National President of the Law Student Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) Mr. Atiku Muhammad Jafar has called for the inclusion of Professional Ethics as a core course in LLB curriculum.
Jafar made this call in his keynote speech as Chairman of a panel of discussion at a workshop held by Law Students at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
In his well-articulated speech, he highlighted the importance of upholding the ethical standards of the legal profession by both lawyers and aspiring lawyers noting that law students would benefit immensely from the inclusion of this important aspect of the legal profession earlier in their career development.
In his words; “Unarguably, law students are lawyers by equity, and as such, should adorn the ethics and etiquette of the legal profession.”
“I’m committed to making it an article of faith to uphold the highest of ethical standards and core moral values that will make the profession gladly accommodate us, as this will go a long way in encouraging public confidence in the profession.”
“As prospective lawyers, our modest contribution is to inhibit conducts that would project a brighter future for the Bar. We’re doing our best at students’ level to ensure that the legal profession stands out among all other student bodies. Vices such as corruption, bribery, public financial misappropriation, dishonesty and graft have no place in our association. At all levels, we hold transparency, discipline honesty, courtesy and best ethical standards to a premium.”
“Starting with ourselves, we will continue to play a pivotal role in defending the rule of law, democracy and constitutionalism in the country.”
“Given the prominence our profession enjoys in the society, lawyers and law students are expected to live by the highest standards of probity and ethics.”
“In light of that, we propose for the inclusion of Ethics as a core course in our curriculum. Instilling ethics and discipline in law students is key because with a faulty ethical framework, an unethical law student ends up becoming an unethical lawyer and may end up manning the bench as a judge. ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it”
He also spoke about the important roles lawyers play in societal development urging lawyers to ensure that at all time the ethical standard and moral values of the profession are maintained.
“As potential lawyers, we have a responsibility to maintain the legal profession’s ethical standards and moral values. Lawyers hold a sensitive place in the functioning of a society governed by the rule of law, and the way lawyers conduct themselves impacts greatly on public confidence in the profession, and by extension, on the rule of law.
The law student event which was organized by the Liberty Chambers, A.B.U Zaria chapter was well attended by both law students and lecturers.