Source: p 33-34, The Art of the Advocate (1993) by Richard Du Cann QC.
Please advise me how I can abridge the quote below to reduce this post's length.
The Legal Aid and Advice Act has made the services of both solicitor and barrister available to all those whose incomes do not allow them to go to a solicitor privately. The basic idea of the scheme, that lawyers' fees should be paid by the State and not by private individuals, was first proposed in 1657. Now, over 300 years later, this is beginning to come about. It is the greatest single Step towards ensuring equality before the courts ever taken in this country. But it has set a problem which has not yet been resolved. In 1866 Mr Justice Blackburn said:
[1.] It would be unprofessional for counsel to undertake the conduct of a cause giving up all discretion as to how he should conduct it. Few counsel, I hope, would accept a brief on the unworthy terms that he is simply to be the mouthpiece of his client.
[2.] For centuries, relying on the honouring of this obligation, the courts have acted on the certain presumption that the advocate bears full responsibility for every course adopted before them. But Mr Justice Blackburn went on:
[3.] counsel cannot induce his client to act on his advice, the proper course is to return his brief.
[4.] What if the brief comes sanctified by the careful scrutiny of the Aid Committee, and the barrister decides that cause of action is disclosed? To return the brief will seem to deny the client the right the Act is designed to give. Yet this must be his course of action. Once the advocate allows himself to give up his freedom of action by permitting his decisions to be by one previously made by the executive he absolves himself from his responsibility to the courts and will become no more than an arm of the executive, and his status as a fearless and independent champion of the rights of the individual will disappear completely. Whatever criticisms have been made of him this title he has always held. If he is to deserve attention from the Judiciary and to command respect from the public this title he must continue to hold, for it is only by so doing that he can justify his existence.
What have I misunderstood, because 3 and 4 appear wrong? Lawyers can cease representing clients, but not because the lawyer disagrees with the client (as 3 and 4 imply) because even then, the lawyer must still effect and respect the client's instructions (if they are legal).