find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Ethics part of lawyer's armoury

Ethics part of lawyer's armoury

The "most devastating weapon" a lawyer can have is operating ethically, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Chris Craigie has told a conference two weeks ago.Speaking at the Fifth…

The "most devastating weapon" a lawyer can have is operating ethically, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Chris Craigie has told a conference two weeks ago.

Speaking at the Fifth Annual Public Sector In-house Counsel Conference in Canberra, Craigie said ethical awareness is an essential tool that should be at the forefront of professional approach and consciousness.

Craigie encouraged lawyers to listen to their instincts if they have a "troubled feeling" over a situation and ask themselves why they are troubled.

"One situation that I find more troubling is the lack of questioning or a troubled feeling that it is either ignored as inconvenient or obscured by hubris, ambition or some other self-focused motive. By this I refer to the lawyer who inwardly asserts 'I don't have any ethical issues'," he said.

"Now, that statement may reflect the truth of the matter. Alternatively, it may reflect that the lawyer has not reflected on ethical obligations and has not established an ethical awareness; with the result that the potential ethical issues are bubbling about the lawyer, whose fate may come to resemble that of the content, but doomed, frog in boiling water."

For government lawyers, ensuring that they operate in their role in a way that serves the community and not the individual interests of elected officials can be challenge, he said.

"Recognising the extent and limits of this situation is important, particularly for those of us entrusted with statutory functions that must be exercised independently of political direction or partiality but with due regard both to the law and lawful authority," he said.

As the nation's top prosecutor, Craigie said the most devastating weapon of a competent and well-briefed prosecutor is the perception and reality that the judge and jury can accept the lawyer as operating ethically and fairly.

"It is not just the prosecutor who possesses this devastating weapon of operating ethically and fairly. For every lawyer, to perform their tasks ethically and fairly is a powerful tool," he said.

"In a court setting a reputation in this regard is precious. Even for a relatively junior lawyer it is a valuable thing if interchange and conduct create the impression for the tribunal of fact that this is an unambiguously ethical lawyer."

- Sarah Sharples

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Ethics part of lawyer's armoury
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Queensland University of Technology, ruby milestone
Queensland law school reaches ruby milestone
Celebrating 40 years since establishing a law course in 1977, the Queensland University of Technolog...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...