12 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2012
Date Written: January 2012
The reputation of American attorneys and of the American justice system has been steadily declining over the last 50 years. Two reasons for this are the loss of civility in the practice of law, and a shifting public understanding of our status from a learned profession to, now, beings Mostly regarded as little more than involved a specialized kind of business.
The models of how to make well-structured comparison, and how to examine ritual space, borrowed from religious scholarship, as applied to a closely related legal system, notable for its degree of civility and popular perception as a profession — Great Britain — may illuminate how to address these two problems.
Seven enumerated differences between American and British trial craft help foster a greater appearance of civility. The tradition British barrister’s distinctive raiment distinguishes them from laypersons and reinforce status as a learned profession.
Keywords: declining reputation of legal profession, comparative law, British courtroom procedures
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