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Lawyers to Mind

Lawyers To Mind

"...the greatest co-operation is called for between the Judges to administer justice and members of the Bar to co-operate in the administration of justice."M. C. Setalvad

M. C. Setalvad was an eminent Indian jurist, who became the first and longest serving Attorney general of India (1950-1963). He also remained the Chairman of the First Law Commission of India (1955-1958), which is mandated for legal reform in the country by Government of India.

"It is futile to think of excellence in judiciary unless the judges � howsoever highly or howsoever lowly placed � were to follow the canons of judicial ethics. Thus, the subject ('Canons of judicial Ethics�) becomes inevitably relevant."Fali S. Nariman

The continued existence of a free and democratic society depends upon recognition of the concept that justice is based upon the rule of law grounded in respect for the dignity of the individual and the capacity of the individual through reason for enlightened self-government. Law so grounded makes justice possible; for only through such law does the dignity of the individual attain respect and protection. Without it, individual rights become subject to unrestrained power, respect for law is destroyed, and rational self-government is impossible.

Lawyers, as guardians of the law, play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship with and function in our legal system. A consequent obligation of lawyers is to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct.

In fulfilling professional responsibilities, a lawyer necessarily assumes various roles that require the performance of many difficult tasks. Not every situation which the lawyer may encounter can be foreseen, but fundamental ethical principles are always present for guidance. Within the framework of these principles, a lawyer must with courage and foresight be able and ready to shape the body of the law to the ever-changing relationships of society.

The Code of Professional Responsibility points the way to the aspiring and provides standards by which to judge the transgressor. Each lawyer's own conscience must provide the touchstone against which to test the extent to which the lawyer's actions should rise above minimum standards. But in the last analysis it is the desire for the respect and confidence of the members of the profession and of the society which the lawyer serves that should provide to a lawyer the incentive for the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The possible loss of that respect and confidence is the ultimate sanction. So long as its practitioners are guided by these principles, the law will continue to be a noble profession. This is its greatness and its strength, which permit of no compromise.

...preamble to New York Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility

(Compiled by Sobhanlal Hazra, Sr. Advocate, Member, on 12.04.2011)