ARRETE NO. 41/DPJ/SG/MJ OF 12TH APRIL 2005 ON THE HOMOLOGATION AND PUBLICACATION OF THE INTERNAL REGULATIONS OF THE CAMEROON BAR
These internal regulations are compendium of the rules and regulations which are by virtue of customs, usages and the law, binding on all advocates of the Cameroon bar and on all foreign advocates who are received by the Cameroon bar association.
These decisions of the bar president and of the bar council taken in conformity with the law and the present internal order shall be applicable to advocates as from the date of their notification in case of individual decisions and as from the date of publication in case of decisions of a general character.
Advocates practicing in Cameroon shall be members of a professional organization known and styled. “THE BAR ASSOCIATION” which shall be placed under the supervisory authority of the minister of justice and keeper of the seals.
The are registered on the bar roll drawn p each year by the bar council, which roll shall comprise a section for physical persons and a section for law firms.
The bar roll, which shall carry the composition of the general assembly and of the bar council shall also contain the list of all advocates-in-training and honorary advocates.
The functioning organs of the bar association are:
- The general assembly
- The president of the general assembly
- The bar council
- The president of the bar association
- The secretary of the bar association and
- The treasurer of the bar association
CHAPTER I : ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The general assembly shall comprise all registered advocates on the bar roll and who are authorized to practice as such.
It may be convened either in an ordinary or an extraordinary session.
It shall meet in ordinary session at least once a year when personally convened by the president of the general assembly and by any verififiable means.
It shall meet in extraordinary session when convened either by the president of the general assembly, the minister of justice o at the behest o f the bar council, or at the request of an absolute majority of advocates authorized to practice. In the latter case, a report shall be made and signed by the said practicing advocates and the president of the general assembly will then convene the general assembly at least thirty clear days thereafter by letters to each of the advocates summoning them thereto.
Advocate-in-training taking part in the general assembly meeting may be allowed too speak but shall have no voting right
At the beginning of its session, the general assembly shall set p a bureau made up of the president of the general assembly, assisted by its current vice president, and two secretaries elected by the majority of members present in the said general assembly.
It shall also designate three auditors charged with producing a report on the association’s accounts for the year before the end of the next session.
The ordinary general assembly shall examine the agenda drawn up by the president of the general assembly.
It shall vote the budget of the bar association, the draft of which budget would have been prepared by the bar council
It shall carry out the election of the president and the vice president of the general assembly by a secret ballot and by list system and by a simple majority of the members present or represented.
It shall, in like manner, elect the members of the bar council.
It shall elect the president of the bar by uninominal ballot and by simple majority.
The general assembly shall in extraordinary session examine all urgent matters relating to practice at the bar brought before it in accordance with the forms provided by law.
The decisions taken by the general assembly shall be contained in a report to be signed by the members of the bureau of the said general assembly.
The president of the general assembly shall transmit to the president of the bar association within 15 days following the general assembly session, a copy of the said report for implementation.
The president and the vice president of the general assembly shall be elected by the general assembly in accordance with provisions of the law.
Their duties cease at the end of the two year mandate or, in cases of death, resignation, suspension, disbarment and in case they are dismissed by the general assembly for some serious reason of a particularly urgent nature. In such a case and for purposes of ensuring their replacement an extraordinary assembly shall be convened by the bar council within the month of October, in accordance with the provision of article 47 of the law organizing practice at the bar.
The duties of the president and vice of the general assembly shall be incompatible with that of members of the bar council and that of auditor. General elections shall be held one month after the expiration of the mandate of the ordinary organs.
CHAPTE II : THE BAR COUNCIL
SECTION 1: BAR COUNCIL ELECTION
The bar council shall be elected for two yeas.
Its composition shall be as provided for in the law organizing practice at the bar.
Candidatures for election into the bar council shall be forwarded to the president of the general assembly, at least six weeks prior to the date of election and transmitted to the secretary of the bar association. The secretary of the bar association shall inform the members of the bar of the candidatures at least one month before the election by summonses stating the agenda of the general assembly.
The bureau of the general assembly shall make ballot papers. The president of the general assembly shall preside at the voting and he shall be assisted by the most senior and youngest
advocates on the roll present at the general assembly, as tellers, and they shall jointly sign the report of the voting with members of the bureau of the general assembly.
Representation by proxy shall be in writing on the headed paper of the donor, and should be signed and stamped by the said donor. Proxies may be given only to a colleague who qualifies to vote. An advocate shall represent only one colleague.
All the election processes shall be carried out under the control and authority of the president of the general assembly.
Any disputes relating to the election shall be referred to the court appeal of the situs of the bar headquarters in accordance with the law.
The duties of a member of the bar council shall cease at the end of his mandate, or in case the member dies or resigns, or when the member of the bar council becomes incapable of performing his duties. A session of the general assembly shall be convened, within two months thereof, to ascertain such inability and to proceed with new elections with a view to replacing the deed, resigned or incapacitated member of the bar council.
The term of office of the newly elected member shall not exceed that of the bar council in office. The general assembly summoned to renew the organs of the bar association shall have, exclusively, in its agenda issues relating to the evaluation of out-going organs and elections.
SECTION 2: THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION
The bar council shall administer the bar association
It shall meet as often as possible when it is summoned by two-third of its president of the bar association o when summoned by two-third of its members. In the latter case, the minutes containing the decision of the two-third of members of the bar council shall be attached to the summons which may be written out by any member of the bar council.
Within the areas of its competence, the bar council shall take decisions by a simply majority of members present and in the event of a tie, the president of the bar association shall have a casting vote.
The bar council may only deliberate validly if at least two-thirds of its members are present.
Its deliberations shall be written in the form of a report, signed by all the members present and the bar president has the duty to ensure their implementation.
Voting by proxy is prohibited.
SECTION 3: THE BAR PRESIDENT
The bar president shall be elected by the general assembly in conformity with the provisions of the law
He shall be eligible for re-election once.
Te elected bar president shall appoint the secretary, and if need arises, one or more assistant secretaries as well as the treasurer and subsequently the assistant treasurer.
The bar president has four principal functions:
In the exercise of any of his functions, the bar president may delegate powers to one or more members of the bar council or to any other advocate. Any such delegated powers shall be limited in time and for a specific purpose
However, any delegation of power relating to the decisions on the taxation of professional fess must be special.
(1) REPRESENTATIVE FUNCTIONS:
The bar president shall represent the bar association in all actions of civil life especially in law courts and before public authorities. The bar president may not acquire, alienate, lease or mortgage the immovable assets of the bar on behalf of the Cameroon bar association nor can he borrow without the prior consent of the bar council. Proceedings are initiated at his behest and if need arise any withdrawals thereof shall be signed by him. The bar president shall in particular be received as a civil claimant in matters and proceedings touching upon the honour or interest of the bar association.
He shall also represent the bar in all ceremonies. He leads the bar council
As the head of the bar, all the members of the bar association are bound to respect and honour the bar president.
He shall convey the condolences of the bar association to the family of a deceased member of the bar. He takes part in the funeral and makes the funeral oration on behalf of the bar.
The bar president shall organize each year a reception in honour of the minister of justice, judicial authorities, fellow advocates and representatives of auxiliaries of justice.
The bar president shall summon and preside at meetings of the bar council.
He shall draw up the agenda of the session of the bar council, taking into account proposals made to him by members of the bar council. He shall appoint the members of the various commissions which work regularly within the council, more especially the commission for registration on the roll of the bar, international relations commission, the training commission, the ethics commission, the human rights commission, the social affairs commission, the commission for services, the commission for scientific publications, commission for the verification of treasurer’s accounts, the commission for patent, the commission for control of accounts, the commission for verifying the taking out of insurance policies by advocates and the commission to guarantee the security of advocates, etc.
He shall recruit employees and salaries workers of the bar. They shall be answerable to him. The action and the authority of the bar president shall be exerted more especially on and with particular attention to advocates-in-training.
He shall preside at the internship training seminars. He shall have as first secretary advocate-in- training who took the first position during the training competition. Every year, on the opening day of the training seminar, the bar president shall make a speech on a topic of interest to the profession, and the cost of publication of the speech shall be borne by the bar. He shall propose to the bar council a list of secretaries for the training seminar drawn from those who passed the training competition, which shall be organised yearly.
He shall designate advocates ex-officio in the cases provided for by the laws in force.
He shall be responsible for all matters relating to the practice of the profession of advocate. He may, if needs arises, make observations on decisions from a public authority, from a court or tribunal or from a magistrate which may infringe on the rights of advocates.
(3) CONSULTATITIVE FUNCTIONS:
The bar president shall give advice and consultations to the public administration, individuals as well as foreign bars, which seek such advice and consultation. If it is on a delicate issue, the bar president shall consult the bar council.
(4) CONCILIATORY FUNCTIONS:
Infringements of any professional rules must be referred to the bar president.
In this regard the bar president has the general duty of prevention, conciliatory and appeasement. Once seized of complaints against advocates, he hears the parties and ties to reconcile them before sending them to the member of the bar council whom he has appointed as a rapporteur.
The bar president shall decide, at the end of the investigation and hearing or after the reading of the report, whether the matter is to be closed or is to be referred to the bar council.
The bar president shall also be seized of complaints by advocates, magistrates and ministerial officers. In such cases the bar president shall proceed though the competent president or court or the representative of the judicial chamber of the ministerial officer concerned if it exists. The scope of the reconciliatory functions of the bar president is very wide.
SECTION 4: THE SECRETARY OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION ARTICLE 13
The secretary shall ensure the preparation and the service of documents of general assembly sessions and of the bar council. He shall keep the carious relevant registers.
His attributes and duties shall be precisely spelt out by the bar president.
SECTION 5: THE TRASURER OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION
The treasurer manages the funds and property of the bar association under the authority of the bar president. He shall collect bar (dues), issues receipts, and keep the accounts of the bar.
The funds, which he collects, notwithstanding the head, shall be deposited in a bank account labelled “CAMEROON BAR ASSOCIATION”.
Any written commitments to be executed or cheques to be issued must bear the joint signature of the treasurer and the bar president.
No power of attorney can be given by either of them to any one else except to members of the bar council.
All the duties carried out by advocates within the bar association are rendered for free. However, the administrative expenditures that go with such functions shall be borne by the bar.
Advocates-in-training are persons who set and passed the examination for admission into training and who have taken the oath provided by law.
Advocate-in-training shall be registered on the roll of advocates-in-training according to their seniority determined by the date of their swearing in.
Advocates-in-training shall meet as regularly as need arises in regional or special professional training centres and in national training seminars.
Attendance of advocates-in-training at these meetings is mandatory. Any unjustified absence shall attract disciplinary sanctions or the extension of the period of training fixed by the bar council at the proposal of the training commission.
The bar president shall statutorily preside at training seminar.
The bar president may appoint a member of the bar council, to appear in his stead to preside at a training seminar.
Any advocate-in-training whose training contract has been revoked by the advocate under whom he is undergoing training may no longer carry out any professional activity until he enters into a new contract with another training master.
The bar president shall entrust an advocate-in-training who has lost his right to train under a registered advocate to a benevolent training master. The training master shall inform the bar president about the assiduity to work and aptitude of the advocate-in-training entrusted to him.
During the period of training, the stipend of the advocate-in-training shall be freely negotiated between the advocate-in-training and the training master.
It may however nit be below the minimum rate fixed by the bar council
The advocate-in-training must abide by the obligations laid down. The advocate-in-training shall also give the advocate under whom he does his training, his professional activity, respect and obey the instructions he is given. On the other hand, the training master must ensure, under the watchful eyes of the bar president, that the advocate-in-training receives proper professional training.
Any failure by an advocate to carry out his duties especially grave professional misconduct, any breach of honour, tact, probity, confraternity, loyalty, courtesy or dignity, or any violation of these internal regulations shall constitute a disciplinary offence.
The bar council shall have jurisdiction over matters of discipline. It shall attend to disciplinary offences committed by advocates and advocates-in-training.
The bar council shall be seized either by the bar president or by the procureur general. Where the bar president seizes the bar council, this shall be done by mentioning the particular discipline case on the agenda of one of the session of the council
CHAPTER I : ATTEMPT AT RECONCILIATION
Once informed of a complaint against an advocate, the bar president may, if need be, attempt reconciliation.
He may also delegate and authorise a member of the bar council to attempt reconciliation between the parties.
When reconciliation succeeds a report thereof shall be established and shall be signed by the parties and the bar president or his representative.
CHAPTER II : INVESTIGATION
When reconciliation fails or if it was not initiated, the bar president shall seize the bar council
The bar council shall designate one of its members to investigate into and study the matter, quo rapporteur.
The designated rapporteur shall inform the advocate against whom charges have been levied, in a sealed mail, reception of which shall be acknowledged by signature, and forward to the said
advocate a copy of the complaint made against him so as to obtain the advocate’s observations and answers thereto within a period not exceeding 15 days.
This formality shall be followed notwithstanding that in course of attempting reconciliation, the bar president or his authorized representative has received the answers or explanations of the advocate so charged. The rapporteur shall investigate into the matter by listening to relevant witnesses where necessary and by a confrontation of the parties concerned should that be necessary.
He shall write out his report thereof within a maximum period of 60 days, save in the event of extension by the council.
At the end of the investigation, the bar council shall hear the reading of the report and decide either to simply close the matter completely or that there are no bases for a disciplinary action, or to bring a disciplinary action unless it orders further and complementary investigations.
If the bar council rules on initiating disciplinary proceedings, it shall make an order committing the advocate or advocate-in-training indicating the charges which shall be stated in the summons. It shall fix the day the matter shall be heard, taking into consideration the one month duration provided by the law.
The bar secretary shall write out the summons to appear before the bar council sitting in a disciplinary session. He shall notify the party concerned thereof, and the respect of the time limit to appear before the council.
The summons shall contain, subject to otherwise being rendered null and void, the exact mention of the issues complained about and the reference to the statutory or regulatory provisions or the internal regulations sanctioning the professional faults the advocate concerned is accused of.
It shall also contain a notice to the advocate involved that the file in respect of the given proceedings is placed at his disposal and that he may be defended by a counsel of his choice.
The bar secretary shall at the request of the bar council or of the advocate concerned, also summon the witnesses.
CHAPTET III : THE PROCEDURE OF SISCIPLINARY HEARING
During the disciplinary session, the advocate is bound to appear in person except in case o illness or a justifiable absence.
The advocate concerned and has counsel, if he is defended by another colleague, are expected to appear robed except the advocate concerned has been excluded from the roll, or had been temporarily suspended in which case he shall not be robed.
The bar president shall invites the secretary of the bar or a member of the bar council he shall designate, to read the decision committing him before the disciplinary committee and the summons to the advocate in question.
The bar president shall examine the advocate concerned. If the matter is between two advocates the complainant shall equally be heard. Any witnesses summoned shall be heard.
If the disciplinary council is not sufficiently enlightened on the matter, it can order for complementary information involving the hearing of the parties either by the reapporteur or during the disciplinary hearing to clarify the discrepancy.
At the end of the examination the bar president shall call on the advocate or his counsel to state his defence.
Hearing shall be declared closed after submission, with the advocate concerned being the last to speak.
The council shall then meet to deliberate and the deliberation shall be by the order on the roll beginning with most junior advocate of the roll and ending either the bar president. Deliberations shall be kept secret.
At any stage of the deliberation and if a new fact is raised the council may decide to reopen hearing. The advocate concerned shall again be summoned anew for hearing.
Any decision taken, in a disciplinary matter must be one arrived at by the majority and by the quorum provided for in article 11 here before. It shall be by a reasoned decision.
The decision shall be delivered either immediately in the specific session or in a later session on an adjourned date which should have been duly communicated to the advocate concerned in advance.
The decision shall be kept in a register of decisions of the bar council and shall be signed by both the bar president and the bar secretary and shall be notified in accordance with the law.
However, and notwithstanding the provisions stated above, the bar council, may in case of emergency and the exceptional severity of the criminal felony or misdemeanour for which an advocate would be charged, order his temporary suspension while awaiting the outcome of the criminal case.
Substantive decisions taken by the disciplinary council would be enforceable irrespective of any appeal there from.
Such decisions may be appealed against or subject to an application to set the same aside
If the decision was after a full hearing, an appeal may be lodged within one month from the date the decision was delivered. This time will start to run, in the case of a decision delivered in default, from the date the same is served on the advocate
The appeal would be brought before the court of appeal of the place where the advocate’s chambers is situated.
Any application to set aside the decision shall be filed within the same period of time upon service.
An appeal must be filed and deposited at the bar headquarters.
Any disciplinary decision involving disbarment, temporary ban or disqualification of eligibility to the council shall be entered in a special register which would be accessible to all enrolled advocates.
Each registered advocate on the roll shall contribute to the running of the bar association by paying annual bar dues, the amount and method of payment of which shall be fixed at the
beginning of each judicial year by the general assembly. Any failure to effect payment would attract a disciplinary sanction.
The payment of bar dues shall be made spontaneously for each month when they are due.
An advocate registered on the roll shall bear the title “ADVOCATE OF THE CAMEROON BAR ASSOCIATION”.
Registration on the training list entitle the person named therein to the title of “ADVOCATE-IN- TRAINING OF THE CAMEROON BAR ASSOCIATION”.
Registration, seniority and omission from the roll shall be determined by law.
Advocate have the right to wear such robes, as shall be prescribed by the bar council
Before a court, an advocate must put on his robe except custom and usages require otherwise An advocate must not put on or take off his robe in a courtroom
An advocate must show respect and defence to the courts and tribunals that are due these institutions in accordance with his oath.
An advocate must not, except as AMICUS CURIAE, intervene in proceedings in which he had not been consulted and briefed beforehand nor can he spontaneously enter appearance for any party who has not sought his services.
He must, on the other hand, avoid any manifestation or private conversations likely to disturb the court’s proceedings.
In matters in which he has been briefed, an advocate has the freedom to choose the method of defence and the appropriate form to present them.
He has, however, to ensure that those methods are not at variance with ethical principles of the profession and of the laws in force.
More especially, the advocate must not establish private relationships with a magistrate who is handling a matter in court in respect of the subject matter thereof.
The advocate has freedom of speech and whatever he writes is covered by immunity.
An advocate must, however, refrain from taking on the magistrates before whom he presents his case. However, he has the possibility if he finds it useful and necessary for the defence of the rights of his clients or out of respect for the robe he wears, to institute against any such magistrates proceeding for recusal or legitimate suspicions laid down by law and, subsequently, to leave the courtroom in the manner and with the courtesy due to courts.
Generally, however, he must carefully avoid aggravating any incidents which might arise in court and must immediately seize the president of the bar association or a member of the bar council or the most senior advocate present at the time in the courtroom who shall intervene not only to restore serenity in the proceeding but also, subsequently, to remind his colleague of his duty or to oversee the respect of his rights vis-à-vis the court.
When the advocate travels to a court outside his usual residence he must as much as possible pay a courtesy call on the magistrate before whom he would appear the court sits.
No advocate may initiate on behalf of his client, a criminal action or accept a brief to act as counsel for a complainant in any criminal case against a magistrate, or an advocate, or a judicial officer, or an auxiliary of justice, without a prior reference thereof to the president of the bar and obtaining his authorization.
The decision of the president of the bar giving authorization or refusing to give authorization must be made within 15 days from receipt of the request therefore. In case of refusal, the decision must be reasoned.
Should the bar president fail or neglect o react within the said time limit, his authorization would be deemed to have been given.
If the advocate is acting in his own interest, he must seize the bar president to enable the latter to make use of his conciliatory function
An advocate must be courteous and moderate in his relationship with his colleagues. He must refrain from any personal attacks, and he must not involve himself in the animosity of the clients. He must respect all engagements taken vis-à-vis a colleague and must not benefit from or take advantage of the occasional absence of a colleague whom he knows is counsel for the opposing party, in spite of pressure from his client.
During court sittings causes shall be called following seniority at the bar. However, the president of the bar council shall have priority over his colleagues.
After the president of the bar, visiting counsel shall have priority. By virtue of the rules of courtesy, advocates, having priority can enounce it in favour of colleagues who have legitimate reasons to request it.
Any advocate who accepts a brief o a file from a client must ensure before accepting the said brief that no other colleague had previously been consulted to defend the client’s interest in the matter for which he is being briefed
If he takes from or joins a colleague, he must ensure that the colleague’s professional fees and expenses in the mater have been completely settles by the client.
An advocate who has been briefed is responsible for deciding the method and the procedure to follow.
He cannot accept any file or defend a cause, which is against his conscious or that which may infringe his independence.
In case of disagreement with his client concerning the method of approach or follow up of any procedure, he still has the possibility to decline from handling the matter in accordance with the conditions provided for by law.
An advocate must receive his clients or be consulted by then only in his chambers, except for justified reasons.
Nevertheless, an advocate for body-corporate, whose professional skill is regularly requested may if he deems it useful and necessary, may accept to go to the headquarters of the corporation in order to be briefed there. He may in like manner participate during meetings and the general assembly meetings of the corporation.
An advocate shall have only one chamber.
Any advocate-in-training attached to chambers must during his training period undergo his training there.
An advocate who is a former magistrate or civil servant shall not appear as counsel in a matter that he had knowledge of while exercising his previous functions.
Touting for clients either directly, indirectly or through agents, is forbidden for an advocate, who must even refuse all proposals or suggestions by third parties for commission consequent upon their directing clients to his chambers.
He must, in order to avoid compromising his profession, refrain from judiciary relationship with magistrates and the personnel of the judiciary or penitentiary services.
Any contrary practices shall be brought to the attention of the president of the bar association
An advocate must not have a personal interest in a matter that has been entrusted to him.
However, the charges paid in advance shall not constitute proof of personal interest and shall be subject to re-imbursement.
In case of the death of an advocate, and save in the case of a partnership, the president of the bar or any of the members of the bar council designed by the president shall carry out an inventory of current files in the chambers of the deceased advocate and shall take all the necessary steps to ensure the follow up of the matters therein.
The president or the designated advocate shall, together with the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate, prepare a complete inventory of all the goods found in the deceased advocate’s chambers as well as the situation o f the chambers’ bank accounts.
The liquidation of the chambers made in the interest of the beneficiaries shall be carried out with the assistance of the bar council which shall ensure the protection of the interest of the clients of the deceased advocate as well as the respect of legal provisions and in conformity with practice directions. Any advocate may agree in advance with the bar council concerning the methods, which would be applied for the liquidation of his chambers.
The application by an advocate to resign may be refused if the advocate does not provide justification that he has taken adequate measures to ensure the continuation of the subsisting case files in his chambers, the handling of the disposed case files and his accounts.
CHAPTER I : GENERAL PRINCIPLES
SECTION 1 : THE LIBERAL NATURE OF THE PROFESSION ARTICLE 58
(1) The profession of advocate is liberal and independent notwithstanding the method of practice
(2) An advocate should avoid the exercise of any other activity which is incompatible with the profession of an advocate as stipulated by law.
SECTION 2: RESPECT OF ETHICS
(1) an advocate is a member of a bar association administrated by the bar council
(2) An advocate must abide by the ethical rules and regulations governing the profession of advocacy and those enshrined in these internal regulations.
All values that constitute the essential principles of the profession of advocacy must at all times and circumstances guide the behaviour of an advocate and must be useful in the interpretation of all legal statutory rules and regulation governing the profession. An advocate must exercise his function with dignity, good conscience, independence, probity and humaneness and must respect in the course of practice, the principle of honour, honesty, disinterestedness, brotherliness, tact, moderation and courtesy.
He equally owes his client the duty of competence as well as the obligation of devotion, diligence and prudence.
(3) Discipline: the non-compliance with any one of the above principles, rules and duties, shall constitute an offence, which can attract a disciplinary
SECTION 3: PROFESSIONAL SECRECY.
By the very nature of his task, an advocate is the depository of the secrets of his client, and the recipient of confidential correspondences.
The professional secrecy of an advocate is recognised by law as a fundamental and primodial right and duty. It is general, absolute and limited in time.
(2) SCOPE OF PROFESSIONAL
Professional secrecy of an advocate shall cover all professional matters, be it in the domain of counselling or defence especially;
- Consultation addressed by an advocate to his client or destined to the
- Correspondence between a client and his advocate, and between an advocate and his colleagues
- Minutes of meetings and generally all documents of a
- All information and confidential documents received by an advocate in the exercise of his
- The names of his clients and the diaries of an
- The pecuniary payments and handling of funds carried out pursuant to article 37 of law No. 90/059 of 19th December 1990.
- Any information requested by auditors or any third parties; (information that cannot be transmitted by an advocate save to his client).
(3) PRROFESSIONAL STRUCTURE, MODE OF PRACTICE AND PROFESSIONAL SECRECY:
An advocate must ensure that the members of his chambers and any person who cooperates with him in his professional activity uphold rule of the professional secrecy.
When advocate caries out his function in partnership or participates in a structure whereby means are pooled together, all the advocates who practice with him and those with whom he pools together the means of exercise of the profession shall abide by the tenets of the professional secrecy.
(4) INVESTIGATION SECRECY:
Without prejudice to the right of the defence, an advocate must respect investigation secrecy in criminal matters, by refraining from communicating, except to his client in the interest of the latter’s defence purposes, information taken from the file or to publish documents, files or letters relating to an on-going investigation.
Should the advocate intend, however, to give to his client a copy of documents of an investigation file that had been given to him personally he must act with extreme prudence.
Any violation of professional secrecy shall constitute an offence and the a breach of ethics of the profession.
CHAPTER 4: CONFIDENCIALITY.
All written and oral communication between advocates are covered by professional secrecy and are privileged in nature.
Correspondences between advocates, whatever the medium, and in any case can neither be detrained, attached nor tendered in court, nor can they be subject to the loss of privilege.
The following shall be covered by professional secrecy and consequently shall not be confidential:
- Correspondences that have as their sole objective the transfer of procedural documents (procedural letter);
- Correspondences with the inscription “official”
- A protocol agreement between advocates with the inscription “official”
The aforementioned correspondences and protocol agreements must not make any reference to previous privileged correspondences or statements.
(3) RELATIONS WITH FOREIGN ADVOCATES
In his relation with a foreign advocate, an advocate must, before exchanging privilege information ensure that there exist, in the country where his foreign colleague [practices, rules that provide for confidential privilege or must ask his client if he accepts the risk of exchanging privilege information.
The bar president shall guarantee that the aforementioned principles are observed without violation as a matter of the ethics of the profession.
SECTION 5: PUBLICITY
(1) DEFINITION OF PUBLICITY
Function publicity meant to publicise the profession of advocates and the bar association falls within the competence of the representative organs of the profession.
Personal publicity of an advocate is allowed in so far as it provides necessary information to the public.
This publicity must be truthful, respect professional secrecy and executed with dignity and tact.
Whatever the form of publicity used, all laudatory or comparative inscriptions and all indications relating to the identity of clients are prohibited.
(2) PROHIBITED FORMS OF PUBLICITY
An advocate is forbidden from engaging in any act of canvassing or entreaty.
By canvassing is meant offering his services, especially by moving personally or by sending an agent to the domicile or to the residence of a person, to places of work, rest. Treatment or in a public place.
By entreaty is meant offering services by an advocate without prior invitation.
The provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall also apply to the offering of services and personal offers made by any electronic means of communication.
Any publicity meant for consultation or the drafting of processes or of pleading by means of tracts, letters, cinematographic stickers, radio or television transmission is prohibited.
(3) OTHER NON-PROHIBITED FORMS OF PUBLICITY
The following shall constitute non-prohibited publicity:
- The organization by an advocate of colloquia, seminars and professional refresher
- Participation of an advocate in a professional gathering
(4) HEADED PAPER
The headed paper of advocates, like any document meant for third parties, must respect the rules of personal publicity.
Only the names of those advocates who practice the profession within the chambers in question can appear on the headed paper.
An advocate’s headed papers must contain the address, the name and surname of the advocate, the bar association he belongs to, his telephone and fax number,. It must contain if need be, the name of the chambers.
In the case where the practice is not solo, the headed paper must also indicate the method of practice adopted; LAW FIRM, Liberal practice, Participatory joint practice, or association.
Structures, which involve the pooling together of resources, may not use headed papers capable of creating an impression in the mind of the public that they are any of the recognized structures of practice.
The headed paper may indicate:
- Telex number, e-mail address
- University qualifications and diplomas
- Professional distinctions
- Any authorized legal profession previously exercised
- A title that is recognized and which qualifies one to practice the profession abroad
- One or several duly acquired
- The names and surnames of the collaborating advocates in the chambers according to the modalities provided for by the law.
- Indication of the location of the chambers
- The participation in structures that pool together their resources, in a group, in networks, in organic correspondences, or condition, however, that these references correspond to professional realities and to conventions submitted to and filled by the bar association
ALSO AUTHORIZED ARE
The logo of the profession and, subject to approval by the bar, the logo of any other bar to which the advocate belongs.
(5) PROFESSIONAL VISITING CARDS
The professional visiting card of an advocate may contain the references, which are authorized on the headed papers, and the method of legal practice exercised by him in the structure to which he belongs.
The advocate’s board must comply with the appearance and dimensions fixed by the bar council that show, at the entrance of the building, the location of the chambers and must not have any other references than those indicated.
(7) NOTICES OR ADVERTS
Notices or adverts, including those in the press, are meant for the diffusion of punctual and technical information, such as the installation of an advocate in a new location, the arrival of a new association, the participation in an authorized group, the opening of a secondary office.
(8) SMALL BOARDS
An advocate may make a small board that portrays the general out-look of his chambers.
Before putting up any such small board, the advocate should forward same to and obtain the approval of the bar council
Such a board may contain all the information which should be found on the headed paper.
The small board may contain especially:
- The length of service in the profession of each of the advocates in the chambers
- The organization and structures of the chambers
- The areas of activity of the chambers
- The foreign languages used
- The manner in which legal fees are fixed
- The names of professionals who are not Subject to their consent, who frequently collaborate in a significant manner with the chambers
- The participation of advocates in teaching activities
- The list of foreign correspondents provided there is an agreement signed with each of them and copies lodged with the bar.
The small boards shall not make reference to:
- The names of clients, but in exceptional cases, a small board indicating the names of clients of the chambers who have given their consent may be dispatched abroad in countries where such publication is authorized.
- The small board shall be printed and diffused on the sole responsibility of its stipulated named author or authors.
This diffusion to the public is authorized. It shall be carried out from the chambers, without the possibility of putting up the documents in public places or giving them to third parties for diffusion with the exception of diffusion services proposed by postal services.
(9) INSERTION IN TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES AND INTERNET
Any advocate may be listed in the general telephone directory and if need be, in any specialized directory of his choice.
These insertions shall be communicated a priori to the bar. They shall remain the sole responsibility of their authors, who shall oversee the integrity of the insertions and their conformity to essential principles.
(10) INSERTION IN THE INTERNET
This type of publicity must be in conformity with general principles laid down by this regular on professional publicity.
The authorized references are those that are meant for boards
An advocate who wants to open an internet site must inform the bar and must transmit to the bar the references of the surfing centre as well as the modalities of access to the site.
CHAPTER 5 : RELATIONS WITH CLEINTS
SECTION 1: BEGINNING AND END OF RELATIONS WITH A CLIENT
(1) an advocate may only act when mandated by his client or by anther advocate representing the client, or by a competent authority
(2) an advocate shall counsel and defend his client conscientiously and with diligence. He shall assume personally the responsibility that has been conferred on He shall inform the client on the progress of the case that he is charged with
(3) an advocate must not accept a matter if he is incapable of handling it promptly, taking into consideration his other obligations, or if he knows that he does not have the required competence to handle it save, in this case, to ensure the cooperation of a colleague having the requisite competence.
SECTION 2: CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
An advocate cannot be adviser, the defence counsel or the representative or several parties in the same matter, if there is any conflict between their interests or, if there exist a serious risk of such a conflict. Except there exist an agreement between the said parties.
(2) THERE IS CONFLICT OF INTEREST
- In the function of counsel, when on the day he is consulted, an advocate who has the obligation to give a full, honest and unreserved information to his clients would be unable to carry out this mission without compromising, either by the analysis of the situation presented, or by the use of the sought-for result, the interests of one or several parties.
- In the function of representation and defence, when, on the day he is consulted, the appearance for several parties would lead the advocate to present a different defence, especially in his development, arguments, and final presentation, from that which he would have presented if he had handled the interest of one party
- When a modification or an evolution of the situation that had initially been submitted to him reveals to be advocate one of the aforementioned difficulties.
(3) There exists a serious risk of conflict of interest. When a foreseeable modification or a foreseeable evolution of the situation that had initially been submitted to him gives the advocate reason to fear that one of the aforementioned difficulties might arise.
(4) THERE IS NO CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
- When, after having informed his clients and obtained their consent in the exercise of his different functions, the advocate seeks to reconcile their different In such a case, the advocate cannot be the adviser or the defence counsel of any one of the parties in the same matter in the event of a break down of the attempt at reconciliation
- When in total agreement with his clients, an advocate advises them, following the situation that is submitted to him, on a common strategy, or if in the frame work of a negotiation, advocates who are members of the same establishment intervene separately on behalf of different clients who are informed of their membership in the establishment.
(5) LIMITATIONS ON THE INTERVENTION OF AN ADVOCATE DECLINING A BRIEF
An advocate must except the parties agree, refrain from handling matters of all the clients concerned when there is a conflict of interests, when professional secrecy might be violated or when his independence may be compromised.
He may not accept the case of a new client if the secrecy of the information given by the former client might be violated or when his knowledge of the cases of the latter is capable of unjustifiable favouring the new client.
When there exists a serious risk of conflict of interests, an advocate must obtain the consent of all the parties concerned in order to assist more than one party.
If the advocate solicited successively by several parties in the same matter does not accept to appear for all of them, he may only retain the defence of the interest of one or several of them by respecting the afore-mentioned rules.
An advocate may continue to handle other files if the said clients without requiring their consent, provided that his handling of the said files do not relate to the particular conflict of interest that arises in the matter in issue and neither hampers his independence nor affects the respect if professional secrecy.
PROFESSIONAL STRUCTURES AND MODE OF PRACTICE:
When advocates practice in a group, the provisions relating to conflicts of interests are applicable to the group as a whole and each member thereof.
The same provisions also apply to advocates practicing their profession in the structure where resources are pooled together as from the time when, within this structure, there exists a risk of violation of professional secrecy.
SECTION 3: PROFESSIONAL FEES-EMOLUMENTS-DISBURSEMENT. MODES OF PAYMENT OF PROFESSIONAL FEES
ARTICLE 65: (1) DETERMINATION OF FEES: REMUNERATION AND REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS AND DISBURSEMENT:
An advocate has a right to the payment of agreed professional fees, to the reimbursement of costs and disbursement as well as other expenditure, remuneration for work done, for services rendered and result obtained as well as the reimbursement of costs and disbursements.
The professional fees due an advocate may be revised by an agreement between the advocate and his client in the course of or at the end of a matter.
An advocate, who has been consulted by a client to handle a matter, shall be entitled to the payment of professional fees for work already done, should the client withdraw the brief before termination.
2) INFORMATION OF THE CLIENT
The advocate must inform his client on the modalities of determination of his professional fees either when he is briefed, or in the course of handling the brief.
Before any final settlement of the professional fees, the advocate must give his client a detailed account of his fees.
An advocate must at all times maintain for each file, precise accounts and distinct fees and state any amount he has received and indicate how the amount has been used, except in a case of general forfeiture.
ELEMENTS WHICH AFFECT REMUNERATION:
The determination of the remuneration of an advocate is determined by each of the following elements in conformity with customs:
- The time put in the matter
- The research work
- The nature and the complexity of the matter
- The important of the interests involved
- The incidence of costs and charges to the chambers of the advocate
- The popularity, titles, seniority, experience and the specialization of the advocate
- The advantages and results which accrue to the client by the advocate’s work
- The situation of the client
(3) MODES OF PAYMENT AUTHORIED MODES
An advocate has the right to ask for and obtain complementary professional fees by virtue of the result or service rendered.
The advocate and his client may contract for lump sum or fixed professional fees.
An advocate may received from client peripheral and incidental professional fees resulting from additional work done following a modification of the original authority and this may be lump sum.
It is forbidden for an advocate to fix his professional fees by a quota litis or contingency agreement. A quota litis agreement is entered into between an advocate and his client before a final judicial decision, by which the advocate’s professional fees are entirely fixed taking into consideration the judicial outcome of the matter, whether such professional fees consist of an amount of money or any other good or asset
An advocate shall receive professional fees only from his client or an authorised agent of the client.
(4) PROFESSIONAL DEPOSIT FOR COSTS AND PROFESSIONAL FEES
An advocate who accepts to work on a file must ask his client to make a preliminary provisional payment towards catering for his costs and professional fees, except he thinks that the particular circumstances of the matter does not warrant such provisional payment.
This provisional deposit must not exceed a reasonable estimate of the professional fees and probable disbursement which the matter may entail. Should the client fail to make payment of the required provisional deposit, an advocate may decline from handling the matter or withdraw there from without jeopardizing the interests of the client.
(5) SHARING OF PROFESSIONAL FEES WITH CORRESPONDING ADVOCATE
An advocate who does not limit himself to thinking a client with another advocate but consults or permits the other colleague to handle his brief, would be personally bound to pay the professional fees, costs and disbursement due to the corresponding colleague, as services rendered at his request by the other colleagues.
Advocates who find themselves in such a situation may nevertheless, from the beginning and in writing, agree to the contrary. In addition, the first advocate may limit in every instance, in writing his involvement to the amount of money due, on the day that he decided not to continue handling the matter.
Except otherwise stipulated, the provisions of the afore-mentioned paragraph shall apply to the relations between an advocate and any other correspondence who is consulted or who has been conferred of any part of the matter.
JOINT DRAFTING OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS
As regards the drafting of legal documents or when an act is jointly established by several or many advocates, the legal advice and action of each participant can only be remunerated by the client or by a third party acting for or on behalf of the client.
In the case where it is customary that the drafting fees be borne exclusively by one of the parties and on condition that the act expressly stipulates it, the professional fees in default of a contrary convention, be shared equally between the advocates who took part, in the drafting exercise thereof.
PROHIBITED SHARING OF PROFESSIONAL FEES
It is forbidden for an advocate to share the professional fees or any benefit especially under the guise of sharing charges, with any physical persons or legal entities that are not advocates.
EXCEPTION TO PROHIBITIONS
This principle is not applicable to any amounts of money or compensation paid by an advocate to heirs of a deceased colleague
(6) MODALITIES FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL FEES
Professional fees shall be paid in accordance with the conditions laid down by the law and regulations, especially in cash, by cheques, by credit transfer, by bill of exchange and credit cards.
An advocate may receive payment by bill of exchange insofar as it is accepted by the drawer, of the advocate’s client.
An endorsement thereof may only be done in favour of the bank of the advocate, only for purposes of collection.
An advocate who is holder of unpaid bill of exchange may bring action in a court of law. However, in case of any dispute of a debt relating to professional fees, the advocate shall refer the matter to the bar president with a view to taxation thereof and to pray for a stay of the proceeding before the court.
SECTION 4: MODALITIES FOR AUCTION SALE BY ORDER OF COURT
An advocate must be certain of the identity of his client, of his capacity, and his solvency and if the client is legal entity, of its real existence, the scope of its social objective and the power of its representative.
An advocate may not carry out any bidding for parties who have any conflict of interest.
An advocate shall not especially make a bid for the same good on behalf of several principals.
Even if his principal is present in court, the advocate must show proof of a special power from the principal to bid as well as proof of written instructions clearly stating the maximum amount in words and figures of the authorised bid.
It is forbidden for an advocate to make bids for a person who introduces himself to him for the first time in court, if he is not in a position to comply with the obligations that are binding on him by the law, customs and usages and the present text.
Save in the case where an advocate is charges with making a bid for a public entity or a public organ, the advocate must a priori place for sale by bank cheques or special bank guarantee, a deposit that takes into consideration preliminary costs, rights of transfer, costs of publicity and emoluments.
In case of a higher bid, the funds must cover, the deposit stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the taxed costs of the first sale as well as the costs and the estimated emoluments of the second sale.
When an advocate becomes an adjudicator on behalf of any person, he cannot accept to make a higher bid in the name of another person on this adjudication, in the absence of a written agreement of the initial adjudicator.
CHAPTER 6 : RELATIONS BETWEEN ADVOCATES:
SECTION 1: CONFRATERNITY
(1) Confraternity demands a relationship of confidence between advocates for the benefit of their clients and to avoid unnecessary proceedings. It should never give rise to a conflict between the interests of advocates and the interests of justice and litigants.
(2) An advocate must recognise any other advocate from another state as his colleague. He must in this respect show a fraternity and honest behaviour towards that other
SECTION 2: RESPECT OF HIS PRINCIPLE OF DEBATE
Full and mutual communication of the method of proceeding, of the elements of proof and the legal means must be done spontaneously, at the appropriate time and in writing, in order to allow for an honest and equitable case with due respect to the rights of defence.
(2) AN ADVOCATE MUST ABIDE BY THIS RULE:
- Before all jurisdictions, including those where the services of an advocate are not obligatory and where the principle of oral debate is the rule
- Before the banking commission
- Generally, before all bodies or organs that have jurisdictional power of whatever
As regards criminal cases instituted by the prosecution, advocates of the parties should communicate their legal methods or facts and their elements of proof to the prosecution and to the other parties latest at the end of the examination of the file in court.
If in a criminal proceeding, the accused raises an exception or a plea at bar his advocate must communicate his legal bases an elements of proof as soon as possible to allow for a possible debate and answer at the appropriate time by the party against whom the exception or plea at bar has been raised, except this communication would compromise the legal bases of the issues raised, in which case the afore-mentioned general rule that the advocate of the accused must respect applies.
(4) RELATIONS WITH THE OPPOSING PARTY
An advocate charges with instituting proceeding against a party whose counsel he knows, must, in as much as possible, inform a priori his colleague, in as far as such information would not prejudice the interest of his client.
During the proceedings, the relations of an advocate with his colleague defending the opposing party must be inspired by the rules of courtesy, honesty and brotherliness governing the profession of advocates.
An advocate who appeals against a judgment delivered in a criminal case must as soon as possible inform his colleagues involved in the matter.
This also applies to a petition for nullity.
This principle also applies generally to all types of appeal procedure and to all substantive procedural issues.
(5) SERVICE OR COMMUNICATION OF DOCUMENTS:
Documents are served or communicated either by the original or photocopy.
The documents must be numbered, subject to the presentation of the original for examination to ascertain correctness. The advocate’s stamp and an enclosure slip of the documents which slip must be dated and signed by the advocate.
SERVICE/COMMUNICATION OF DOCUMENTS IS DONE UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
- Should the documents include some that are in foreign languages then those must have attached thereto a translated copy. In case of dispute, the matter shall be referred to a sworn translator.
- The means and right to such service or communication of documents may be in the complete citations thereof must be communicated to the other advocates.
Any violation of this principle of debate would constitute an offence that can attract any of the disciplinary sanctions.
SECTION 3: CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN ADVOCATES: ARTICLE 69:
(1) All correspondences between advocates are confidential, and this confidentially forbids any publication by the addressee and any use thereof whatever by anyone.
(2) Nobody shall qualify as “Non confidential” any confidential correspondence
(3) The rule of confidentiality should apply to the particular correspondence as well as to documents mentioned in the correspondence and attached thereto.
SECTION 4: INTRODUCTION FEES
(1) No advocate shall ask from another advocate or any other third party payment of a fee, a commission, or any other compensation, for directing or introducing to him a
SECTION 5: COMMUNICATION WITH THE OPPOSING PARTY:
Everyone has the right to be counselled and defended by an advocate
(2) AMICABLE SETTLEMENT:
If a dispute can be solved amicably, and before any proceedings, an advocate may contact the opposing party with the consent of his client. Any such contract can only take place by forwarding to the opposing party a letter reminding the addressee that he has the opinion to consult an advocate and inviting him to communicate the name of his chosen counsel.
In his letter, an advocate must refrain, while giving a concise presentation of the subject of the request, from any dishonest presentation and from any threat. This letter may mention the possibility of a subsequent proceeding in court.
These rules also apply during any telephone conversation, which an advocate may initiate.
When proceedings are envisaged or pending, an advocate may receive the opposing party only after having informed the latter of the necessity of being counselled by an advocate.
If the opposing party makes known his intention to engage the services of an advocate, the latter shall be invited to take part in all meetings.
In proceedings where no advocate has been briefed by the opposing party, or a case where no advocate appears for the opposing party, an advocate may, as agent of his client, address to the opposing party any injunction or a formal notice or to respond to any from such a party.
When an advocate has been briefed by an opposing party, or during a case in which the opposing advocate has entered appearance, the advocate must correspond with his colleague only.
Nevertheless, in any case where there specific procedural provisions an advocate may forward letters equivalent to procedural documents to the opposing party, on condition that the same are addressed simultaneously to the advocate of the said opposing party.
In all cases, an advocate consulted by a client for a negotiation may carry out such negotiations only in the present of his client or with his consent. During negotiations with an intermediary assisted by an advocate, an advocate may not receive him alone, except there is a priori agreement with his colleague.
SECTION 6: CHANGE OF ADVOCATE
(1) NEW ADVOCATE
An advocate who receives a case file must verify if one or several colleagues had not a priori been charged with the file as counsel for defence or counsel for the client.
An advocate who accepts to take over a case from a colleague must prior to taking any steps in relation thereto, inform him in writing and inquire about any unpaid sums or money due that other colleague
A new advocate shall in no case defend the interest of the client against his predecessor(s) except upon a preliminary approval of the bar president.
(2) ADVOCATE WITHDRAWING FROM A MATTER
An advocate, who has been withdraw from or no longer handles a matter, shall have no lien on the documents and shall immediately transmit to his client or his successors all the relevant processes and documents relating to the case file.
(3) PROFESSIONAL FEES DUE AND OWING
Should there be any outstanding unpaid sum due and owing the advocate who previously handled the matter, the newly consulted advocate must strive to ensure that the client settles the same. Save with an approval or authorisation from the bar president, the newly consulted advocate must make not undertake any procedural steps or receive any payment so long as any sums due and owing the other advocate have not been paid.
The authorisation from the bar president may be contingent upon the payment of an amount of money fixed by the bar president.
Should the newly consulted advocate fail to comply with the provisions of the two preceding paragraphs he would be personally held liable to pay the outstanding sums due and owing the previously engaged advocate(s).
(4) LEGAL AID
The above rules shall be applicable in a case where an advocate has been briefed to take over from any advocate who had been engaged in a matter as a legal aid.
CHAPTER 7 : RELATIONS WITH MAGISTRATES
(1) An advocate shall, while ensuring respect and honesty to a judge defend his client conscientiously and in such a manner as he considers most appropriate for the defence of his client’s interests within the ambit of the law.
(2) In accordance with the principle of the adversary nature of judicial proceedings, an advocate is prohibited from contacting a judge on the subject matter of a case without prior information of the other party’s advocate. An advocate should not hand over to a judge any exhibit, notes or other documents without having, within reasonable time, communicated the same to the advocate of the other party.
(3) An advocate must refrain from deliberately furnishing a judge with any false information or any information which might lead the judge into error.
CHAPTER 1: SCOPE OF PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY OF AN ADVOCATE
(1) DEFINATION OF THE SCOPE OF ACTIVITY
As an auxiliary of justice and a principal actor in the universal practice of the law, an advocate is called upon to intervene professionally in all areas of civic, economic and social life, and in accordance with the basic principles governing the profession.
An advocate is legally entitled to assist and represent his clients in court without having to show proof of a written authority, subject to the provisions in legal texts and regulations.
An advocate is entitled to give his clients all requisite legal advice and assistance with the main or incidental objectives of implementing legal rules or principles, the drafting of legal documents and deeds, negotiation and enabling contractual relations.
An advocate may receive assignments from the courts.
An advocate is empowered to exercise any fiduciary function, subject to ensuring respect of the law applicable to any given operation.
In accordance with the conditions hereinafter provided, an advocate may be authorised by his clients, other than to represent or assist them in court or be called to act as an arbitrator, mediator, and conciliator, to be an amicable trustee or liquidator. An advocate may equally act as guardian, administrator and executor of a will.
An advocate may be empowered to negotiate, to act and sign for and on behalf of his client, especially within the framework of a merger of enterprises. The power to act as much however be specific and cannot be general in nature.
(3) He may be designated as the tax representative of his
He may assist or represent his client during a meeting wherein he would speak and vote or of a collegiate organ, provided that before doing so he informs the company’s advocate or otherwise the legal representative or convener of the meeting.
He may accept or deposit or accept to act, by agreement or court order, as a trustee or sequestrator.
An advocate in such a situation must act prudently and ensure beforehand the legality of the operation warranting his intervention. He must refuse to receive any deposit or as trustee to engage in any act that is manifestly illegal and fraudulent.
The advocate must furthermore demand the prior establishment and signing of a written contract stipulating the nature, extent and duration of his assignment, the conditions and methods of execution of its goals as well as the methods of payment of his remuneration.
Whenever an advocate is a depositary or sequestrator of funds, bills or securities, he must deposit the same immediately or in a client’s account together with a copy of the deposit or sequestrator agreement.
Save for mandates, the exercise of which is presumed by application of law, every other mandate given to an advocate must be written and must state the name and status of the donor and the reason for which it has been given.
(4) OBLIGATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS RELATING TO MANDATES
An advocate must strictly ensure respect of the purpose of the mandate and must obtain from the donor thereof an extension of his powers should circumstances so warrant.
An advocate should immediately notify the donor should it become impossible to accomplish the mandate given him.
An advocate can neither, without having been specifically authorised by his client, negotiate for and on behalf of the client nor engage the client by a proposal or an offer to contract.
Should the mandate of an advocate include the power to dispose of funds, properly or assets or to alienate the donor’s property, the advocate can only proceed to undertake such operations when these are expressly stipulated in the mandate, or in default thereof when he has specifically been authorised in writing by the donor. An advocate shall neither act as a figurehead nor a broker in as much as all activities of a commercial nature are incompatible with the exercise of the profession of an advocate. An advocate can accept top act to manage a holding or immovable property only as an accessory and this after he must have notifies his bar president.
When an advocate acts as arbitrator, he must ensure that he complies with the particular rules which regulate arbitration procedure; he must especially comply with the procedural time limits and the secrecy of deliberations, adhere to and cause others to adhere to the principle of audi alteram and the equality of all the parties involved in the dispute.
An advocate may organise or take part in any training or teaching programmes.
CHAPTER 11 GRAFTING OF DOCUMENTS/DEEDS
(1) DEFINATION OF A DRAFTSMAN
Would be considered as a draftsman, an advocate who prepares, either alone or in collaboration with any other professional, a legal document/deed for one party or many parties and whether assisted by an adviser or not, and who obtains their signature on the document/deed.
The mere fact that an advocate prepares the draft of a document/deed, which is signed in his absence, would not suffice for that advocate to be termed the draftsman.\an advocate may indicate his name and title on any document/deed he has prepared or has participated in its drafting, should he consider himself the intellectual author thereof. Any such indication shall of right necessitate the application of the present provision.
(2) OBLIGATIONS OF THE DRAFTSMAN: SOLE DRAFTSMAN OR OTHERWISE:
An advocate who is the sole draftsman of a document/deed must ensure that he provides the requisite advantage to all the concerned parties thereto.
Any advocate who is a sole draftsman is obliged to ensure the legal formalities and requirements relating to such documents/deeds and to ask for prior payment of the necessary funds save where the parties themselves undertook payment thereof.
Subject to the time allowed by laws and regulations, an advocate who has drafted a document must deliver to the counsel of each of the parties who has signed the same tor to the parties themselves a primary copy thereof in his possession as well as the documents justifying his execution of the duties which had been assigned to him.
Whenever a document/deed is drawn up by more than one advocate, they shall agree on who amongst them shall ensure compliance thereof with the formal requirements.
An advocate who has drawn up a deed alone cannot be presumed to have acted as counsel for all the parties who are signatories therein.
Any advocate who has alone drawn up a deed/document acting as counsel for all the parties therein would not act to defend the validity, execution or interpretation of that document/deed save in disputes raised by third parties thereto.
If the advocate draw up the document/deed alone without however acting as counsel for all the parties, or if he took part in the drawing up of the said document/deed but not as sole draftsman, he can act in defence of the execution or interpretation of the said document he draw up or participated in drawing up. He can defend the validity of the document/deed.
(4) ABSTENTION AND TRUSTS
An advocate must refrain from participating in the drawing up of a document/deed which is manifestly illegal or fraudulent.
An advocate must in all cases never ignore any of the guiding principles of his profession.
He must especially refrain from intervening or misbehaving whenever his professional responsibility is sought or whenever it appears that his intervention would.
- Lead him to be called as witness for one or many of the parties;
- Entail a violation of professional secret or the confidential nature of the
Any advocate who participated in the drawing up of a document/deed whether as a sole draftsman or in collaboration with another professional, cannot appear in court to challenge the validity thereof.
CHAPTER 1 : PARTNERSHIP
(1) In accordance with section 4(3) and (4) of law 90/059/ of 19th December 1990, advocates residing in the sane town may practise their profession in the same chambers in the form of a professional partnership, after approval by the bar council, provided the number of chambers in the said town is either four or more than four.
(2) Each of the members of the partnership shall be responsible vis-a-vis the clients of the
(3) The memorandum and articles of association of the partnership shall govern the rights and obligation of each of the advocates of the partnership.
CHAPTER 2 : ASSOCIATION AND WAGE EARNING
(1) DEFINITION OF ASSOCIATION AND WAGE-EARNING
An association is a method of exercising the profession devoid of any subordinate, by which an advocate devotes, pursuant to the terms of the agreement of the association, the whole or part of his professional activity in the chambers of another advocate and may, depending on the situation, develop his own personal practice and good will.
Wage-earning is a method of exercising the profession wherein there exist no subordination save with regard to the determination of the working conditions.
A wage-earning advocate cannot have personal practice and good will (clients0 except in cases of legal aid or state assigned briefs.
(2) GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Conditions for establishing an association or lease contract:-
Any association or work agreement between advocates must be written and must, within fifteen days or signature thereof, be deposited at the bar headquarters for verification.
The same shall apply to any subsequent document containing any addition or modification of the original contract.
The bar council may, within one month, call on advocates to modify the agreement with a view to ensuring that it complies with the rules of the profession.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE ONTRACT
An associate or wage-earning advocate should exercise his profession the conditions which would guarantee:
- A right to training by way of continuous training and the acquisition of some specialisation especially;
- Professional secrecy and independence implies in the advocate’s oath; the ability to ask to be relieved of any engagement which is contrary to his conscience
- The possibility for an associate advocate to set up and develop his personal practice, without any financial counterpart where he devotes some only of his time and his professional activity in the chambers of another advocate.
THE CONTRACT MUST EQUALLY PROVIDE:
- The duration and methods of exercising: the duration of the trial period, the notice period in the event of a break down stipulated in article 74(4 ) hereafter for the associating advocates, the duration of leaves and of paid resting periods for the associate (one month save better agreement)
- The methods of remuneration and the reimbursement of professional charges borne on behalf of the chambers.
- The methods of bearing responsibility for the absence of the collaborating or wage- earning advocate resulting from illness.
THE CONTRACT MUST NOT CONTAIN CLAUSES:
- Of a waiver in advance of the obligatory clauses;
- Of any limitation of the freedom of subsequent set up;
- Of any limitation of the professional obligations in matters of legal aid and state assigned
- Of the participation of the collaborating advocate to cover the costs resulting from an increase of his personal practice within the first three years of the association;
- Which may possibly affect the independence required by the oath of an advocate;
The contract of association must compulsorily contain a clause allowing reference of disputes to the bar president, acting as a conciliator.
(3) THE CONTRACT: TECHNICAL INDEPENDENCE
An associate or wage-earning advocate remains a master of whatever arguments he puts forward and of the advices he gives.
Should the argument put forward by an associate or wage-earning advocate differ from that of the other advocate with whom he is associated, he must inform the latter prior to taking any action.
Should the disagreement between their respective arguments continue, the associate or wage- earning advocate should in compliance with the principles of trust; honesty and modesty have back the case file. The associate advocates may agree that they both sign or visa each and every document/deed, correspondence, research or consultation.
WITHDRAWAL BASED ON CONSCIENCE
An associate or wage-earning advocate may ask that the advocate with whom he associates or his employer should relieve him of any assignment which he considers contrary to his conscience or which may likely affect his independence.
Any such demand to be relieved should be made as soon as possible so as not to disturb the progress of the brief
Any violation of a right characterised by a systematic refusal not related to any significant change in the direction of the chambers must be submitted before the bar president for his examination.
An associating advocate may build up and develop a personal practice when his contract of association provides for that.
He cannot act for or represent any party having interests, which are contrary to those of a client of the chambers wherein he is an associate.
The advocate with whom he associates should, under normal conditions of usages, put at his disposal the necessary material means for the purpose of the association and for the development of his personal practice.
An associating advocate cannot, within three years of the association, be called upon to make financial contributions on the bases of any development or because of his handling of his personal practice.
A wage-earning advocate can neither build up nor develop a personal practice; he must devote himself exclusively to the handling of the matters which are assigned to him throughout the performance of his work contract as well as legal aid and state assigned briefs to which he has been designated.
RETROCESSION OF PROFESSIONAL FEES, REMUNERATION AND COMPENSATION FOR LEGAL AID AND STATE BRIEF ASSIGNMENTS:
ASSOCIATING ADVOCATE RETROCESSION
The retrocession provided in a contract of association cannot be less than the minimal stipulated by the bar association.
Remuneration, legal aid and state assigned brief:
The associating advocate shall retrain the compensations which are paid to him for legal aid and state assigned brief.
An associating advocate who, for health reason has been unavailable within the same year shall receive within a maximum of two, save there is a contrary agreement, his retrocession of professional fee, subject to the deduction of daily compensation subsequently received by way of the compulsory collective insurance of the bar association or individual insurance.
A female advocate who is pregnant will have the right to suspend her association for at least fourteen weeks on the basis of delivery, which period shall, according to her choice be distributed before and after the delivery with a minimum of ten weeks after delivery.
The female associating advocate shall, during the fourteen weeks period of suspension, receive her usual retrocession of professional fees, subject to the deduction of compensation paid within the framework of the compulsory collective insurance of the bar association, or individual compulsory insurance.
The bar council shall fix the minimum salary payable and the conditions for taking over the responsibility for absences due to illness or motherhood.
FREEDOM TO SET-UP SUBSEQUENTLY:
Any provision restricting the freedom to set-up practice subsequent is forbidden.
A former associating or wage-earning advocate must refrain from any unfair competition. The bar president shall arbitrate should any case of disagreement or dispute arise.
(4) BREAKING UP OF THE CONTRACT ASSOCAITING ADVOCATE
Save where there is a more favourable agreement to the associate at the time of the breaking up, each party may bring the contract of association to an end by notifying the other party at least two months in advance.
The time allowed for notification shall be extended to three months if it starts to run within the months of May, June and July.
Where the association has lasted for more than five years the timed allowed for notification shall be doubled.
The above time allowed shall not be respected in any case of a serious and/or glaring breach of any of the professional rules.
From the date the pregnancy is announced to the end of the period the contract is suspended due to delivery, the contract of association cannot be brought to an end save in the event of a serious breach of professional rules not linked to the pregnancy.
The right to terminate shall apply to a wage-earning advocate within the conditions laid down in the labour code.
EXEMPTION FROM GIVING PREVIOUS NOTICE:
The exemption from giving previous notice or respecting the time allowed therefore must be agreed upon by the parties.
DOMICILIATION AFTER THE BREAK-UP OF THE CONTRACT:
Even after the stipulated time allowed, the advocate’s letters would be forwarded to him normally and his new co-ordinates to wit his postal address and telephone numbers shall be given to any person who would ask for them.
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES:
The bar president or his representative (The president of the commission in charge of resoling disputes between a pupil master and advocates-in-training, in the case of the latter) of the associating or wage-earning advocate, shall handle disputes resulting from the execution or the breaking of the contract of association whether wage-earning or not.
Whenever the bar president intervenes without the framework of the compulsory conciliation clauses, he shall hear the parties who shall be assisted by their counsel.
The bar president shall give his decision within three months of being seized of the dispute. Should the dispute continue, the bar president would advise the parties to seek arbitration.
The bar president by virtue of his general power of conciliation, shall competent to handle disputes involving wage-earning advocates when he is seized by one party or the other.
Should the bar president be unable to reconcile the parties, the labour inspector shall be seized in accordance with the conditions stipulated by the labour code.
(1) ACQUISITION OF THE TITLE:
The title of honorary advocate may, at the request of an interested party, be conferred by the bar council on a former advocate who had been on the roll of the bar association and who must have practised for thirty years as an advocate.
The title of honorary advocate would never be granted to or held by anyone who violates or has violated the fundamental principles of the profession.
The title of honorary advocate cannot be refused or withdrawn without the applicant for it or anyone who is already holder thereof having been regularly summoned and having appeared before the bar council.
Honorary advocates, as members of the bar association, shall be enrolled on a special roll of honorary members of the bar.
Honorary advocates have the right to wear robes during elections, as well as official ceremonies and manifestations.
Honorary advocates would take part in general assembly meeting and be entitled to speck and vote.
They shall also take part in the election of the bar president and members of the bar council of the association.
Honorary advocates shall have access to the library and other services of the bar association. They may request to be issued professional cards as honorary advocates of the bar.
(3) ACTIVITIES AND ASSIGNMENTS
Honorary members may be designed by the bar president or the bar council, to carry out an assignment or activity considered useful to the smooth administration of the bar association, in the interest of its members or in the general interest of the profession.
Any honorary advocate may, with the authorisation of the bar president:
- Accept a judicial or legal assignment as an arbitrator, expert or mediator;
- Take part in an administrative commission or in the jury of a competition or
Nevertheless, any consultation or the drawing up of a document/deed by the honorary advocate shall be subject to an authorisation by the bar president.
These internal regulations which have statutory import shall be published in the official gazette of the republic in English and French.