Duty of Integrity

This page will explain what the duty of integrity entails. Please read the following information, the training activities page contains a quiz about the duty of integrity that you can complete to test your understanding of what this duty involves and how to fulfill it.

The duty of integrity requires that the legal adviser:

  • Be truthful in all communications including with UNHCR, the government, and any other decision making body.
  • Urge clients to be truthful at all times.
  • Not encourage, advise, or assist his or her clients in making misleading statements.

However, the adviser has no duty to screen weak claims.

This duty is most often activated when a client makes a false or misleading statement to a tribunal or other decision making body.

When a client lies, before the adviser-client relationship, the legal advisor has a duty:

  • Not to reveal past misstatements.
  • To persuade the client to correct past misstatements.
  • To issue no communications founded on misstatements.

When a client lies during the adviser-client relationship, the legal advisor has a duty to:

  • Not to reveal misstatements.
  • To persuade the client to correct misstatements.
  • To not issue any communications founded on misstatements.
  • If the lie is central to the case, the advisor must cease representation.

To summarize, if your client makes a false statement to the tribunal, you cannot tell the tribunal unless you have the client’s explicit consent. But, if the false statement is central to the issue for which you’re providing representation, you have to withdraw from representing that client.

The duty of diligence links a legal adviser’s responsibility to the client – not to reveal confidential statements – with a legal adviser’s responsibility to the tribunal – not to encourage or assist misleading statements.