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Lawyers and the Public Good
Democracy in Action?

$23.99 (P)

Part of The Hamlyn Lectures

  • Date Published: October 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107626287

$ 23.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • For the 2010 Hamlyn Lectures, Alan Paterson explores different facets of three key institutions in a democracy: lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary. In the case of lawyers he asks whether professionalism is now in terminal decline. To examine access to justice, he discusses past and present crises in legal aid and potential endgames, and in relation to judges he examines possible mechanisms for enhancing judicial accountability. In demonstrating that the benign paternalism of lawyers in determining the public good with respect to such issues is no longer unchallenged, he argues that the future roles of lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary will only emerge from dialogues with other stakeholders claiming to speak for the public interest.

    • In-depth comparison of legal aid development in Scotland and England in the past decade demonstrating how the Scottish legal aid system has fared better than its English counterpart during this period
    • Examination of judicial decision-making in the final appellate court in the UK drawing on interviews with Law Lords and demonstrating the importance of small group dynamics and of judicial leadership for understanding decision-making in the final decade of the judicial House of Lords
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book addresses the role of lawyers in pursuing the public good. By revealing how judges of the House of Lords and Supreme Court approach their task, Alan Paterson has contributed greatly to the transparency of the judicial process in our top court, and thereby advanced the public good in his own right.' David Feldman, Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge

    'An excellent read, full of detail and fresh insights. What comes out of [Paterson's] writing is a commitment to the role and value of an independent profession. On legal aid [he] makes comparisons between England and Wales v. Scotland that certainly repay close reading.' Professor Dame Hazel Genn, University College London

    'The mandatory read for the tail-end of the festive season ... Paterson has wrestled expertly with these issues for decades and here, with characteristic directness, he lays out the challenges and opportunities for tomorrow's lawyers.' Richard Susskind, The Times

    'This is a timely, affordable and comprehensive text. … Lawyers of all creeds, students and interested observers (including politicians and judges) will all find something of interest in it.' The Edinburgh Law Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107626287
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 138 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: determining the public good
    2. Professionalism reassessed: what now for lawyers?
    3. Access to justice: whither legal aid?
    4. Judges and the public good: reflections on the last Law Lords
    5. Conclusion: where next?

  • Author

    Alan Paterson, University of Strathclyde
    Alan Paterson is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies at Strathclyde University. He is also the Chair of the International Legal Aid Group. As research adviser to the Scottish Legal Aid Board he has been responsible for the training and monitoring aspects of the peer review programme of quality assurance for legal aid lawyers in Scotland. He served as a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland from 2000 to 2008 and as a founding member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland from 2002 to 2008. In 2008 he was appointed as an inaugural member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and in the following year he was awarded the OBE for services to legal education and the law.

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