The Ethics of Advocacy

June 28, 2009

“The Ethics of Advocacy” is the title of a two part essay by John V Barry (a former judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria) published in the Australian Law Journal  – (1941) 15 ALJ 166.

There are several inspiring passages in the papers, but two which always encapsulate the role of the barrister for me are:

  1. “My thesis is therefore that is of first and indispensable importance, if civilization is to endure, that there should be in every community a body of men trained in the art of advocacy, and bound by their membership of that body to loyal and courageous and honourable service n the most necessary of temples, the temple of Justice”; and
  2. “…the advocate should have in mind Sir Alexander Cockburn’s admonition, that he wields the arms of the warrior and not the dagger of the assassin”
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