The role of lawyers should be recognized in the Constitution and other national laws, including as an essential element of the right to a fair trial.
In Venezuela, the Constitution classifies lawyers as part of the “System of Justice”, and enshrines the right of access to legal advice and proper legal defence as a component of due process of law. The Law of Lawyers and the Lawyers’ Code of Ethics regulate the legal profession, containing the principles that guide their activities and the grounds for initiating disciplinary proceedings against them.
- 1. See for instance: UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Preamble (“The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, set forth below… should be respected and taken into account by Governments within the framework of their national legislation and practice)”; Human Rights Council, Resolution on the Independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers, UN Doc A/HRC/RES/23/6 (2013), para. 1 (“Calls upon all States to guarantee the independence of … lawyers …, as well as their ability to perform their functions accordingly, including by taking effective legislative … measures”); Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Report to the General Assembly, UN Doc A/64/181 (28 July 2009), paras 15-18, and 105 recommending that: “(a) The right to legal counsel of choice be enshrined at constitutional level or be considered as a fundamental principle of law; this fundamental right must be adequately translated into domestic legislation” and “(c) Legislation regulating the role and activities of lawyers and legal profession be developed, adopted and implemented in accordance with international standards; such legislation should enhance the independence, self-regulation and integrity of the legal profession…”.↵
- 2. Constitution, Article 253.↵
- 3. Constitution, Article 49(1).↵
- 4. Law of Lawyers, Article 1.↵
- 5. Code of Ethics of Lawyers.↵