There are significant factors of consideration in the protection of the rights of the participants in different crimes, especially the implications of laws when applied to criminal trials. Lawyers act on the basis of guiding principles of the profession, but these guiding principles cannot cover all possible scenarios or situations. This is true of legal privilege, which protects the confidentiality of information given by clients to their lawyers in the course of representation and consultation, which is one of the most essential bases for the attainment of due process.
The disclosure of important and, in some cases, detrimental information is subject to a presumption of an ethical code that requires that confidentiality be kept as much as possible. The enforcement and the practice of law can be considered as one of the professions that prioritize the confidentiality on the information that is involved. As a parallelism, the medical profession is a good example. A patient depends on the physician’s discretion in using information in a responsible manner.
In cases when a physician may feel that information should be discussed with a member of the family, for instance, because it would lead to better medical care, this must be done with the client’s knowledge and consent. This basic, underlying presumption of trust also present in the practice of law. While this may sound easy enough to understand, the process of protecting the client and upholding the law may sometimes be mutually exclusive. Lawyers need to seek the balance between upholding the law and the rights of the clients without compromising either.
The judicious use of information, and the carefully considered application of disclosure procedures, may facilitate dispensation of the best possible ruling. In the course of upholding the law, it is mainly a weighing and prioritizing of the different goals involved. The lawyer’s ethical principles are put to the test when a client who is a self-proclaimed criminal needs to be given the best defence possible. In this case, drawing the line between ethical issues and the right of the client, which can be a criminal, is a challenge .
Such cases constantly blur the setting of boundaries in the practice of law. It opens the door to the study of the cases that question the rationale behind established ethics of law. The discussion of the volatile subject of ethics takes on a wide range of implications depending on the specific subject under consideration. The ethics of law and justice is particularly difficult to discuss because it attempts to provide the guidebook for the whole of society with all its complexities, issues and the different factors that come into play to make classical and positivist criminology.
The society being comprised of a wide variety of people necessitates the use of a certain degree of subjectivity when it comes to the application of the letter of the law. In criminal cases, the decision to withhold or suspend rights, such as legal privilege, based on the perceived severity or nature of the crime committed is always subject to attacks. In this case, the interactions of the law, represented by the lawyers, and the society or the clients are the basic paradigm in the defence of any case .
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