What is the Right Thing to Do?: Reflections on the AWB Scandal and Legal Ethics

SANCTIONS, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALISED WORLD, Jeremy Farrall & Kim Rubenstein, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 10-57

23 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2010

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The Cole Inquiry resulted in a five volume report that extensively details the history of AWB Ltd’s dealings with Iraq under the Oil-for-Food Programme (OFFP). In this chapter, I reflect on the role AWB in-house lawyers played in the AWB-Iraq story, exploring how lawyers who are too closely identified with the perceived interests of the client can step over the ethical (even if not the criminal) line, and work against both the client’s best interests and the public interest. I reflect also on the AWB lawyers’ role as counsel for a corporation whose actions had global ramifications. Legal practice today has global reach and I discuss the implications of this for our professional ethical horizons.

Suggested Citation

Holmes, Vivien, What is the Right Thing to Do?: Reflections on the AWB Scandal and Legal Ethics (2009). SANCTIONS, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND GOVERNANCE IN A GLOBALISED WORLD, Jeremy Farrall & Kim Rubenstein, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 10-57, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1656112

Vivien Holmes (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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