Secretul profesional: ‘sfântul sfinților’ avocaturii

23 martie 2017
187 citiri

Avec le secret professionnel nous pénétrons dans un des plus défendus ‘saint des saints’ de l’avocature. C’est probablement, avec le principe d’indépendence, le principe qui est le plus cher au coeur de l’avocat. En effet il est le confident nécessaire de son client et la totale confiance que celui-ci doit avoir dans son conseil est un élément fondamental de l’organisation même de la défense.
Le respect du secret professionnel facilite et favorise grandement la communication entre les deux en ce qu’il permet de s’assurer que son conseil ne va pas révéler les confidences recueillies, et qu’en toute quiétude on peut lui confier son affaire avec les implications parfois très graves qu’elle est susceptible de comporter.
Cette garantie de confiance absolue, préalable imperatif à toute défense eligne de ce nom, fait de ce secret une des libertés individuelles essentielles dans une société démocratique. Dans la mesure ou il permet aussi d’assurer, à travers le bon fonctionnement de la justice, l’intéret général de la société, il est d’ordre public et peut être invoqué en tout circonstance. S’il est un privilege pour l’avocat ce principe en constitue aussi un devoir et une charge au regard du client qui dispose là d’un droit majeur. Il est absolu et illimité dans le temps, pas même le client ne peut délier l’avocat de ce principe, ce qui est remarquable car ce n’est pas toujours le cas des autre professions qui sont astreintes au secret professionnel.

Édouard de Lamaze, Christian Pujalte
(L’avocat, le juge et la déontologie, PUF, 2015, la p. 111)

Când judecătorul pronunță o hotărâre, îl cheamă pe Dumnezeu ca martor

22 martie 2017

Obligations in the case of friendships – failing to discharge them when it is right to carry them out, and fulfilling them when it is not right to do so, are both breaches of duty – are particularly complex. But advice in all such situations is succinct and straightforward. Things which seem to be useful – public offices, riches, sensual pleasures, and the like – must never take precedence over friendship. But the good man will never promote a friend’s interests to the detriment of the state or in defiance of his oath or pledged word, even if he is sitting in court over him, for he then quits the role of friend to undertake the role of judge. The only concession which he will make to friendship will be to approve a friend’s case because it is just one, and in so far as the laws permit, to arrange a date for pleading the case to suit his friend’s convenience. Indeed, when he has to deliver judgment under oath, he must remember that he is calling God to witness, and this means, I think, his conscience; God himself has bestowed nothing more divine on man than that. So the custom which we have inherited from our ancestors is a noble one if we can maintain it, for it requests the judge TO DO ALL HE CAN WITH INTEGRITY AND FAITH. This request is germane to the honourable concessions which I mentioned a moment ago as licit for a judge to make to a friend; for if all requests from friends were to be met, we should have to regard such relationships as conspiracies rather than friendships.

Cicero
(On Obligations (trad. P. G. Walsh), Oxford World’s Classics, la p. 98-99)

Societate poate supraviețui cu un oarecare nivel de incertitudine juridică, indiferent de …

21 martie 2017

This chapter has focused on two points. First, because laws are written in language, language expresses concepts, and the concepts the language expresses become vague at the margins, it follows that laws are vague at margins. Second, much of the effort to deal with vagueness in law consists of a search for uniform ways of resolving it, so that the law regains from legal methods that certainty it has lost from vagueness. However, there is no consistent way of resolving vagueness – at least none that I know of – from which it follows that laws necessary carry some level of uncertainty.
All this means we are stuck with a level of uncertainty in legal interpretation. Some argue this fact may have some benefits. Jeremy Waldron (1994 and chapter 15 this volume) argues that at least to some extent the contestability that follows from vagueness can be healthy for a society, by bringing significant issues to the fore. Endicott (2000, pp. 188-203) does not go quite that far, but argues that vagueness is not a deficit to rule-of-law values simply because it requires judges, on occasion, to exercise discretion. Discretion at the margins is a far cry from a society governed arbitrarily by despot.
Whatever valence one assigns vagueness, it is here to stay because it is a feature of our cognitive make-up. In some instances, vagueness appears to give judges the opportunity to take advantage of linguistic accident to undermine the results of the democratic process. In other instances, it provides both flexibility and an opportunity for society to debate important questions, such as the meaning and application of the ban on ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment’, to take Waldron’s example. Thus, I prefer to stay away from judging the overall value of vagueness. In that to resolve vagueness is to resolve close cases a the margins, it is fairly clear that societies, where most everyday activity is not at the margins, can survive with some level of legal uncertainty, regardless of whether one thinks this is to be good or bad in balance. The best we can hope for is for judges to act both transparently and sincerely in choosing the tools to resolve uncertain language in each case they address.

Lawrence M. Solan
(Why It Is So difficult to resolve Vagueness in Legal Interpretation, în Vagueness and Law (ed. G. Keil, R. Poscher), Oxford University Press, 2016, la p. 243-244)

Frumos (ca idee) e să gândim diferit, util, în practica dreptului, e să rezulte ceva din asta, respectiv o soluţie unică pentru probleme identice

19 martie 2017

Eu nu cred în frumuseţea dreptului, ci în utilitatea lui.
Frumos e ce ne place (şi suntem atât de diferiţi în gusturi), util e ce ne trebuie, adică ceea ce ne ţine împreună, din punct de vedere social.
Frumos (ca idee) e să gândim diferit, util, în practica dreptului, e să rezulte ceva din asta, respectiv o soluţie unică pentru probleme identice.
Dreptul nu e o ştiinţă sensibilă la inovare, ci una care pune accent pe ceea ce s-a mai întâmplat (precedentul, chiar şi dacă nu îl recunoaştem ca izvor de drept, e invocat sau măcar discutat), pe tradiţia juridică, adică pe trecut.
Dreptul de acum, aşa cum e el reglementat şi practicat, nu se proiectează în viitor (aş zice că nici nu interesează prea mult ideea), ci el „duce” din trecut spre viitor, cu câteva excepţii ale unor cauze mai puternic influenţate de progresul tehnic, dar nici pe acolo nu am senzaţia de pionierat.

Amelia Farmathy
(Comentariu la Magistratul între lege și morală, disponibil pe JURIDICE.ro)

Când murim, oamenii ne judecă după principii ce sunt de regulă de negăsit în legi

19 martie 2017

[Când murim, oamenii ne judecă. Testul este ceea ce oamenii spun sau gândesc despre noi atunci când vom muri. Este atunci când alți oameni evaluează viața noastră, bună sau rea, atunci când toate resentimentele banale și ranchiunile sunt puse deoparte în fața morții, adică atunci când oamenii ne judecă. Acest lucru este echivalent cu judecata finală a lui Dumnezeu în ziua învierii departe în viitor. Cei mai mulți dintre noi, inclusiv eu, vom fi la un milion de mile depărtare de aceste virtuți imposibil de chinuitoare pe care le-am stabilit mai jos. Deci, există ceva melancolic și dureros în faptul că ar trebui să ne stabilim standarde pe care nu putem spera să le atingem.
Ne-am dori ca ei să spună că am tratat pe alții cu dragoste, sinceritate, fidelitate și respect, că am fost loiali și de încredere, că am fost iertători și înceți la mânie, că ne-am arătat față de alții iubitoarea bunătate, și că am evitat umilințe emoționale sau cruzimi la scară mică sau desconsiderările care ar putea coroda viața de zi cu zi și care provoacă mizerii disproporționate sau stârnesc dorințe disproporționate de răzbunare. Ne-am dori să spună că nu am fost înșelători, sau cu două fețe, că am fost sinceri, că am fost pozitivi, optimiști și însoriți, că nu i-am împovărat pe alții cu represiunile sau îngrijorările noastre, că am fost lipsiți de egoism, și că am fost pregătiți să-i ascultăm pe cei care sufereau. Ne-am dori ca ei să spună că am trăit viața cu un sentiment de bucurie și uimire, că întotdeauna am căutat să învățăm ceva nou, că am fost plini de umor și că am râs mult, că am fost liniștiți și reținuți, că am avut răbdare, că noi nu am făcut loc exprimării furiei sau dorinței inutile de răzbunare, că n-am purtat nici o ranchiună și că nu am urmărit nici o vendetă, și că nu am fost violenți sau necinstiți. Ne-am dori să se spună că am arătat curaj și tărie morală, și că am fost viteji. Ne-am dori ca ei să spună că am avut o contribuție, că am servit pe alții, că nu am fost leneși sau inactivi, că am avut stimă de sine, că am îmbunătățit viețile tuturor celor pe care i-am întâlnit. Ne-am dori ca ei să spună că am fost caritabili și că am dat fără reținere celor nevoiași. Ne-am dori ca ei să spună că am căutat să rămânem în viață atât timp cât e posibil, că am învățat până la capăt, că ne-am luptat pentru viață până la capăt, că nu am renunțat.
Această propoziție se referă la aspecte de conduită ce țin de domeniul moralității private. Avem aceste precepte nu pentru a ne proteja reputația, ci în scopul de a ne ghida comportamentul nostru privat cu scopul de a păstra un viitor. Propoziția conține principii care sunt esențiale pentru moralitatea privată, dar care nu sunt acoperite de lege. Ele conțin virtuți care nu au tendința de a se regăsi nici în religie și nici în lege, precum de exemplu curajul, tăria morală și optimismul de spirit. Propoziția afectează foarte mult viața de zi cu zi a oamenilor. În plus, moralitatea particulară și gândurile private sunt la originea conduitei și moralității publice.]

When we die, people judge us. The test is what people say or think about us when we die. That is when other people assess our lives, good or bad, when all the trivial resentments and rancours are put aside in the face of death, when people judge us. This is equivalent to the final judgment of God on the day of resurrection far in the future. Most of us, including myself, will be a million miles away from these excruciatingly impossible virtues which I set below. So there is something melancholy and poignant about the fact that we should set ourselves standards which we can never hope to meet.
We would like them to say that we treated others with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect, that we were loyal and trustworthy, that we were forgiving and slow to anger, that we showed loving kindness to others, and that we avoided emotional humiliations or small-scale cruelties or slights which could corrode daily life and cause disproportionate miseries or arouse disproportionate desires for revenge. We would like them to say that we were not deceitful or two-faced, that we were truthful, that we were positive, optimistic and sunny, that we did not burden others with our repressions or anxieties, that we were unselfish, and that we were prepared to listen to others who were suffering. We would like them to say that we lived life with a sense of joy and wonder, that we always sought to learn something new, that we were humorous and laughed a lot, that we were peaceful and restrained, that we were patient, that we did not give way to rages or express needless anger or desire for revenge, that we bore no grudges and pursued no vendettas, and that we were not violent or dishonest. We would like them to say that we showed courage and fortitude, and that we were brave. We would like them to say that we made a contribution, that we served others, that we were not lazy or idle, that we had self-esteem, that we enhanced the lives of everyone we met. We would like them to say that we were charitable and gave freely to the needy. We would like them to say that we sought to stay alive as long as possible, that we were learning till the end, that we fought for life till the end, that we never gave up.
This proposition deals with aspects of conduct in the realm of private morality. We have these precepts, not to protect out reputation, but in order to guide our private conduct to preserve the future. The proposition contains principles which are central to the private morality but which are not covered by the law. They contain virtues which tend not to be found in either religion or law, for example, courage, fortitude, optimism of spirit. The proposition greatly affects people’s daily lives. In addition private morality and private thoughts are the origin of public conduct and morality.

Philip R. Wood
(The Fall of Priests and the Rise of Lawyers, Hart, 2016, la p. 266 și urm.)

Volumul excesiv de legislație reprezintă un defect major

18 martie 2017

The excessive volume of the law is a major defect. The volume of law is now out of control internationally and is unmanageable. The reasons include globalisation which puts all jurisdictions in touch with each other, the massive increase in the intensity and amount of regulation, and  the volatility of law.
There are grounds for believing that the situation could get worse, much worse. Those who propose laws are evidently not good at simple arithmetic and are not knowledgeable about how to count.
Few people probably realise how dramatic the growth in size and complexity of the law has been if we stand back with a big historical view. This disproportionate increase in size and complexity of the legal regime makes the law inaccessible and therefore directly offends the rule of law. Naturally in every complex field, people have to consult advisers. But if the law is even beyond their capacity, then the rule of law is threatened.
A metric for measuring the size of law. One possible metric which could be used for measuring the sile of a legal regime is how many pages of concentrated law a single individual could actually learn in one year.
This metric is what I call a ‘uni-year’ which is based on the amount which in my experience a student taking four courses at postgraduate level, typically an LLM, would learn in a year for the examinations at the end of the year in the four subjects. I base my measures on the amount of notes which I gave to students in courses I taught.
As a rough estimate and rule of thumb, I calculated that the most fanatical student, a student who never went out, who never went to bar, who never said hello, who hardly left his or her room and who worked all time, would learn over 1000 pages of concentrated notes for the examination. By 1000 pages, I mean not the pages which the student would actually read for the exam – which would be much more in terms of articles in law journals, judicial cases, textbooks and the like – but the amount of concentrated learning notes necessary to achieve a top mark in an examination at first class standard.
The upper limit was 1000 pages – about 250 pages of concentrated notes for each topic. In practice most students actually learnt very much less than this, probably less than 100 pages of synthesised swotting notes in some cases.
If we apply this metric of a uni-year – the amount of a very diligent individual could learn in one year of work – we can apply this to the size and dimensions of a particular statute or area of law in concentrated form.
For example the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 of the United States, which reformed financial and related regulation as a result of the financial crisis of 2008, runs to about 1000 pages. However, as the statute is only an enabling statute to be implemented by regulations, one has to count the volume of the regulations themselves. It has been estimated that these are likely to run from somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 pages including commentary and explanation. If, just for the sake of the argument, we say that the total amount of US financial regulation, including the Dodd-Frank Act and all the legislation previously passed, amounts to 100,000 pages, then it follows that this would be 100 uni-years – a century – to learn financial regulatory regime in the United States. Whether it is a century or just ten years, it is over the top.
And this is only one country and one segment of one area of law – a sliver of a particle of a morsel.
In the case of Dodd-Frank, people where indignant about what happened. So they got round the table and, full of rage, shouted out their demands for vengeance, this clause, that clause. The statute book expresses the rationality of the people, their civilisation. The statute book is not the place to rant and rave. The statute book is a holy thing, a sacred place.
This is one reason that the amount of law is disproportionate and the the resulting inaccessibility and incomprehensibility of the law in itself creates legal risks. There is no point in having a law if the people who are subject to the law do not know what it is; and if they cannot conceivably learn it except by a century of effort.

Philip R. Wood
(The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of Lawyers, Hart, 2016, la p. 247 și urm.)

Legislația: un puzzle gigantic în care piesele nu se potrivesc întotdeauna în mod îngrijit

17 martie 2017

As we have noted in section 1, we have a pretty good sense of what constitutes success or failure of an act of communication: an act of communication fully succeeds when the hearer has fully grasped the communication intentions of the speaker. There is no reason to assume that the criteria of success would be different in law. Legislatures aim to communicate certain contents that they intend to be grasped by the relevant hearers; and if hearers fully grasp the relevant legal content, the act of communication succeeds. It is equally clear, however, that legal cases don’t tend to make it to courts, especially appellate courts, when legislative communication succeeded. Cases come before the courts, in need of interpretation, in cases of some failure: sometimes the law itself, the legal content of an act, is clear enough, but id does not quite answer the legal question the court faces; we know exactly what the law says, but what the law says (implicates, etc.) doesn’t quite settle the particular case at hand.
(…)
Second, we should bear in mind that speakers don’t always have a very clear idea in mind about all that they wanted to convey by their utterance in a given occasion. Even individual speakers, in ordinary conversations, may not have actually formed a very precise idea of what they intend to communicate. We often say something that has some clearly communicated content in some respect, and indeterminate content in others, without having any particular intentions with respect to the indeterminate content. Perhaps we just haven’t thought about it, or if we did, we decided to leave that kind of content hanging in the air, indeterminate as it seems. There is no reason to assume that legislation is different in this respect; on the contrary, for obvious reasons having to do with the complex legislative procedures, we can safely assume that it happens with legislation much more frequently than in the ordinary conversations.
Either way, I hope that we can see how the examples discussed above generalize to many other cases. The legal landscape in which legislatures act is very complex, saturated with countless previous legal arrangements; there is a huge amount of law out there, and every piece of a newly enacted legislation is like an addition of a tiny new piece to a giant puzzle. There should be little surprise if it turns out that the pieces do not fit neatly together. Factual assumptions underlying or presupposed by acts of legislation may turn out to be false, legally or otherwise; and then various forms of pragmatic vagueness may ensue, even if the statutory expression is not otherwise vague or particularly indeterminate. What I have tried to argue here is that at least in some of these cases, pragmatic vagueness is, from a linguistic perspective, genuinely indeterminate; there is not truth of the matter about the content, asserted or implicated, that the act of legislation can be taken to have actually communicated.

Andrei Marmor
(Pragmatic Vagueness in Statutory Law în Vagueness and Law (ed. G. Keil, R. Poscher), Oxford University Press, 2016, la p. 169 și p. 175)

Pilonul fundamental al moralității este statul de drept

16 martie 2017

I set out below seven propositions which might form the basis of a larger code for a personal way of living. The first two – the weightiest and most essential – deal with honouring the law and aiming at a high level of personal conduct; these are the things which we have been discussing throughout this book. I include them for completeness so that the code is as rounded as I can make it.
The other five propositions are ideals above the normal which are hardly covered either by law or religions or, if they are, the coverage is limited. They are utopian objectives.
(…)
Before I discuss the propositions individually, I list them as follows:
1. Honour and believe in the rule of law.
2. Let your moral life inspire others on your final judgement day.
3. Owe your fealty to all members of the planet, not just your group.
4. Honour and believe in scientific progress.
5. Persevere in illuminating your mind.
6. In matters of sex, follow your best moral conscience.
7. Take delights in your existence.
(…)
The first proposition is that we should honour and believe in the rule of law. The most fundamental pillar of morality and survival for the planet is the rule of law. Our societies have no future without it. It is perfectly possible to honour both a religious god and the rule of law without any inconsistency.
There are two aspects of the rule of law. We should respect all proper laws except those which are manifestly and grossly unjust at the most primitive level, not those with which we disagree or disadvantage us. We should observe the most basic laws, for example, not to murder or steal.
Each person has a duty to pay at least some regard in light of the circumstances to the formulation of our laws and to ensure that they exercise their voting and other powers to ensure that the law-makers are true guardians of the spirit of the law and of the rule of law. Each person has this responsibility, should not turn their eyes away and should not support those who violate these canons. Everybody has an obligation to support the basic tenets of the rule of law, not to pay or accept bribes, not to cheer those who threaten personal security, not support those who carry out arbitrary arrest or ignore due process even in times of great threat and stress, not support politicians who abuse their power, to resist oppression.
This proposition affirms the priority of the fundamental pillar of our societies and, despite its faults, the most comprehensive code for survival that we have, developed over thousands of years of experience.

Philip R. Wood
(The Fall of Priests and the Rise of Lawyers, Hart, 2016, la p. 264-266)

Curajul moral și independența profesiilor juridice

15 martie 2017

Finally, I would like once again to refer to the speech made by Francis Neate. Neate demonstrated that the independence of the legal professions depends not only on organisational conditions and the wording of legislation, but also on the ethical standards adopted and practised. On this issue I agree with Neate, and support his appeal for the moral courage to be a good lawyer. However, this challenge should not be interpreted in terms of individual ethics of virtues, as in the teachings of Socrates, Thomas Aquinas or other great philosophers. This relates to professional behaviour, and not only to our personal relationship with our neighbor.

With respect to the judiciary, one aspect of moral courage has to be the intellectual courage not to limit oneself to literalistic interpretation, but to seek a resolution which in addition to the letter of the law takes into account fundamental social values. In their rulings, courts should act in accordance with the social interest, and not an opportunist desire to ensure that a ruling is not overturned by a higher court. The moral courage of judges also means the determination to provide firm justification for rulings, presenting all of the arguments taken into account and not only the wording of the law, even if superiors or colleagues in the same court take a different view.

On the other hand, for advocates and legal advisers, moral courage means the obligation to present the client with a fair assessment of its legal standing, and the correctness of the position of the other party. A lawyer should no be, as the Americans say, a ‘hired gun’, whose only goal is to shoot down the opponent. During a dispute, when presenting pleadings, we should seek to present solid legal arguments, and not resort to legal loopholes or distort the facts of the case. We should also conclude that competition also exists in our profession, and we should have the ability to face it using fair methods. We must at last take responsibility for our own work and for our excellent results as well as our mistakes.

It could be said that I am expressing ethical idealism, that I am one of the ‘pretentious aesthetes’ trying to convince everybody to be good to others, to love everyone and live a happy life. I reject that interpretation. Several years of practising law have disabused me of that naivety. I would like to remind everyone of that study English proverb: ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’. If we want to be treated by the government and by other lawyers with due respect and diligence, we have to maintain that level of respect and diligence towards others. There is no other solution.

Thomasz Stawecki
(Independence of the Legal Professions and the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Society în Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Professions as Foundations of the Rule of Law: Contemporary Challenges, LexisNexis, 2009, la p. 360 și urm.)

Constituțiunea este solidă numai acolo unde clasa mijlocie întrece ca număr cele două clase extreme, sau cel puțin pe fiecare dintre ele

14 martie 2017

Constituțiunea este solidă numai acolo unde clasa mijlocie întrece ca număr cele două clase extreme, sau cel puțin pe fiecare dintre ele. Bogații nu vor urzi niciodată contra ei comploturi de temut împreună cu săracii; căci bogații și săracii se tem deopotrivă de jugul ce și l-ar impune reciproc. Dacă voiesc o putere de interes general, nu vor găsi-o decât în clasa de mijloc. Neîncrederea reciprocă ce au laolaltă, îi va împiedica de a se opri la o putere alternativă; încrederea o are numai arbitrul, și arbitrul este aici clasa mijlocie. Cu cât combinațiunea politică, care formează Statul, este mai perfectă, cu atât Constituțiunea are mai mulți sorți de durată.
Aproape toți legiuitorii, chiar aceia care au voit să fondeze guvernăminte aristocratice, au comis două erori aproape egale: mai întâi dând prea multe drepturi bogaților; apoi înșelând clasele inferioare. Cu timpul, în mod necesar, dintr-un bine fals iese întotdeauna un rău adevărat; căci ambițiunea bogaților a ruinat mai multe State decât ambițiunea săracilor.

Aristotel
(Politica (trad. El. Bezdechi), ed. Semne, București, 2008, reproducere în facsimil după cea apărută în 1924, la p. 238)