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Code of ethics

Code of conduct: “In a society founded on respect for the rule of law the lawyer fulfils a special role. The lawyer’s duties do not begin and end with the faithful performance of what he or she is instructed to do so far as the law permits. A lawyer must serve the interests of justice as well as those whose rights and liberties he or she is trusted to assert and defend and it is the lawyer’s duty not only to plead the client’s cause but to be the client’s adviser. Respect for the lawyer’s professional function is an essential condition for the rule of law and democracy in society.”– the CCBE’s Code of Conduct for European Lawyers, article 1.1

 

The code of conduct is a guarantee for a high-quality service and the cornerstone of any trust relationship with your lawyer.

 

It distinguishes your lawyer from a simple “seller of right”.

 

THREE BASIC PRINCIPLES GOVERNING WHAT A LAWYER DOES


a) Independence

Your lawyer acts independently of the judge, the litigant and any preconceived notions. For this reason, he is not allowed to represent opposing interests. Moreover, this independence allows him to choose his own words before a court and gives him the right not to provide counsel to or defend any case which he does not believe to be in line with his conscience.


b) Integrity and dignity

Your lawyer must abstain from any behaviour, whether professionally or in private, which may be seen as damaging his profession.


c) Professional secrecy

Your lawyer may not disclose the confidences you have made to him. In the same vein, your correspondence with your lawyer, as well as that between lawyers, is similarly confidential. With the exception of certain specific circumstances, it may not be produced in court.

Subject to criminal penalties, respect of professional secrecy allows your lawyer to correspond freely with his colleagues and with you. The ability to negotiate in complete confidentiality is often a key factor for successful negotiations.

 

DISCIPLINE

The President of the Liege Bar is responsible for enforcing the code of conduct to which your lawyer is subject.

The law has established a disciplinary board involving a court of appeal which can be called upon by the President of the Bar following a complaint from a litigant or lawyer. The plaintiff may, under certain conditions, be heard.

The sanctions imposed by the disciplinary board range from a warning to a temporary (suspension) or permanent ban on exercising the profession of a lawyer. The plaintiff similarly has the right to question the civil liability of his lawyer.

 

To view the code of conduct to which your lawyer is subject, see
http://www.barreaudeliege.be/EN/Deontologie.aspx.