‘In the Public Interest’: The Responsibilities and Rights of Government Lawyers

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 46, p. 105, 2008

25 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2012

See all articles by Allan Hutchinson

Allan Hutchinson

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

While considerable thought and effort have been put into exploring and fixing the ethical rights and professional responsibilities of private lawyers, little energy has been directed towards defining and defending the role and duties of government lawyers. As a result, the traditional understanding seems to be that government lawyers are to consider themselves as being under the same regimen and restrictions as their private counterparts. After criticizing this default approach, the article offers a fresh evaluation of what is different about the role of government lawyers and develops a more appropriate model for thinking about their professional responsibilities and ethical privileges. The central thrust of the article is the effort to appreciate legal ethics and professional responsibility as part of a larger democratic understanding of law and justice.

Keywords: public interest, responsibility, rights, government, lawyers

JEL Classification: K00, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Hutchinson, Allan, ‘In the Public Interest’: The Responsibilities and Rights of Government Lawyers (2008). Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 46, p. 105, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2018424

Allan Hutchinson (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
(416) 736-5048 (Phone)

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