A Human Rights Perspective on Professional Responsibility in Global Corporate Practice,
50 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/jil/vol50/iss1/11
The direct applicability of human rights law to the attorney-client relationship has serious implications for ethical corporate governance. In addition to creating criminal and civil risks for lawyer and client alike, the specter of human rights violations in business dealings gives rise to myriad ethical questions for corporate lawyers to consider and resolve. These include matters such as the legitimate object and scope of corporate representation, conflicts of interest, duties to withdraw, and matters of competence and communication in corporate governance. They also raise questions of professional secrecy and whether ethical codes permit (or even require) lawyers to reveal confidential information, either to prevent harm or to protect the corporate client from its own malfeasant employees. These ethical concerns also affect supervisory relationships and duties to report misconduct by other lawyers.