Professional Code of Conduct for Legal Practitioners in Nepal

Legal Practitioners

Meaning of Professional Code of Conduct

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party or an organization.

A code of conduct is the most common policy within an organization. This policy lays out the company's principles, standards, and the moral and ethical expectations that employees and third parties are held to as they interact with the organization.

Professional code of conduct guides individuals as to how they should behave at the workplace. Lawyers need to be aware as to what is expected out of them in the office and court. E.g. You just can’t behave the same way at court and with your client as you behave at home and with your family members. 

E.g. Judges can be your best friend outside the court but at court you have to respect him and also treat him like your judge. Professional ethics is essential for maintaining discipline at the workplace.

The provisions related with Professional Code of Conduct for Lawyers have been described under Rule 3(1) of The Code of Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2051. Every legal practitioners have to maintain these code of conduct otherwise the legal practitioner who has breached and done any act against the Code of Conduct For Legal Practitioners then such a person is subject to disciplinary actions and punishment.

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Professional Code Of Conduct for Legal Practitioners

A Legal practitioner must abide by the following professional conducts which is mentioned under Rule 3(1) Professional Code Of Conduct for Legal Practitioners of Code of Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2051:

(a) A legal practitioner shall not commit any act contrary to the basic principles of morality.

(b) A legal practitioner shall not induce his client to initiate any false case.

(c) A legal practitioner shall not fabricate a case with an intention to harass or to avenge any person.

(d) A legal practitioner shall not withhold his cooperation to the court in the disposal of cases either directly or indirectly.

(e) A legal practitioner shall not abuse or cause to abuse the judicial process.

(f) A legal practitioner shall not prohibit his client from making true statement before the court.

(g) A legal practitioner shall not spreader disseminate or transmit a false information of any kind which may bring dishonor to the court or Judge or legal practitioner during the course of the discharge of judicial function.

(h) A legal practitioner shall not return the brief to his client in such a way that the service of a new lawyer could not be availed of by him.

(i) A legal practitioner shall not misappropriate the funds of any organization or association.

(j) A legal practitioner shall not act contrary to the following codes of conduct:

  • shall be punctual to the court,
  • shall appear in court in prescribed dress with black coat,
  • shall show due respect to the Bench and opposing Counsel,
  • shall refrain from making false accusation, expressing hatred or angers or enmity against opposing counsel and his client,
  • shall treat with courtesy to the officers/staffs of the Court,
  • shall plead his case with due respect to the Bench only when his turn comes up.

(k) No precedent to be cited and knowingly pleaded which has been already overruled and no law be pleaded which is not applicable or is repealed or which has been amended subsequently, in order to benefit one’s client.

(l) A legal practitioner shall not knowingly assert any fact before the Bench unless the same could be substantiated from the documents from his case file.

(m) A legal practitioner shall not accept a case involving a document in which he has reason to believe to be called himself as a witness.

(n) A legal practitioner shall not disclose any information communicated to him by his client in his professional capacity in any manner.

(o) A legal practitioner shall not raise/use large signboard, no previous designation or status not related to the legal practice to be published in name card or visiting card or file or letter-pad with an objective of commercial publicity.

(p) A legal practitioner shall not raise/use large signboard, no previous designation or status not related to the legal practice to be published in name card or visiting card or file or letter-pad with an objective of commercial publicity.

(q) A legal practitioner shall not stipulate his fees on percentage or on contractual basis or by way of bidding from the client.

(r) A legal practitioner shall not appear before a court under the influence of any intoxicating drinks or drug the course of his professional duty.

(s) A legal practitioner shall not  base his fees on the outcome of a case.

(t) A legal practitioner shall not submit any false record/statement to the council as and when demanded.

(u) A legal practitioner shall not certify or sign any document which has not been prepared by himself or under his instruction or advise the same is prepared by his junior working in his firm/chamber.

(v) A legal practitioner shall not use or engage any tout or agent for commission with a view to solicit any client.

(w) A legal practitioner shall not engage himself in the business/transaction of transfer of properties as a broker.

(x) A legal practitioner shall not involve in drafting or pleading of the same case on behalf of both the plaintiff and defendant and also shall not instruct knowingly any other law practitioner or writer or other persons who work under/with him.

(y) A legal practitioner shall not prepare/use any blank paper obtained from the client converting the same into a legal deed or construct a document with a view to gain benefit for himself and causing harm to the client.

(z) A legal practitioner shall not destroy or otherwise render invalid as evidence any original document obtained from the client on instance from the opposite party to the case.

(aa) A legal practitioner shall not make available any original documents/evidence received from his client to the opposite party with a motive to bestow benefit to the latter.

(ab) A legal practitioner shall not commit any kind of corruption related offence.

(ac) A legal practitioner shall not commit any crime related to moral turpitude.

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