Basic principles about the role of a lawyer


Whereas in the Charter of the United Nations, people in the world affirm, among other things, their determination to establish conditions under which justice can be maintained, and declare as one of their goals the achievement of international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights. and fundamental freedoms regardless of race, gender, language or religion, Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines 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 guarantees needed for the defense of every person charged with violation,

Whereas the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, in addition, the right to be tried without undue delay and the right to a fair and public hearing by competent, independent and impartial courts established by law, Whereas the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recalls the obligations of States under the Charter to promote universal respect for, and compliance with, human rights and freedoms,

Whereas the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under All Forms of Detention or Prison states that detained persons are entitled to assistance, and to communicate and consult with, legal counsel, Whereas the Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners recommend, in particular, that legal assistance and confidential communications with legal counsel must be ensured to detainees who have not yet been tried,

Whereas Safeguards which guarantee protection for those facing the death penalty reaffirm the right of anyone suspected or convicted of a crime for which capital punishment can be imposed for adequate legal assistance at all stages of the process, in accordance with article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

Whereas the Declaration of the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power recommends steps that must be taken at the international and national level to improve access to justice and fair treatment, restitution, compensation and assistance for victims of crime, Whereas adequate protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms that are the right of all people, be they economic, social and cultural, or civil and political, requires that all people have effective access to legal services provided by the independent legal profession,

While the professional association of lawyers has an important role in upholding professional standards and ethics, protecting their members from mistreatment and restrictions and improper violations, providing legal services to all who need them, and working with government agencies and other institutions in continuing the ultimate goal of justice and public interest,

The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, outlined below, which have been formulated to assist Member States in their task of promoting and ensuring the role of appropriate lawyers, must be respected and taken into account by the Government in the framework of their national legislation and practice and must be brought to the attention of lawyers as well as others, such as judges, prosecutors, executive and legislative members, and society at large. These principles also apply, as appropriate, to people who carry out the functions of lawyers without having the legal status of a lawyer.

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