Professional ethics presentation


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Professional ethics presentation

  2. 2. ETHICS, MORALITY AND ETIQUETTE • It’s hard to make a distinction between these three terms because they are closely related. • Morality is a differentiation of actions between those that are right and wrong • Etiquette is a code that governs social behaviour within a society, class or group. • Ethics is the philosophy of moral values. Distinction between ethics, etiquette and morality Difference between these three terms is that morality defines our character, while ethics points towards application of morality and etiquette focuses on behaviour in a certain setting.
  3. 3. PROFESSIONAL AND LEGAL ETHICS Professional Ethics is concerned with one’s behaviour and conduct when carrying out professional work. It is codified and varies across different cultures. Legal Ethics is the standard of conduct within the legal profession and is codified in the Advocates Act (Chapter 16 of the Laws of Kenya) INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND MORALITY Modern times philosophers have divided ethical theories into 3 general subject areas: 1. Meta-Ethics-origin of ethical principles 2. Normative-how we arrive at moral standards i.e. right or wrong conduct
  4. 4. 3. Applied Ethics-examination of controversial issues with tools of meta & normative ethics. META-ETHICS Ethical values are either ‘other-worldly’ or ‘thisworldly’ creations. Issues arising in Meta-Ethics: a)Egoism Vs Altruism b)Emotion Vs Reason c)Male Vs Female Morality
  5. 5. IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS It assists in availing legal representation to all in the society. It sets out the minimum duties of a legal practitioner towards his client, the court and to his counter parts in the profession It spells out the minimum standards of practice. Enhances public confidence in the legal profession It builds loyalty between the advocate and his client It gives the lawyer a guide line on how to act in cases of conflicts of interest It Assists in the protection of fundamental human interests like life, liberty and property
  6. 6. It guides a lawyer on the best course of action when moral issues are at stake It promotes transparency and frankness between the client and the advocate It promotes integrity in the legal profession. WHY ETHICS STANDARDS ARE FAILING ? Case study of America – refer to article ‘ The Legal Profession as a Blue State’ The modern conception of the lawyer as a hired gun and thus affecting commitment to public good removing ethical value. The increasing influence of liberalism after Civil War in the U.S. Growth of empirical knowledge as the more dominant way of establishing truth rather than influence of ethics in virtue.
  7. 7. The embrace and promotion of the belief in the Majority Rule. Empirical approaches to jurisprudence that focused on judges minimizing significance of lawyers’ role.(turned to professionalism) Liberal goal maximizing individual freedom. The re-definition of ethics and public good by the bar to legitimize the hired gun view. Ethics Fallacies, Myths, Distortions and Rationalizations The Golden Rationalization, or "Everybody does it" The Gore Misdirection "If it isn't illegal, it's ethical.“ The Compliance Dodge. The Biblical Rationalizations The "Tit for Tat" Excuse The Trivial Trap Also known as "The Slippery Slope."
  8. 8. WHAT IS A PROFESSION? A profession as a vocation requiring advanced education and training. According to Roscoe Pound he defined profession as a group pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service. Characteristics of a profession? Skill based on theoretical knowledge Professional association Extensive period of Testing of competence Institutional training Licensed practitioners  Work autonomy  Code of professional ethics and conduct
  9. 9. Self regulation Public service Exclusion Control of remuneration and advertising High status and reward Granting of legitimacy
  10. 10. SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY What is a contract ? A Social Contract is an ideology - that a person’s moral and political obligations are dependent upon a contractual agreement among them to form the society in which they live. It tries to explain the relationship between individuals and their governments Various schools of thought I. Socrates In a conversation between him and his friend Crito, the social contract denotes the agreement to stay in Athens and abide by the laws and accept the punishment meted out . II. Thomas Hobbes (1588 -1679) Looked at the origin of a society, from the state of lawlessness to the realization of the need of governance.
  11. 11. Humans are solitary, poor, nasty, short, harsh and brutish. They were self interested and if left alone in this state chaos will be inevitable and the absence of rights prevented the formation of a society . Existence of reason… A social contract is therefore entered where the citizens surrender their individual rights, instill a person or a body of persons in authority and grant them the power to enforce the contract, the citizens then agree to be bound by certain rules and create a mechanism that punishes breach of these rules – absolute monarchy
  12. 12. III. John Locke(1632 -1704) Accredited for his famous political writings e.g Second Treatise on Government (1689) Locke maintains on the equality of man before the laws of nature, which are the laws of God that ascribe to moralityexistence of Natural rights The government formed derives its legitimacy from its citizens. IV. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712- 1778) His influential writing ‘The Social Contract’ did not approve of a representative kind of Government. He believed that liberty is found when the people wholly participate in governance. He argued that the society did not know their ‘general will’ denoted by his famous quote ‘man is born free and is every where in chains’.
  13. 13. A contract that does not consider the interests of the other party cannot be considered legitimate at all. Applicability of the Social Contract Theory in Kenyan Legal System. Constitution 2010 (Article 1) of the Constitution-all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya. (Article 2 )states that Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Bill of Rights (Chapter 4) enlists fundamental rights and freedoms. • Article 22 provides for the Enforcement of Bill of Rights. • Article 23 gives courts the authority to uphold and enforce the Bill of Rights • Article 38 provides for political rights. • Article 145 gives the National Assembly powers to remove the president from power.
  14. 14. • Council of legal education • S.6 of the Act establishes the objects and functions of the council • to control and exercise general supervision over legal education in Kenya • S.7 of the Act gives the council powers necessary to expedient the performance of its functions. The legal profession, like other professional organizations, has codes of ethics to guide the behaviour of their members. a professional code is an agreement made by members of a social group, who agree to obey the rules of the contract because of a perceived mutual benefit.