An Advocate is a professional or an expert in the field of law. The laws governing Advocates is the Advocates Act, 1961 was given by the Ashok Kumar Sen, the then priest of India. The Advocates Act, 1961 is a law go by the Parliament and is controlled and implemented by the Bar Council of India. The Bar Council of India is the chief administrative body to manage the system and consistency of law in India.
In India, each State has its own Bar Council whose role is to register the Advocates willing to practice within a particular State or region. The registration of an Advocate with a State Bar Council does not limit him to practice in that particular State or region and is permitted to show up in any court in India. Basically, the State Bar Councils has the role of dividing the workload of the Bar Council of India. The State Bar Councils could deal with the local issues in smoother ways.
The procedure for being an Advocate in India is of twofold. Firstly, the applicant must be a law graduate from a registered organisation in India (or from one of the four perceived Universities in the United Kingdom). Secondly, the applicant must pass the following skills enlisted in the Bar Council of the State where the applicant wishes to enroll.
Right of Practice:
The expression ‘right to practice’ in terms of the legal profession refers to an exclusive right given to advocates to practice law before courts and tribunals. The right to practice is protected at two levels and they are as follows:
- General Protection: Under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution protects the right of individuals to the practice of their choice.
- Specific Protection: Under Section 30 of the Advocates Act, 1961 states that a person enrolled with the State Bar Councils has the right to practice before any court or tribunal in India which also includes the Supreme Court. The Central Government made this section effective recently through a notification.
Duties of an Advocate towards his/her Client:
- An advocate is bound to accept briefs from a client and should levy fee at par as compared to the fee demanded by his fellow advocates practicing at the same Bar and the nature of the case. The advocate may justify the reason behind the refusal of a particular brief.
- It is the duty of an advocate to serve the client once he/she has agreed to serve them. He shall give a valid reason to withdraw from the case and sufficient notice to the client. He shall refund a part of the fee not accrued to the client.
- It is the duty of an advocate to not accept a case or a brief where he will be appearing as a witness. Similarly, if the advocate has knowledge of appearing as a witness during the course of events, then he should not continue further in the case.
- It is important that the advocate shall make full and frank disclosures to the client in relation to the parties and an interest in the controversy.
- To give the best legal advice according to the best of his ability.
- To maintain the clause of confidentiality and not disclose personal details of the client.
- To keep an account of the client’s money entrusted to him and provide a copy of the same whenever it is required.
- To intimate the client upon any changes or keep him updated about the matter.
- To be diligent in handling the matter of a client.
- To not take up the matter of opposite party in the same case after withdrawing from the client’s end.
Duties of an Advocate towards the court:
- To maintain a respectful attitude towards the courts and legal system.
- An advocate shall conduct himself with dignity and self-respect.
- It is the duty of an advocate to not influence and let the decision of court free from influence by any illegal or improper means.
- An advocate should be dressed in a prescribed form before appearing in court. He/she are not allowed to wear band and gown except in the court area.
- To not appear in the same court or tribunal he/she may have a close relative as a member.
- To not conduct a prosecution in such a manner as to knowingly secure the conviction of an innocent person.