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Independence: the foundation of trust in lawyers

At the heart of the legal profession beats a powerful principle: independence. This fundamental value guarantees not only the integrity of the lawyer, but also the fairness and effectiveness of our legal system. But what exactly does it entail and why is it so crucial?

Independence in context

Independence does not mean that a lawyer can just do whatever they want. Independence of lawyers does mean that they should not be influenced by others in the course of their work. So they must be free from influence of the government, judges, and even their own clients. Yes, a lawyer defends his client's interests and point of view, but that does not mean that the lawyer therefore identifies with the client.

This is also the reason why a lawyer should not simply combine with another job. The combination should never interfere with his independence.

It is this foundation of independence that creates trust: clients can count on their lawyer to defend their interests without seeking any personal advantage.

The role of independence in the judiciary

In our society, it is important for lawyers to be independent. Imagine being in a situation where you need help in court. You want to be sure that your lawyer will really stand up for you, without being influenced by others, the government or judges. This independence allows lawyers to advocate for you without hesitation and without being driven by other interests. This ensures that the process is fair and that justice can happen smoothly.

Taking charge, setting boundaries

In the process, the lawyer is leading and must not act as a stooge for the client's wishes. Independence allows a lawyer to draw boundaries and thus not simply defend what the client wants or indicate that it cannot be independent. This also means that the lawyer has the freedom to possibly refuse a client, refuse a case, or even decide that he will no longer represent a client's interests.

For example, a lawyer will not handle cases by or against close family members, act for persons living with him or closely related to those living with him, or defend another lawyer with whom he is in a group or association. A lawyer will also refuse a case if it would lead to a conflict between his own interests and those of a client, if there would be conflict with the interests between several of the clients or if there is a high probability of that happening.

If a lawyer has a valid reason, then they can leave a case, such as an insurmountable disagreement with the client, if a conflict of interest appears during the trial, or some other valid reason that makes continued representation impossible. If the proceedings are already ongoing, the lawyer will normally notify the court, and he or she may also notify the client and help find substitute legal representation.

Independence therefore ensures that court cases are fair, that legal proceedings run smoothly and that people can have confidence in our legal system. Lawyers are the guardians of the legal system, so to speak, and they continue to uphold this important value because they know it is essential for a fair society.

Independence of the profession

As, we value the independence and transparency of the profession. This is essential to ensure that everyone can have confidence in the legal system. That is why we like to involve everyone in defining our rules and regulations, even those who are not lawyers.

This is why we share drafts of new regulations or changes to existing rules. This way, we keep everyone informed and give everyone a chance to share their views. We are open to feedback from everyone. Together, we work towards a fair and accessible legal system.

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