The legal profession continues to frame much of its institutional legitimacy by reference to its collective role in maintaining Civil Society and the adherence of state and private institutions to the Rule of Law. Nationally and across the Asia-Pacific region, economic imperatives, political instabilities and/or a weakening, or absence, of democratic protections for lawyer and judicial independence  may undermine professional claims to ‘civic professionalism’ and the development of best practices in legal ethics and professional regulation. Work within this thematic area addresses:

  • the (relative) absence of empirical research into legal ethics and professional discipline;
  • the role of lawyers and the public interest;
  • lawyers and democratisation;
  • the impact of market liberalisation and regulatory reform on lawyering in the global South.