, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) says it will take disciplinary action on lawyers who post unpleasant comments on social media.
Chief Executive Officer Apollo Mboya pointed out that lawyers are bound by the International Bar Association (IBA) Principles on Social Media Conduct for the Legal Profession.
He stated that the guidelines require lawyers to observe and exercise independence, integrity, responsibility, confidentiality and maintain public confidence when posing on social media.
“With immediate effect – it is professional misconduct for lawyers to use any social media contrary to the IBA guidelines,” he stated in a statement sent to newsrooms.
He explained that there are increasing instances where lawyers committed acts amounting to professional misconduct through posts on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
“Even the use of hypothetical questions or anonymous fact patterns may inadvertently reveal confidential information,” he said.
According to the guidelines, lawyers are required to monitor their online and offline conduct, exercise restraint to ensure posted statements should be true and not misleading.
The LSK boss stated that the IBA regulations require lawyers to consider client confidentiality when using social media.
He stated that the guidelines provide that before entering into an online ‘relationship’, lawyers should reflect upon the professional implications of being linked publicly.
“The guidelines require law societies and regulatory bodies to encourage law firms to consider developing clear and coherent policies and guidelines on social media use,” he said.