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Are Lawyers Justified Under Oath to Defend Falsehood?

One day an old lady asked me what I was studying at the university. I told her, I am studying law. She changed her face as though I had said something repugnant. She asked me, “you want to be a lawyer?” I was disturbed by her shock but I managed to confirm. She boldly told me, “lawyers are liars”. Lawyers always tell the court that the client is innocent even if they know the truth. Well the lady was very right. This blog is ready to illustrate this point well. A lawyer is trained in law and he is skilled in making persuasive arguments that defend the client. The work of advocacy is to defend a client. Law is not about the truth but about justice. Justice is a very difficult term to understand. One of the understandings of justice includes fairness, equality and reasonableness. If the lawyer can use the law, provide valid and legal evidence, persuade the opinion of the judge, then, the truth is irrelevant. Lawyers are trained professionals whose power lies in the art of language. It is all about persuasion. A lawyer will use his legal skills and experience to ensure that the accused is Not guilty. It is the onus of the prosecutor to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is Guilty. This is how law works. Can one argue that lawyers are immoral and prone to telling lies? I would not approve this allegation. It is within the principle of justice that the prosecutor must also be smart enough and this is fair. Fair trial is the right expression. Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty through due process of law. A lawyer is just smart in his or her profession and career but not a liar. However, legal ethics has it that any person working in the sector of law must respect the rules of ethics and observe code of conduct and ethics. For instance, the lawyer must be honest, must stand by the truth, must respect the law and uphold human rights, must be prudent, must prove professionalism and discipline while carrying out his or her services. A lawyer must be honest and straight forward with his or her client. A lawyer should not lie on his or her client or swindle money or cheat. A lawyer must stick tot he rules of his profession. He or she must uphold the prominence of law and defend the title of “learned friend” all the time. This does not mean that some lawyers may be unethical and immoral. Get this clearly, lawyers are also human persons with their failings in life. They can also be charged in court for misconduct or breaking the law. No human being is perfect…however, ethics compels every professional to behave properly and appropriately unless some elements of insanity can be proved. The law presumes that every person is sane until proven insane. When a sane lawyer deceives his or her client then he can be charged of fraud and forgery and face the wrath of law as a lay person.
Professional Ethics is mandatory for any professional in any part of the world. It is a must that lawyers, judges and magistrates ought to take a course on Professional Ethics. The reason is to ensure that court users access quality legal service and that international standards are complied with. Lawyers are not professional liars but they are professionals that must stick to the principles of ethics and must be accountable to the law and their clients. Honesty, Truth, accountability, social responsibility, and professionalism must be strictly observed. It is in this sense that the study of law is regulated by statutes all over the world.
A lawyer who breaks the law and goes against the code of ethics may prove to be unqualified and unprofessional. Such misconduct can trigger the KLS (Kenya Law Society) to withdraw the license and blacklist the individual. Avoid the worst eventuality and uphold law and ethics.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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