What’s a Code of Conduct and why do we have one?

Every member of CILEx and every approved manager, practitioner and business we regulate must follow the CILEx Code of Conduct. The concept of a Code and the nine simple principles are explored in this helpful article.

How many of us are old enough to remember going to the swimming pool when we were younger and seeing a poster like this (below) on the walls, telling us how to behave? Maybe some of us had a little chuckle at the cartoons rather than paying attention to the messages they wanted to give us…

For some of us, we followed the rules of the swimming pool without question. Either because we were unsure of the consequences and didn’t want to risk finding out. Or because it would never occur to us to do anything other than swim and enjoy ourselves. All part of what would be considered ‘reasonable’ behaviour for being in a swimming pool with other people around us.

I’m sure for some, there was a temptation to put those rules to the test. What might happen if we got caught smoking or running? Would we be thrown out? How long for? A month? Forever? Would our parents or guardians be told? Worse still, might we be reported to the police?

The point is that those swimming pool rules are very similar to a code of conduct. The rules of the pool are really standards of behaviour that are expected of us. If we follow those rules then we can still enjoy our time at the pool. Everyone knows what the rules are and everyone is given the same chance to follow them which means our experience at the pool should be safe and enjoyable. For those who choose not to follow the rules, then there is some level of understanding there may be consequences.

Every member of CILEx and every approved manager, practitioner and business we regulate must follow the CILEx Code of Conduct. Like the poster, it has nine simple principles which must be followed. These are:

  • Uphold the rule of law and the impartial administration of justice.
  • Maintain high standards of professional and personal conduct and justify public trust in you, your profession and the provision of legal services.
  • Behave with honesty and integrity.
  • Comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen openly, promptly and co-operatively.
  • Act competently in the best interests of your client and respect client confidentiality.
  • Treat everyone fairly and without prejudice.
  • Ensure your independence is not compromised.
  • Act effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles.
  • Protect client money and assets.

Learn more about the CILEx Code of Conduct

In next month’s feature we will explore some of these principles in more detail with some helpful examples.

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