History of profession

Ancient Greece knows no institution comparable to the contemporary lawyer. The parties to the trial defend themselves, at most they entrust lawyers, the logographers, with writing pleadings intended to be read at the hearing. Ancient Rome witnessed, on the contrary, the appearance of professionals ensuring the representation and defense of plaintiffs, their activity was gradually organized.

The compilations of Emperor Justinian I (6th century AD) thus mention the term Advocatus (by way of) and highlight the role of intercession, of representation of the client conferred on its holder (he does not is not insignificant to note that this root gave rise to the English word "Advocacy" meaning advocacy). A collegial formation called the “Ordre des Avocats” is instituted, its members must demonstrate five years of law studies, good moral character and take an oath. The Lawyer benefits from the monopoly of the defence.
In the year 802, a capitular of Charlemagne mentions for the first time the term "Lawyer". At his side, appears the Procurator who writes the requests. This duality persists today through the dissociation of skills between lawyers applying and litigants before the High Court or between lawyers and lawyers on appeal.

The Lawyer does not seek any remuneration from the person to whom he brings his knowledge, on the contrary it is the latter who expresses his gratitude to him in the form of "fees". In 1270, the establishments (legal rules) of Saint Louis enact the first ethical rules applicable to Lawyers. An ordinance of Philippe III Le Hardi of October 12, 1274 requires the Lawyer to take an oath, this rule having been lost since the Roman Empire, confers on him the title of "Master" and regulates his fees by setting a ceiling in particular. Philippe le Bel in 1291 continued the work of organizing the Profession initiated by his predecessors by creating the Table (also called registration number). On February 13, 1327, an ordinance from Philippe VI of Valois enacts conditions of capacity, incompatibilities, causes of exclusion and establishes the monopoly of pleading. To ensure compliance with these prescriptions, a clerical order was created under the name of Ordo, gradually replaced by that of Bar, headed by the oldest of its members.

Canon law exercises an undeniable influence, it is both an object of study and a working tool for the lawyer. The religious essence of the Advocate ministry is therefore hardly surprising. The cleric's robe is only the most obvious illustration of this, and attacking a lawyer made its author run the risk of being excommunicated. If the symbol remains, its meaning today is quite different since the dress worn by the Lawyer during the hearings today represents independence and freedom of expression. The Lawyer works in concert with the Prosecutor, ancestor of the Attorney and successor of the Procurator. The Prosecutors near the Paris Courthouse form a brotherhood placed under the patronage of Saint Nicolas. Lawyers join this brotherhood and, because of their number, one of them takes the lead. By doing so, a Lawyer becomes bearer of the Baton of Saint-Nicolas and takes the title of Batonnier. In the 14th century, the patronage of Saint Nicolas gradually gave way to that of Saint Yves (Erwan in Breton), in reference to Yves HELORY, Lawyer, Magistrate and Priest from Tréguier (COTES D'ARMOR) canonized in 1330. Formalizing the duties Morals imposing themselves on the Lawyer, an ordinance of Charles V of 1364 creates the first device of legal assistance.

In France

The Renaissance is the scene of several particularly damaging ordinances for the institution of justice and the litigant. An ordinance of François 1er of 1522 establishes the venality of the offices of the Magistrates: the Magistrate buys his office which leads to a break with the body of Lawyers. If originally the Lawyers and the Magistrates formed a counter-power, the Judges who have become owners of their office aspire to become Power, alongside the King or to the detriment of the King. The Magistrates thus arrogate to themselves the right to refuse the registration of the royal legislation or, by a judgment of the Parliament of Paris of May 11, 1602, to oblige the Lawyer to sign his writings by mentioning his fees there.

In response, the King created the Keeper of the Seals, a person devoid of any power of justice whose sole function was to record royal decisions. Similarly, Lawyers go on strike and thus manage to impose their independence and emancipation with regard to the Magistrates. The Villers-Cotterêts ordinance of August 1539, best known for having imposed French throughout the Kingdom, singularly reduces the role of the lawyer by depriving the accused of any defender during the investigation and the hearing. while at the same time organizing the Question (torture of the accused). An ordinance of 1595 extends to the Prosecutors the system of the venality of the offices. The Prosecutors become holders of an office and move away from the Lawyer (the system continues today since the Attorneys remain holders of an office and present a successor to the State against remuneration).

The separation with the corporation of the Prosecutors is accentuated from 1661, the Lawyer is limited to pleading, without representing his client or applying while the Prosecutor opens up to new and remunerative horizons, by providing legal advice.
The American War of Independence drained public finances and the King, faced with the refusal of Parliaments to increase taxes, was forced to order the convocation of the Estates General. For the most part, the lawyers belonged to the third estate of which they represented more than half of the members, while the magistrates sat among the nobility. The Lawyers are editors of the notebooks of grievances and will contribute to the meeting of the three states in constituent assembly.

A decree of October 8, 1789 abolished the Question and authorized the silent presence of the lawyer during the investigation. In the name of freedom, in particular trade and industry, the Le Chapelier law (himself a lawyer) of August 16, 1790 prohibits corporations including the Bar Association. Representation of the parties at hearings becomes accessible to all and before all courts according to the so-called “ambulance” system. Favorable in its spirit to the interests of the Client, entitled to expect emulation of this new competition, this measure leads above all to the appearance of "unofficial defenders", litigants who are not very qualified and do not meet the moral requirements imposed on the Lawyers of yesteryear. At the same time, the "Attorneys" are set up to carry out procedural acts. The Revolutionary Terror sounded the death knell for the ideal of equality and justice defended by the Constituents: exceptional courts obeying the vindictiveness of the street were instituted, attorneys were suppressed, defenders who pleaded in favor of the nobility face prison or death.

In reaction to the revolutionary errors, the 1st Consul Bonaparte reinstituted in Year VIII (1800) the Attorneys, ministerial officers limited in number whose mission consists in pleading and postulating before the Jurisdiction near which they exert their ministry.

The law of 22 Ventôse Year XII (March 13, 1804) brought the Lawyer back to life by reviving the Painting, but forced him to take a political oath in favor of the regime. A decree of December 14, 1810 restores the Order in its fullness, without giving back to the Lawyer his freedom and his past prerogatives: obligation to bring to the attention of the Magistrate the fees by mentioning them at the foot of the acts, prohibition of the strike, ban on handling funds, Order and President of the Bar appointed by the Attorney General, sharing of the pleadings with the Attorneys. An ordinance of Louis XVIII of November 22, 1822 removes the possibility of attorneys to plead and at the same time grants exclusive jurisdiction to lawyers. Lawyers regain a certain autonomy since they no longer have to mention their fees in the pleadings and can form a Bar from six members.

The apparent liberalism of this ordinance cannot, however, be misleading since the legislator retains a power of control over the designation of the Order and the President of the Bar and the Lawyer cannot plead outside his jurisdiction, this last restriction being partially lifted in 1829. The era is accompanied by the reminder of multi-secular ethical requirements. Even when he does not accomplish his mission, the Lawyer must act with the greatest dignity, dignity which manifests itself both in the choice of his place of residence or exercise and in the sobriety of his clothing.

Honor and disinterestedness dictate the conduct of the lawyer: the client freely chooses the Lawyer while the Lawyer is free to choose his clients and his line of defense, the Lawyer has the moral duty to plead free of charge for the poor.

A law of January 22, 1851 formalizes this last duty by making mandatory the defense free of charge by the lawyer of the most deprived. The Golden Age of Parliamentarianism, from the advent of the Third Republic to the First World War saw the Lawyer become an actor in the life of the City. During this period, sometimes referred to as the “Republic of Lawyers”, many Lawyers succeeded one another in the highest offices: Gambetta, Waldeck Rousseau, Poincaré.

A law of December 1, 1900 gives women access to the Bar. The First World War marked a turning point in mentalities and the evolution experienced by the Company did not spare the Lawyer. The Lawyer exercises a real profession intended to provide him with the means of his subsistence, he is at the head of a more or less large company, he manages his firm taking into account its operating costs, employs collaborators and maintains relationships with new types of customers. Access to justice is becoming more democratic: there are more trials for less important issues. This evolution contributes to the change in perception of the Lawyer's fee which truly becomes the pecuniary counterpart of an intellectual service.

However, the professional clientele remains inaccessible to him. The Lawyer cannot draft commercial acts, assist or represent the client before commercial courts or the Administration, which at the same time ensures the prosperity of agents and legal advice. The ever-increasing complexity of the rule of law and of the exercise of the Profession led in 1941 to the establishment of a Certificate of Aptitude for the Profession of Lawyer, a sine qua non condition for being able to practice when previously it was enough to justify a License in law.

In Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lawyers practicing their profession in the Democratic Republic of Congo are governed by Ordinance-Law No. 79-028 of September 28, 1979 on the organization of the Bar, the Corps of Judicial Defenders and the Corps of State Agents. The profession of Lawyer was first established in Congo in the form of an agent from the creation of the Independent State of Congo in 1885. The first Lawyer settled in Elisabethville, the current Lubumbashi, in 1910. Between At the time, (the agents ad litem) instituted by the Ordinance of December 5, 1892 of the Governor General fulfilled the role of lawyer by introducing and supporting cases before the courts organized in the Congo.

It was not until 1930 that “the bars” were established by a decree promulgated on November 7 of the same year. From 1930 to the present day, many laws have come to regulate the legal profession. 68-247 of July 10, 1968 on the organization of the Bar, body of defenders in court and regulation of the representation and assistance of parties before the courts; - Ordinance-law n° 79-028 of September 28, 1979 on the organization of the Bar, the body of legal defenders and the body of State agents.
The sources
Our history cannot be summed up in a few lines and the most curious readers can consult our sources: DAMIEN (A.), Les Avocats du temps passé, Lefebvre, 1973 SUR (B.), Histoire des Avocats en France, Dalloz, 1997 MARTIN (R.), Ethics of the Lawyer, 8th ed., Litec, 2004 HAMON (Th.), Saint Yves and the Jurists, article accessible on the site of the University of Rennes I www.memoireonline.com/ 09 /10/ 2744/m_Profession-of-lawyer-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo

Online encyclopedias Wikipedia and L'Agora