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The Lawyer: a regulated profession

In the People’s Republic of Congo, Lawyers carry out their activities within the strict limits of law n 026-92 of 20 August 1992 on the organisation of the Legal profession as well as the rules and procedures established by the National council. Lawyers are to obey the rules and procedures of the bar association to which they belong and to abide to other national and international texts, which regulate the profession. Finally, the 1992 law instituted a National Bar Association.

National Bar Association

The National Bar Association encompasses all duly registered lawyers.

The National Bar Association is lead by a president, who is the head of the council and manages the National Order of Lawyers. The President is elected for two years by General Assembly of Lawyers registered at the bar. He is selected amongst the Presidents or the former Presidents. He represents the National Order of Lawyers in all acts of the civil life.

The National Order of Lawyers is a legal entity. Its head quarter is located in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo Brazzaville. Its role amongst others is to defend the interests of the profession, to deal with any questions relating to the practise of the profession and the creation of secondary firms, to establish the general principles of the courses lectured to young lawyers wanting to enter the profession and to fix the contributions to the bars of the National Bar Association

No lawyer can be registered at the bar, if he does not meet the conditions enacted by the above mentioned law.

Consequently, only those duly registered et the national bar association are entitled to practise as Lawyers.

The bar

The Lawyers appearing in a court of appeal constitute a bar as soon as they are six registered member. In the People’s Republic of Congo, there are two bars: the bar of Brazzaville and the bar of Pointe-Noire.

Each bar is managed by a council, which, is chaired by a President. The president is voted by a majority vote for a period of two years. Only Lawyers registered with the bar, who are up to date with their contributions, are invited by the council to the bar and who have not been the object of a disciplinary measure that prevents him exercising the profession regularly can take part in the vote. The Bar President has authority to represent the bar in all parts of civil life before the local communities, the authorities and third parties.

The bar is a legal entity. It has the duty to amend the governing rules of the bar, to organise and define practical trainings conferred to Lawyers. The bar of Lawyers fixes the amount of the contributions required from the Lawyers. Also, the bar ensures that all Lawyers behave as honest auxiliaries of justice that are strictly bound by their oath. The bar ensures that its members practise with probity, satisfactory moderation, courtesy and fraternity, principles that are core to the National Bar Association. Finally, the bar ensures that the honour and the interests of the National Bar Association is upheld. 

Nobody is permitted to practise as a Lawyer unless he is registered with the bar and if his Firm is not indexed to a pleading court. Registration to the bar allows him to practise his profession freely (except for restrictions enacted by Law, decrees and rules of procedure) and to profit from the common services offered by the bar.

Lawyers’ registration with the bar ensures respect of the deontology recalled in the rules, regulations and procedure of the bar.

Deontology

A Lawyer is bound to respect scrupulously the duties imposed on him by law. Legal
practitioners are required to follow the rules, the traditions and the professional usages towards the magistrates, fellow-members and their clients.

The Lawyer must respect, first and foremost, professional secrecy. He must in his relationship with his clients, verbal or written, maintain absolute secrecy on matters evoked. Professional secrecy as well is opposite to the seal of confession, which is general, absolute and is a matter of public concern. No authority can force a Lawyer to testify or give indications on matters evoked, on a consultancy that is purely confidential. The Lawyer must consequently ensure that the confidentiality of their dealings is assured.

In the same way, the correspondence and the verbal communication between Lawyers are by nature confidential. No disclosure can take place and no correspondence between Lawyers can be used in a court of law, by one or the other parties. Even if talks can lead to compromise agreements, discussions cannot be used before a court of law.

He must, therefore, endeavour to remain independent and incorruptible.

A lawyer must, on every occasion show honesty to his clients and to his fellow-lawyers. He must also demonstrate moderation, courtesy and tact. Lastly, Lawyers must exert their art with dignity, conscience, probity and humanity.

Failing in any of theses principles will lead to Lawyers facing disciplinary hearing before the bar association’s disciplinary council. Disciplinary actions could lead to a temporary ban from exercise or  Lawyers being banned from the profession.