For the first time in English legal history, newly qualified lawyers have sworn their version of a Hippocratic Oath.
It happened yesterday at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ (CILEX) graduation ceremony (pictured below) – the first to take place since the body got its Royal Charter – and sounded to the untrained ear not unlike a lawyers’ version of the Lord’s Prayer.
But what does the oath say?
“I promise to discharge diligently my duties and
responsibilities as a Chartered Legal Executive
I will protect my independence as a lawyer,
uphold the Rule of Law, and act at all times
with integrity. I will justify the confidence and
trust that is placed in me by my clients, the
courts, the public and by my profession,
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever
OK, so I may have imagined those last four lines. Either way, it was beautiful.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury (pictured above right), who spoke at the event, hopes to see solicitors follow legal execs in taking the oath.
“I wish my own body, the Law Society, would do what you’re doing in respect of the oath,” he said.
Law Society chief executive Des Hudson has been on the record stating that he was ‘attracted by the idea of an oath’, but Bar Council chief executive David Hobart has expressed concerns that it could be too “abstract”, according to Legal Futures.
I asked Glaisyers law firm legal exec pair Craig Budsworth and Rebecca Lindsay (pictured) what they thought of the oath yesterday, and this is what they told me:
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