The Malta Independent 20 September 2020, Sunday

Lawyers shouldn't be made to feel ashamed of representing certain clients - Chamber of Advocates

Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 14:16 Last update: about 3 days ago

It is unacceptable that representing certain clients is perceived as something that a lawyer should be ashamed of, the Chamber of Advocates said in a statement on Wednesday.                           

The Chamber of Advocates noted with disappointment certain reports in sections of the media, as well as on “social media”, which, they said, unfortunately provide a misguided impression of how judicial procedures are conducted and as a result, become the source of public misinformation. 

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“In certain instances, several negative reactions being generated vis-a-vis members of the legal profession are a function of a lack of understanding of the role of the lawyer and the judicial process”, the Chamber said. 

They reiterated that it is a fundamental right of every person to be assisted by a lawyer of his or her choice and to be defended and represented at every stage of the judicial process. 

“The lawyer is an active participant  throughout the whole judicial process in representation of his client’s interests, and should not be implicated with the alleged or actual misdeeds of his client nor to be the subject of criticism just because the lawyer is representing a client and carrying out his duty towards a defendant”, the Chamber said. 

“It is unacceptable that representing certain clients is perceived as something that a lawyer should be ashamed of”, they added. 

The Chamber said that they believe that for the rule of law to truly prevail, it is essential that all lawyers are allowed to carry out their professional duties freely, and without fear of feeling intimidated or threatened. 

The legal profession, the judiciary and the judicial process, is not and indeed should not be immune to criticism, however, even when criticism is levelled it should be guided by a sense of maturity and that in each and every case, reporting should provide a full and comprehensive picture of the process in a clear, complete and factual manner, the Chamber concluded.

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