This paper is a continuation of the thesis research, which aims at carrying out the formation of a lawyer’s ethical code in Europe to understand such principles of legal activity in Ukraine. Interpretation of the rules of the lawyer’s professional conduct should be aimed at the purpose of legal principle place and the law itself. It can be stated that a lawyer has some specific goals in comparison with the goals of an average citizen, and his life is much more regulated by law.
There are things that are allowed to everybody but not allowed to a lawyer, and vice versa – there are specific rights that only a lawyer has. 105 Thus, it places the people of the advocacy into a specific experience of the world of life, which involves non-standard intersubjective intentions of an actor.
All these must be governed by specific norms, that is, the standards of lawyer’s ethics, which will be different from other ethical norms. Ethics and competence are two main features that should characterize their activities. Competence includes academic knowledge and experience, and ethics is the observation of all rules and standards of legal ethics. [Humphries M. Legal Ethics, Past and Present – Part Two. / Mark Humphries // The Law Society Gazette. – 30 November 2009].
The intentions to consider such issues add more importance to intelligence in the field of professional legal ethics. Since it is not in the lawyer’s external accusations in immorality, but in the lawyer’s own position itself. The lawyer although has to solve certain eternal ethical problems independently, as everyone, but from a professional point of view, he deserves transparent and clear rules that would regulate its legal activities.
Peter MacFarlane in his work “The importance of ethics and the application of ethical principles to the legal profession” [Peter MacFarlane. The importance of ethics and the application of ethical principles to the legal profession, // Journal of the South Pacific Law. Vol 13 no 1, 2009. www.paclii.org/journals/fJSPL/vol06/8.shtml] emphasizes the importance of applying ethical principles in advocacy. He pays special attention to ethical codes and professional practice standards. The issue of ethical responsibility and duty is an integral part of the legal profession.
The rights of the advocacy, naturally, imply special duties. At the advocacy there is a social duty to improve society by introducing into the consciousness of citizens (both ordinary residents and senior government officials) the legal culture, law respect, the need to respect the rights of others. The lawyer should help to improve functioning the justice system and increase the society respect to it. In June 2017, the National Association of Advocates in Ukraine updated the Rules of Attorneys’ Ethics, which have not changed significantly, and also impose on each lawyer a duty to adhere to high moral and ethical values, but there are also innovations.
Traditional rules, such as: respecting the law rule in their activities, the priority of client interests, respect for the lawyer’s profession, independence and freedom of counseling, confidentiality, integrity and competence remain unchanged. In addition, the Professional Code of Ethics was supplemented with a new section VIII “Regulatory compliance of legal ethics when using the Internet.” The section contains articles about the principles of lawyers’ behavior in social networks.
Using social networks with online forums and other forms of communication on the Internet, the lawyer must take into account the limitations for advocacy in terms of completeness and perception of information, ensuring its confidentiality and preservation. [Principles of Attorneys Ethics / Approved by the Reporting and Election Congress of Advocates of Ukraine in 2017 [Electronic resource]. Access Mode: http://unba.org.ua/assets/uploads/legislation/pravila/2017-06-09-pravila-2017_ 106 596f00dda53cd.pdf].
These innovations are intended to increase lawyers’ credibility and role. The use of a social networking by a lawyer must be in line with the following principles: independence; professionalism; responsibility; honesty; restraint and correctness; dignity; prevention of any manifestation of discrimination; tolerance; corporate identity and trust in society; confidentiality. Lawyers should also not only be aware of their ethical obligations, but also be informed of all ethical and legal issues related to the use of social networks (data confidentiality, intellectual property, etc.). Their observance is an integral part of lawyer’s communication in social networks.
The lawyer, when communicating with other members of social networks, including the placement of comments and content, must take into account the consequences of such communication for his professional independence in the future in advocacy performance. Summarizing this small study, it can be stated that the function of a lawyer is to motivate people to obey the law, and not to violate or circumvent it. This principle is not just ethical populism, it is central to the lawyer’s professional code. In other circumstances, the attorney’s activity loses its social value.
Author K. Tkachenko, PhD.