rules of conduct and honorary duties.

17. Where the safety of a lawyer is threatened as a result of the performance of his duties, the authorities must adequately protect him.

18. The lawyer may not be identified with his clients or the affairs of his clients for the performance of his duties.

19. A court or administrative authority to which the right to representation is recognized shall not refuse to recognize the right of a lawyer to appear for the benefit of his client unless the lawyer conforms with the law and practice of the lawyer profession concerned and in accordance with these principles.

20. The lawyer enjoys civil and criminal immunity for any material statements he has made in written / oral submissions or in person before a court or other legal or administrative authority.

21. The competent authorities must grant lawyers access to appropriate information, records and documents in their possession or under their control within enough time to enable the lawyer to provide effective legal assistance to his client. Access should be granted at the earliest opportunity.

22. The State acknowledges and observes that every contact and consultation between the lawyer and his client within the professional relationship is confidential.

Freedom of expression and association

23. The lawyer, like other citizens, is entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association, and assembly. In particular, he has the right to participate in public discussions on matters of law, justice and the promotion and protection of human rights, and to join or establish local, national or international organizations, and to attend their events, without this being lawful To be subjected to occupational restrictions or his /her membership in a lawful organization. In exercising these rights, the lawyer must always comply with the law and the recognized rules of conduct and honorary duties of the legal profession.

Professional associations of lawyers

24. Lawyers have the right to form and join professional self-governing associations to represent their interests, promote their education and training and protect their professional integrity. The board of a professional association is to be elected by its members and has to perform its tasks without outside influence.

25. Lawyers’ professional associations work with governments to ensure that everyone has effective and equal access to legal services and that lawyers can use their clients following the law and recognized codes of conduct and honors without undue influence advise and assist them.

Disciplinary proceedings

26. Professional codes of conduct for lawyers shall be established by the legal profession through its competent bodies or by legislation in accordance with national law, national customs and recognized international standards and norms.

27. Allegations or complaints made against a lawyer in his professional capacity shall be dealt with expeditiously and cheaply in an appropriate manner. The lawyer has the right to a fair trial, including the right to be assisted by a lawyer of his choice.

28. Disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer must be brought before an impartial disciplinary committee created by the legal profession, before an independent body created by law or before a court and subject to independent judicial review.

All disciplinary procedures must be decided in accordance with professional codes of conduct and other recognized codes of conduct and honorary duties of the legal profession and based on these principles.