After the Second World War the International Economic Order which emerged, encouraged Free Trade in goods & services. India was a founder signatory to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1947, which led to the formation of WTO, on 1st January 1995. This has led to a whole wide debate in India over the stringent laws governing code of ethics and morality of Legal Professionals on one hand and the WTO laws on the other hand. This debate revolves around major issues pertaining to the objectives of legal profession, consumerism, social justice, Indian commitment to WTO regime, competition law etc. Some professionals argue that the shift in trade nature of legal services shall hamper ‘professional ethics’ and concept of ‘justice to all’. Some others say that the regulations imposed on the legal services sector are contrary to the goals and purpose of competition policy and Competition Act, 2002. At the heart of this controversy lies the issue of legal advertising. The lawyers in India are barred from advertising their profession considering the profession to be a noble one and such advertising to be derogatory to that profession. Advertisements are a forum for establishing the utility of goods and services. Further, it enhances and encourages competition in the relevant market by providing a forum for launching of new products. To cope up with the WTO laws and norms and looking at the current trend which has subjected legal profession to trade laws, it has become inevitable to allow the legal professionals to advertise and to rethink about the policy of law in India. People think whether this kind of ban based on age old norms is viable in this modern era. The debate of the hour in the Indian legal world is on why the profession should have very strict curbs on promoting its services stemming from laws that originate from British thinking when the country from where it originates has itself done away with the curbs? In the view of the above background, I would like to discuss the laws banning the advertising for legal professionals in India and their implications, considering the position of such laws in other developed countries owing to the WTO norms. INDEX
I. CHAPTER I: The Law on Legal Advertising in India
* The law under Bar Council of India Rules;
* The Judiciary on this rule
II. CHAPTER II: Law in other Countries
* Position in U.K.
* Position in U.S.
* Position in other countries
III. CHAPTER III: The Constitutional validity of Rule 36 IV. CHAPTER IV: Disadvantages of banning Legal Ads * Consumerism and Informed Choice
* Advertisement on Internet
* Other disadvantages
* Need for regulating the advertising
I. CHAPTER I: The Law on Legal Advertising in India After taking into account the recommendations of the Law Commission on the subject of Reform of Judicial Administration relating to the Bar and to legal education and to implement the recommendations of the All India Bar Committee made in 1953, the Indian Legislature came up with the Advocates Act, 1961. This act under the section 4 forms a Bar Council of India to regulate all the legal professionals and legal education in India. The Bar Council of India is the central institution for supervising and monitoring the growth and...