Intention Necessary to Prove Charge of Lawyer Being Party to or Assisting Client in Suppressing Evidence, Court of Three Judges Rules

28 Nov 2023 CaseWatch

Rule 10(3)(a) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015 requires a legal practitioner, to the extent that he is able, to prevent his client from, to not be a party to, and to not assist the client in, suppressing evidence (Rule 10(3)(a)). In Law Society of Singapore v de Souza Christopher James [2023] SGHC 318, the Court of Three Supreme Court Judges (C3J), overturning the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal and dismissing the application of the Law Society of Singapore for a legal practitioner to be sanctioned under section 83(1) of the Legal Profession Act 1996 for breaching Rule 10(3)(a), held that: (a) intention is a necessary ingredient of a charge brought under Rule 10(3)(a); and (b) there was no evidence that the legal practitioner here intended to assist his client to suppress evidence and that the charge was not made out.

Our Deputy Chairman Tan Chee Meng, SC and Associate Calvin Ong successfully defended the legal practitioner before the C3J.

This update takes a look at the C3J’s decision.

If you would like information and/or assistance on the above or any other area of law, you may wish to contact the Partner at WongPartnership whom you normally work with or the following Partner:

TAN Chee Meng, Senior Counsel
Deputy Chairman
d +65 6416 8188
Click here to view Chee Meng’s CV.