oa De Rebus - Questions of Ethics



Q A reader from Pretoria asks whether taxing masters are to be treated with less respect than judges or magistrates because it may be argued that they are not officers of the courts. The question arose because it appears that taxing masters are experiencing problems with the behaviour of some attorneys and candidate attorneys. Apparently files are thrown on their desks, abusive language is directed at them, their integrity is openly questioned, their rulings are derided and they are shouted at. A The answer, in my view, is quite simple. Attorneys are taught that as officers of the courts they should treat fellow officers such as judges, magistrates, advocates and their colleagues with respect. Attorneys are also members of an honourable profession and expect to be treated with respect because the profession can function only if it creates respect to and confidence in other colleagues and members of the public.


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