The rights of advocates are governed and protected under the various provisions of the Advocate Act of 1961. This Act makes a framework for this legal profession in India. An advocate has to be performed his duties with professional ethics and honesty. Through these rights, an advocate can perform his duties towards their clients, society, the Court and the nation. As we know, the profession of advocacy is judicious, and that also plays a significant role in the judiciary.
An advocate, also called a lawyer, represents their client in Court and also provides legal assistance in various legal subject matters related to law. In this article, we are addressing the various rights and Privileges of advocates which are given under the Advocate Act,1961 and the privileges that make him enable them to effectively perform their duties towards the judiciary in India. So please stays tuned and read below;
What is an Advocate?
An Advocate is a person who belongs to a professional in the field of law. He represents and argues on behalf of their clients in the Court and other judicial departments.
Rights of Advocates in India
According to The Advocate Act 1961, there has been mentioned the Advocate’s Rights that are given below;
Right to practice
The Advocate Act 1961, under section 30, defined the right to practice the law of advocate in India. According to that advocate is entitled to practice in all Courts, as well also practice in the Supreme Court and High Courts Supreme Court and High Courts including all Tribunals. He is entitled to practice in subordinate courts in India. On behalf of the client, the advocate has this right to file Vakalatnama, appear, plead, and act on various functions. Through the Rights, an advocate can perform all kinds of functions which are provided under this Act. Rights to practice law is a fundamental right that is given to advocate under the Advocate Act. Through this right, advocates not only do legal practice but exercise their professional skills in the way of justice and the rule of law.
However, to apply this right, there are certain conditions that an advocate needs to follow. To enable this right, the advocate needs to enroll in the concerned Bar Council, comply with the code of conduct, and needs to acquire the necessary qualifications and experience as per the law.
Rights of Advocate to Pre-audience
The right to pre-audience is mentioned under section 23 of the Advocate Act,1961. The basic meaning of pre-audience is the right to be heard before another is heard. It is a significant Privilege that is given to an advocate under the Act. This right is given according to the hierarchy system like. The attorney general of India has the prior right of pre-audience over the other advocates. After that right has been given to The Solicitor General of India, and then after the Additional Solicitor General of India, then the additional solicitor of any state and finally, after they come senior advocates and other advocates of India.
According to this section, an advocate has the right to pre-audience in Court on behalf of his client. Through this right, he can address the Court in front of the audience which is present in the Court. The advocate cannot be prevented from speaking unless he has not found any violation or disregards the decorum of the Court.
Rights of freedom of speech, expression, and talk free
The right of freedom of speech and expression is recognized as a fundamental right that is given under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. This article ensures a guarantee of the freedom of speech and expression for citizens of India. An advocate has that right; he may express fair opinions or criticism regarding the judicial system and functions. He has the right to put his opinion on the judicial decisions.
An advocate can express his opinion regards the legal matter which is affecting his client or his legal profession. But one thing we should note is that rights should be used with responsibility and respect to the code of conduct for advocates. Advocate has to avoid making any rude and critical remarks toward the judiciary.
Rights to enter Court and observe the proceedings
An advocate is entitled to enter any courtroom; he has the right to observe court proceedings without representing the case party. Through this, the right advocate improves his knowledge related to updated law and the various functionality of the Court. An advocate can improve his legal professional skills by observing the presentations of other advocates in the Court.
Rights to meet with accused in Jail or Police custody
An advocate can consult and meet with his client in private. He can also meet an accused in private. This right enables an advocate to provide legal assistance and advice to their clients. In private meetings, he can find out facts about the subject matter, which helps them to represent clients in a court of law. Under the provision of the Advocate Act of 1961, an advocate can meet their clients and can discuss the matter even if an accused is in jail.
Right to secure the privacy of communication
An advocate has the right to make the privacy of their communication with the client. Through this right, he can keep secret the information that is provided by his client. This right play a crucial role in building trust with their client. As we refer to the provisions of the Advocate Act, these are mentioned this rights in various provisions. As per that, without the consent of their client, an advocate can not disclose any information and communication which is collected from their clients. Or in some case advocate can disclose that if it is required by law. An advocate must protect the privileged discussions and documents of their clients from misuse or unauthorized access.
Rights against arrest
An advocate is also known as a judicial officer of the Court, as we refer to the provision of section 135 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. There is specifically mentioned that the judge, magistrate or other judicial officer is not liable to arrest under civil process. While, he conducts the case, going to, presiding in, or returning from his Court.
The Advocate Protection Bill 2021 was drafted and formed by a seven-member team to address the concern of challenges and difficulties which are faced by advocates and their families. The bill gives an assurance that, as per the provision of section 11, a police officer shall not arrest an advocate or not investigate a case against an advocate without the specific direction of the chief judicial magistrate.
Right to refuse a case
If an advocate thinks, fit that any case which is offered to him is against their professional ethic or is believed to be against their principles. In that situation, they can refuse to accept such cases. This right helps advocates maintain their independence and honesty towards the Court and clients. The Advocate Act provides a guideline for refusing the case if an advocate has a valid reason they may refuse a case or decline representation in the Court.
An advocate can not refuse to represent such kind of case if a case is given to them for representation by the Court in a criminal matter. If an advocate is appointed by a state government to provide legal services, the advocate has to accept a case and represent their clients in the Court.
Right to receive a fee
This a right to an advocate to receive a reasonable fee for providing their professional services to their clients. That is necessary for an advocate to earn a source of income to survive and sustain their profession.
Advocates are free to receive a fee as per their expertise in the legal field, mode of experience, and nature of the case, and they can ensure a fee with a clear understanding and transparency with their clients. An advocate is entitled to file suit against the client for unpaid of their professional fees under the applicable laws.
Advocates of Human Rights
The rights of advocates are not only limited to clients, judiciary and society but there is the duty of an advocate to act as an active part in implementing international human rights with the standards to encourage civil society and makes reinforce the rule of law.
Rights of Advocates for Take up Law Teaching
As per the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (3 of 1956), An advocate may take up the teaching of law in any educational institution while engaging in practicing within a limited time which is prescribed under this Act.
The Advocate Act 1961 provides various rights for the Advocate. As we refer to sections 29 to 34 of said Act, there are mentioned rights of practicing. According to that, an advocate who enrolls with the state bar council can handle cases in the Supreme Court, High Court, Subordinate Couts, Trubinal and such kinds of all such legal authorities, whether jointly or individually.