Legal Knowledge, the Responsibility of Lawyers, and the Task of Law Schools

ALTA Conference 2006, Victoria University, Melbourne, Opening Plenary Session: Legal Knowledge, July 5, 2006

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 10-39

14 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2010

Date Written: July 5, 2006

Abstract

A former colleague of mine recently asked me whether being Dean left me time for any serious legal research and writing. Putting aside any question of intellectual impairment caused by decanal duties, and assuming also that one is on the right side of that well-known equation in which accumulated experience keeps one just ahead of one’s biological decline, I mentioned that I had gravitated to shorter, more reflective pieces. In particular, I had just written a piece of extreme brevity - only a page and a half of printed text - with which I was nevertheless very pleased. It explored the phenomenon of deep antinomies in the law, particularly the tension between the concept of law as an autonomous body of knowledge and the notion of law as comprehensible only by reference to its context, especially its political, social, economic, and historical context. He said to me, ‘Why am I not surprised? The theme of all of your writing seems to be the irreconcilable tension between competing ideas!’

Suggested Citation

Coper, Michael, Legal Knowledge, the Responsibility of Lawyers, and the Task of Law Schools (July 5, 2006). ALTA Conference 2006, Victoria University, Melbourne, Opening Plenary Session: Legal Knowledge, July 5, 2006 , ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 10-39, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1636080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1636080

Michael Coper (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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