Legal Practice

Advocates Act, 1961

Advocates Act 1961


The Advocate Act defines the legal provisions relating to the legal practitioners and also provides the provisions for the constitution of the Bar Councils and an All-India Bar. So basically, the said Act provides the procedure for registration in state-level bar councils and what kind of qualifications a person may require for registration to practice in a field of law. The supreme body is the Bar Council of India, which is the nodal agency that provides strict rules and regulations for registration. It also provides what kind of standard should be maintained by a law institution.

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Along with that, if you find out the question regarding the rights and duties of an Advocate or what are their duties towards clients or a court or judges or a what kind of duties a client has towards an advocate or court is describe in a  very proper manner, so for findings of such kind of question you have to see the Advocates act, 1961.

Advocates Act, 1961 is the updated version of the Indian Bar Council Act, 1926, or we can say that the said act, i.e., Advocates Act, 1961 is replaced the Indian Bar Councils Act. An act is passed by the parliament of India with the objective or motive to providing the laws relating to the legal practitioner. Under the power mentioned in the act, the bar council of India made certain rules can be termed as Bar Council of India rules which provides what kind of rules are there for practice or mandatory provisions for legal education and also emphasizing more on the part of professional misconduct.

Bar Council of India

The Bar Council of India is to be understood as a statutory body that regulates and represents the Indian bar association. Bar Council of India is constituted by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961. Basically Bar Council of India is a governing body for all the legal practitioners in the country that is why it has a very vital role to play as it provides the standards of professional conduct, what kind of etiquette a legal practitioner may have, and also exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. Along with that, the Bar Council of India also sets standards for legal education with the help of universities and colleges and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for candidates to enroll themselves as an advocate.

Composition  of Bar Council of India- The Council comprises of a – 

(a) the Attorney-General of India ex-officio

(b) the Solicitor-General, ex-officio,

(c) one member elected by each State Bar Council from amongst its members.

Also, there are an,

  1. elected Chairman,
  2. Vice-Chairman of the Council,
  3. Secretary
  4. Accountant                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, the Bar Council of India has been authorized to constitute one or more of the following committees which are as follows- 

(1) Legal Aid Committee

(2) Disciplinary Committee

(3) Executive Committee

(4) Enrolment Committee

(5) Legal Education Committee,

Powers of the Council – As a statutory body it has some power given under this governed by the Advocates act, 1961, are as follows-

  1. Power to remove a lawyer in case of professional conduct or anything contrary to the Act.
  2. Revisioning Power
  3. Power to make certain rules and regulations
  4. Directives Power etc.

Bar Council of India Rules- 

This statutory body (Bar Council of India) has been empowered under section 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961 to make rules. So by this power given under the act Bar Council of India made certain rules which were published in the year 1975 in the official gazette. Basically, all the rules are divided into chapters or parts which are as follows-

  • Parts I, II and III dealing with the constitution or establishment of Bar Council of India, bar councils of states, lawyers and their respective roles.
  • Part IV of the rule is dealing with rules of legal education comprises of standards of legal education and recognition of degrees in law for the purpose of enrolment as an advocate along with that the same rule also allows inspection of the legal institution for recognizing its degree in the field of law.
  • Lastly, Parts V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX of the Bar Council of India Rules is dealing with some other aspects, including professional ethics, etiquette, or professional misconduct.

Right to practice-

The expression ‘right to practice’, in the context of the legal profession basically refers to the exclusive right of persons who are going to enrol themselves as an advocate to start the practice of law before any courts and tribunals according to their choices. In the very landmark ruling,  Re. Lily Isabel Thomas  (1964CriLJ724 ) the Supreme Court, the apex court of the country, equated the “right to practice” with an “entitlement to practice.” And These rights enjoy protection at two different levels which are as follows-

  • General protection – Firstly, Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution protects the right of an individual to choose professions according to their choice.
  • Specific Protection – Secondly, Section 30 of the Advocates Act, 1961 confers on candidates whose name is enrolled in the registers of Bar Council of the States,  the right to practice before any of the court or tribunal in India according to their state preferences or choice including the Apex Court, i.e., Supreme Court.

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by Ketan Srivastava

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