On the 21-22 of April, 2016, I participated in the Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Training Workshop, at the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The workshop was co-organized by Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE) and the RULE Center for the Study of Humanitarian Law and was supported by Ashurst (an International Law Firm), the Australian Government Solicitor, Herbert Smith Freehills and DLA Piper/New Perimeter.

The first day of the workshop was focused on critical understanding of the code of conduct, on lawyers’ duties and on the lawyer-client relationship. We learnt the importance of achieving the client’s best interest, by respecting the code of conduct and building the lawyer-client relationship upon trust, diligence and loyalty.

The second day was mainly focused on conflicts of interest, the duty of confidentiality and the duty to disclose. Conflicts of interest occur when a lawyer does not fulfill the fiduciary duty to the client, and/or acts in an irresponsible way, because of personals interests or a relationship with third parties. The duty of confidentiality is based upon the lawyers’ code of conduct, by not revealing clients’ information and respecting the clients’ privacy. The duty to disclose requires telling the client about anything that could reasonably affect his rights, in or against his favor, especially regarding the possible conflict of interest, by the attorney. We tried to come up with practical methods that deal with those issues, because the failure to do so imperils the trust in lawyers, by the entire social system.


From left Mr. Prak Sophorn

I’m really glad to have participated in such a great workshop, because it was an opportunity to learn from highly qualified professional trainers, who warmly assisted us, during the sessions.

By Prak Sophorn, Assistant to College of Law (University of Cambodia)