Why Do Advocates Bow in Court Room?


A code of ethics is the essence of every profession. Professional ethics for advocates may be defined as a code of conduct written or unwritten for regulating the behaviour of an advocate towards himself, his client, his advisery in law and towards the Court of law. When we go to the Court, we notice that the people bow to the Magistrate or Judge in the Courtroom. Generally, it is a custom to show respect for the Court of law. If we give a look, we can see that it is an ancient custom to bow in the courtroom most likely of Roman times in European culture. In European history, the Roman Emperors were replaced by Kings. The reason of bowing down to the king or queen is not only the tradition of showing respect to them but showing respect to the Royal Arms too. The Royal Coat of Arms came into being in 1399 under King Henry IV. The very tradition is still used by the reigning monarch of Great Britain. Therefore, the Magistrates and the Judges represent the Crown and so people are not only bowing down to the judge for showing respect to them but also bowing down to the Royal Coat of Arms to continue the tradition.

Bowing down to the Noble Profession

A high standard of ethical conduct is expected from the advocates when they bow. An advocate should be modest, sober, patient, prompt to his duty without anxiety, pious without going so far as superstition, conducting himself with piously in his profession and in all actions of life. The advocate should appear in the Court only in the dress prescribed by the Bar Council of India. It is true that this is not possible to formulate a code of legal ethics which will provide the advocate with a specific rule to be followed in all the varied relations of the professional life. But practicable and some ideal rules can be framed for advocates to follow in their professional career and do justice to the society as well as to his noble profession. The norms and morals of an advocate should be fixed keeping in view the intellectual standing of high level, social responsibility, dignity of the legal profession, high standard of integrity and efficient service to the profession.

Bowing down to the Court of Law

Advocates are the officers of the Court – they are expected to assist the court in the Administration of Justice. An advocate shall appear in court at all times only in the prescribed dress and he shall not wear a band or gown in public places other than in courts. Advocates collect materials relating to the case and thereby assist the court in arriving at a correct judgment. An advocate is required to conduct himself with dignity and self-respect during the presentation of the case and should make his best efforts to restrain and prevent his client from resorting to unfair practices in relation to the court. An advocate should not influence the decision of the court by any illegal or improper means or should not use any intemperate language during arguments of the court or should not misguide the court by citing knowingly an overruled decision or a repealed statute. By bowing down to the Court of law the advocates maintain decorum and respectful attitude bearing in mind that the dignity of the judicial office is essential for the survival of the society.

Bowing down to the Public Justice

The advocates are considered as the protectors of public justice. If they fail, entire law and order fail. An advocate should be an upright man. He must keep himself pure in character and be diligent and devoted to the public good. An advocate shall endeavour to make the laws suitable to the well being of the people and shall guard the liberty and freedom of the people. By bowing down to the constitution of the nation, the advocates protect the fundamental rights and the human rights. An advocate strive for social legislations to accelerate the advent of socialistic pattern of society in India by dedicating to public service. An advocate shall uphold the integrity and unity of the nation and shall educate the common people to respect the law and respect for the courts and for the judges. Simply the advocates provide legal education to the illiterate and working people by informing them of their rights and legal provisions in simple language. An advocate is a privileged member of the community and a gentleman besides being a citizen. When an advocate bows, greater responsibility to protect the country and lead the community arises.


It can be concluded from the researched facts mentioned that a basic requirement for a profession is adherence to a set of professional ethics and professional ethics consist of a code of conduct for regulating the behaviour of the individuals who are in that profession. Generally it is a custom to bow in the court room for showing respect to the judge as well as to the Royal Coat of Arms. Advocates are the representatives of legal system. On one hand they bow to the judge, and on the other hand, they bow to their noble profession, to the court of law, the whole community and to the public justice.

This article is authored by Ananya Mondal, 2nd Year student of 3-Year LL.B at Haldia Law College.

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