Basic Principles

Guarantees for the functioning of lawyers

16 Governments shall ensure that lawyers ( a ) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; ( b ) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and ( c ) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.

17 Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.

18 Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions.

19 No court or administrative authority before whom the right to counsel is recognized shall refuse to recognize the right of a lawyer to appear before it for his or her client unless that lawyer has been disqualified in accordance with national law and practice and in conformity with these principles.

20 Lawyers shall enjoy civil and penal immunity for relevant statements made in good faith in written or oral pleadings or in their professional appearances before a court, tribunal or other legal or administrative authority.

21 It is the duty of the competent authorities to ensure lawyers access to appropriate information, files and documents in their possession or control in sufficient time to enable lawyers to provide effective legal assistance to their clients. Such access should be provided at the earliest appropriate time.

22 Governments shall recognize and respect that all communications and consultations between lawyers and their clients within their professional relationship are confidential.

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