Australian Lawyers as Public Citizens
Lillian Corbin, 'Australian Lawyers as Public Citizens' (2013), 16(1) Legal Ethics 57-72
22 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2013 Last revised: 18 Jul 2015
Date Written: April 4, 2013
While debate continues over the role of the lawyer in society, this article notes that the recently amended professional conduct rules of both barristers and solicitors prioritise the duty to the court and the administration of justice. In addition, legal education initiatives support this position. By referring to Australia’s proposed regulatory framework and associated national professional conduct rules, and drawing upon the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and a body of US literature that refers to lawyers as public citizens, this article will argue that Australian lawyers owe a duty to the public in their everyday dealings with clients. In doing so, this article will refer to some theories of citizenship; and what it means for lawyers, in a practical sense, to act as public citizens.
Keywords: Citizen, Lawyer, Professional conduct, public service, legal education, ethics
JEL Classification: K20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation