The Legacy of Portuguese Lawyership: A Matter of Ethics & Responsibility
Marcos Aragão Correia, is a Portuguese lawyer who has become known due to his intervention in the Madeleine McCann case, and more recently by becoming Leonor Cipriano’s defense lawyer in an ongoing process trial, and who has unethically infringed several articles of the Lawyers' Association Deontological Code*Press Extracts
Aragão Correia, the present lawyer for Leonor Cipriano who had already admitted to getting involved in the case at the request of the McCanns’ detectives, also recognizes to CM that he tried “to reach a deal” with the five policemen’s defense for the other four to incriminate Gonçalo Amaral. “I confronted the lawyer of the other four inspectors [three of which stand accused of torture and one of falsifying the service information] and I told them that if they wanted to confess that it was Gonçalo Amaral who gave the order to torture Leonor Cipriano, we could try to reach a deal…” Aragão Correia says that “this is normal in any process” – and he refuses to admit that the persecution of Gonçalo Amaral is related to the McCanns. He approached the case on request of the couple’s detectives, but now he guarantees that nobody is paying him.
IN : Correio da Manhã, 04.11.2008
Deliberately mixing the "Joana Case" with the "Maddie Case", searching for the lowest common denominator -- Gonçalo Amaral -- the lawyer even put forth that Leandro Silva already knew a week beforehand that Amaral would be removed from the coordination of the "Maddie Case", but Amaral's lawyer quickly counter-attacked: "If Amaral is a target to be shot down, who is going to do it? Will it be Leonor Cipriano or foreign companies, perhaps Metodo3?", he asked. Confronted with the question, Aragão confirmed that he did, in fact, collaborate with the Spanish firm in the searches for Madeleine McCann.
Upon leaving the court, Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, reinforced his intention for the Public Ministry to file an accusation against Gonçalo Amaral, in an autonomous process, over alleged torture, given the fact that he is the “main responsible person” over the aggressions that Leonor allegedly suffered.
“The accusation was incomplete and I cannot accept that the main person responsible for the torture is not punished”, he told the journalists, further remembering the alleged false statements that were proffered in court by Gonçalo Amaral and that were the subject of a criminal complaint by Leonor’s defense.
IN: RTP, 18.11.2008
Code of Ethics and/or Rules of Professional Conduct (Extracts)
The Code of Ethics of Portuguese Lawyers is a part of the Portuguese Bar Association’s Statute. The Bar Association has also adopted the Code of Conduct for European Lawyers (CCBE’s Code of Conduct) which is binding on Portuguese Lawyers in cross-border activities.
Article 1 (About the lawyer as a servant of justice and law, his independence and exemption)
1. The lawyer shall consider himself to be a servant of justice and law, within his profession and outside of it, and as such, to show himself worthy of the honor and responsibilities that are inherent to him.
2. In the exercise of his profession, the lawyer shall always and under any circumstance maintain the utmost independence and exemption, not using his mandate to pursue any purposes that are not merely professional.
3. The lawyer shall comply in a timely and scrupulous manner with the duties that are consigned in this Code and all those that the law, the uses, the customs and the traditions impose on him towards the magistrates, the other lawyers, the clients and any public and private entities.
Article 8 (Public discussion of professional issues)
1. The lawyer shall not discuss, or contribute to the discussion, in public or in the media, about issues that are pending or being instructed before the courts or other instances, except if the Lawyers’ Association agrees with a public explanation, which, in that case, will be given under the precise terms of the authorization.
2. The lawyer shall not try to influence the resolution of judicial suits or matters pending with other instances, in a malicious or censorable manner.
Article 9 (Prohibition of publicity – context)
1. Any type of professional publicity, directly or indirectly, by letter, by announcement, through the media or in any other form or shape, namely mentioning the names of clients, is forbidden to the lawyer.
2. Lawyers shall not encourage, or authorize, any news concerning judicial causes or any other professional issues that they have been entrusted with.
Article 14 (Enumeration of duties)
The duties of the lawyer towards the Lawyers’ Association are:
a) To cooperate in the prosecution of the purposes of the Lawyers’ Association and to zeal for its prestige and for the prestige of the lawyer profession;
b) To exercise the posts for which he has been elected or nominated and to carry out the mandates that he is entrusted with;
c) To observe the professional customs and praxis;
Article 25 (Duty of loyalty)
1. The lawyer shall, during the exercise of his profession, act with utmost loyalty, not searching to obtain illegitimate or undue advantages over his constituents or clients.
2. The lawyer must not contact or entertain relations, even in writing, with the opposing party that is represented by a lawyer, unless the latter has previously given permission.
Answers are demanded:
Can we Portuguese Citizens still Trust the credibility of the Portuguese Bar Association? Doesn't the Chairman of the Portuguese Bar Marinho Pinto have the Moral duty and Ethical obligation of encouraging lawyers to observe the standards of professional ethics and of suspending and dismissing members in accordance with the association's regulations?