Ethical and conduct issues for lawyers
These are draft notes.
Sources of information
There are various sources of assistance:
- All solicitors must abide by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007; barristers and legal executives must abide by the rules of their professional bodies.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority operate a Professional Ethics helpline which is available on 0870 606 2577 from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. If you have any ethical dilemmas it is wise to call them and keep a detailed attendance note of the conversation on the file.
- The Law Society have published a practice note on representation before Mental Health Tribunals.
- The Mental Health Lawyers Association have published a Code of Conduct for Representatives which members must follow.
- Some hospitals and Trusts have also published their own codes of conduct.
Common issues include: (1) confidentiality, and when breaching the client's confidentiality is permissible; (2) capacity, and what action to take in the client's best interests if the client lacks capacity to provide instructions on all or certain issues; (3) proper behaviour on a hospital ward; (4) non-disclosure orders issued by the Tribunal, and what action to take on behalf of the client. [Detail required.]