Draft Laws

ADVOCATES’ PROCLAMATION NO…/2019 (Draft)

Article 89

Admission Committee

The purpose of the Admission Committee shall be to enable the Council to take swift admission decisions, while ensuring the applicants’ right to be heard.

Article 90

Disciplinary Committee

The purpose of the Disciplinary Committee shall be to prepare measures and decisions of the Council with regards to reprimands.

Article 91

Interest on Advocates’ Trust Accounts Committee

The purpose of the Interest on Advocates’ Trust Accounts Committee is to prepare measures and decisions of the Council regarding the administration of assets and the allocation of funds by advocates.

Sub-section Three – Annual General Meeting

Article 92

Obligations of the Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting shall have the obligation to:

  1. Elect the members of the Council;
  2. Elect members of the Code of Conduct Board;
  3. Determine the membership fees, which include dues payable to the Federal Bar and fees to entertain the disciplinary institutions mentioned in this Section;
  4. Determine, if necessary, levies;
  5. Adopt the by-laws and procedural rules specified in this Proclamation;
  6. Pass a resolution regarding the exoneration of the Council; and
  7. As a self-governing body, discuss matters of general importance to the members and access to justice.

        Article 93

    Convening and Procedure

  • The annual general meeting shall be convened in a way that every member of the Federal Bar can take notice of the invitation.
  • At least twenty days’ prior notice of the annual general meeting shall be given to all members of the Federal Bar.
  • The agenda shall be published together with the notice announcing the general meeting.
  • No resolutions may be taken regarding matters that have not been properly announced.
  • If the Council fails to convene an extraordinary general meeting within ten days after receiving a request in accordance with Article 79(i) of this Proclamation, the members requesting may convene the meeting within two months after the Council received their request.
  • In every general meeting, every member of the Federal Bar present shall have one vote.

Article 94

By-laws

The by-laws of the Federal Bar shall regulate further details of the manner of convening a general meeting and the procedure under which a general meeting shall take place.

Sub-section Four – Federal Clients’ Complaint Office

Article 95

Establishment

  • The Federal Clients’ Complaints Office is hereby established within the Federal Attorney General.
  • The Federal Clients’ Complaints Office shall have the powers to:
  1. receive information and complaints regarding the conduct of advocates;
  2. provide assistance to complainants in stating their complaints;
  3. provide information to complainants about the available legal remedies; and
  4. determine whether the facts stated in a complaint or other information regarding the conduct of an advocate provides grounds for further action.

Article 96

Directive, procedural rules

The Federal Attorney General shall issue a directive to provide for procedural rules for the Federal Clients’ Complaints Office.

Sub-section Five – Federal Disciplinary Tribunal

Article 97

 Establishment

  • The Federal Independent Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as “Disciplinary Tribunal”) is hereby established.
  • The Disciplinary Tribunal shall be administered by the Federal Bar.

Article 98

Purpose

The Disciplinary Tribunal has the purpose of prosecuting and adjudicating advocates’ or law firms for the violation of this Proclamation or other professional rules.

Article 99

Members

  • The Disciplinary Tribunal shall consists of 9 members.
  • 5 (five) of the members of the Disciplinary Tribunal shall be elected from members of the Bar on the basis of their competence, integrity and experience through a secret ballot and the remaining 4 (four) shall be appointed by the Attorney General in accordance with the following composition:
  1. 1 (one) member from the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce;
  2. 1 (one) member from the Council of Civil Society Organizations;
  3. 1 (one) member from federal courts; and
  4. 1 (one) member from the Attorney General.

Sub-section Six – Code of Conduct

Article 100

Purpose

  • The purpose of a code of conduct of advocates is to regulate professional conduct in the interest of the improvement of the law, access to justice, and the administration of law and justice.
  • Codes of conduct shall not restrict the advocate’s independence.

Article 101

General Rule

The details regulating professional rights and obligations provided in this Proclamation as general principles shall be regulated in a code of conduct for the advocates’ profession.

Article 102

                                                             Specific Regulations

Without prejudice to the generality of Article 100 of this Proclamation, a code of conduct shall contain regulations concerning:

  1. practical training, theoretical education and possible examination of trainee advocates intending to apply for admission to the advocate profession;
  2. an advocate’s communication with his client;
  3. fees;
  4. keeping records;
  5. an advocate’s relationship to former client;
  6. an advocate’s relationship to prospective client;
  7. an advocate’s relationship to the tribunal;
  8. an advocate’s relationship to opposing party and counsel;
  9. clients with special needs;
  10. dealing with unrepresented person;
  11. declining or terminating a advocate-client relationship;
  12. sale of law practice;
  13. ownership and organization of law firms;
  14. communication concerning an advocate’s services; and
  15. reporting of professional misconduct.

Article 103

Disciplinary Committee

The purpose of the Disciplinary Committee shall be to prepare measures and decisions of the Council with regards to reprimands.

Sub-section Six – Code of Conduct Board

Article 104

Purpose

The Federal Bar shall have a Code of Conduct Board to adopt and amend a code of conduct for the advocates’ profession.

Article 105

Members’ Composition, Election and Tenure of Office

  • The Code of Conduct Board shall consist of 11 members six of whom shall be elected from among members of the Federal Bar through secret ballots considering their integrity, competence, experience and gender balance.
  • The provisions of 75(2) shall apply to members of the Code of Conduct Board.
  • Four members of the Code of Conduct Board shall be appointed by the Federal Attorney General.
  • The President of the Federal Bar shall be the Chairperson of the Board.

                                                              Article 106

                                                               Eligibility

  • Articles ‎76 shall apply to members of the Code of Conduct Board.
  • Members of the Code of Conduct Board appointed by the Federal Attorney General shall hold a minimum of Bachelor of Laws degree.

Article 107

By-laws

The by-laws of the Federal Bar shall regulate further details of the procedure under which the Code of Conduct Board shall work and how the Code of Conduct is to be published.

Sub-section Six – Offences and Sanctions

Article 108

Grounds for a Disciplinary Action

It shall be a ground for a disciplinary action for an advocate to:

  1. Violate or attempt to violate this Proclamation or any other rules regarding professional conduct of advocates;
  2. Engage in a conduct violating the applicable advocates’ profession laws of other jurisdictions in which the advocate is admitted;
  3. Willfully violate a valid order of the Disciplinary Tribunal imposing a disciplinary action or willfully fail to appear before disciplinary counsel for admonition or willfully fail to comply with a summons validly issued or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand from a disciplinary authority, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by applicable rules relating to confidentiality.
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