SC approves updated lawyers’ code
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced that it has unanimously approved the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA), which will replace the 34-year-old guide that governs the conduct of lawyers.
“The CPRA… is part of the Supreme Court’s plan to update the 34-year-old Code of Professional Responsibility and craft a modern, relevant and responsive guide for lawyer’s conduct,” the high court said in a statement.
The national launch of the new CPRA will be held on Thursday in Manila, with over 250 justices, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other members of the legal profession and the academe expected to attend.
The launch is the culmination of the Ethics Caravan, a series of consultative discussions among stakeholders in the cities of Cebu, Davao, Naga, Baguio and Manila.
“Over 2,000 legal practitioners nationwide took part in the Ethics Caravan held from September 2022 to January 2023,” the Supreme Court public information office said.
In a previous statement, the high court said the code was also updated to address technological advances that have developed from the time it first took effect 34 years ago and that have since been significantly affecting legal practice.
The CPRA now follows a “values-based framework, divided into canons on independence, propriety, fidelity, competence, diligence, equality and accountability, similar to the New Code of Judicial Conduct,” the high court said, adding that it also already incorporates applicable jurisprudence.
New provisions promoting the responsible use of social media can also be found in the CPRA, including the prohibition on posting, sharing, uploading or otherwise disseminating false or unverified statements and claims or any other act of disinformation; the prohibition on maintaining or operating social media accounts for the purpose of obscuring a lawyer’s identity to circumvent the law; and the expansion of the scope of impermissible advertisement to include social media.
The CPRA also includes a revised Lawyer’s Oath.