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Legal Ethics Code

The Liquid Legal Institute e.V. published a first discussion paper for a Legal Ethics Code, which contains standards for responsible action with regard to the digitalization and transformation of the legal ecosystem.

The legal ecosystem (consisting, inter alia, of law firms, legal departments, courts and administrative authorities, but also the legislator) is in a phase of digitalization and the associated transformation process. This can make the legal ecosystem more effective and efficient and facilitate  access to justice for citizens. Digitalization and the transformation of the legal ecosystem thus offer opportunities for our society. But they also come with risks and uncertainties.

In order to make the most of the opportunities arising from digitalization and the transformation of the legal ecosystem and to counter the resulting risks as far as possible, appropriate ethical principles should be summarized in a code of conduct (“Legal Ethics Code”), which should be adequately taken into account by all those working in the field of law.

“Digitalization and the use of artificial intelligence, but also changing values and methods, will lead to a historic upheaval in the field of law in the medium and long term. It is important that as many people as possible follow a basic ethical canon in order to achieve a further development of the legal ecosystem that is both economically and socially responsible,” explains Kai Jacob, Chairman of the Board of the Liquid Legal Institute e.V.

The drafted principles of conduct take up the following aspects:

– Welfare of people and society;
– diversity and inclusion, physical and mental health;
– responsible use of artificial intelligence;
– ecological, social and governance sustainability;
– collaboration, interoperability and interdisciplinarity;
– openness to progress and innovation; and
– promoting the acceptance of the law.

The published principles serve as a basis for discussion. They will initially be developed further within a project of the Liquid Legal Institute e.V., in which all members can participate, and specified on the basis of case studies and explanations. The result of this internal process will then be put up for public discussion within the framework of a consultation and accompanied by a social dialogue. The results of this discussion will be taken into account in the final “Legal Ethics Code” with the aim of achieving the greatest possible acceptance of the code of conduct.

The “Legal Ethics Code” is not intended to replace the existing codes of conduct of individual professions. Rather, it wants to supplement them and establish principles of conduct that can apply equally to everyone working in the legal field, regardless of the individual profession and jurisdiction.

Project lead(s): Jens Wagner and LLI Board

Contact: via project lead and LLI’s Microsoft Teams Platform (membership required)

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash