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The broad goal of this paper is to describe the need, and provide a framework, for engaging in cross-cultural conversations among lawyers, law teachers, and others, who are using legal ethics as a vehicle for improving the legal professions and the delivery of legal services. All legal cultures struggle with the question of how to educate students and lawyers to be ethical professionals and how to regulate the legal profession effectively. The purpose of the cross-cultural conversations discussed in this paper would be to develop principles of legal ethics education, professional development, and regulation of the legal professions that can be applied across cultural contexts.

The paper is not primarily concerned with the ethics of transnational practice, an issue that has been analyzed very well by others. While the current U.S. ethical rules have relatively little to say about transnational practice, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (hereafter "CCBE") has dealt with this in a sustained and comprehensive manner. The CCBE has promulgated the Code of Conduct for European Lawyers and the Charter of Core Principles of the European Legal Profession. The Code of Conduct was first promulgated in 1988, while the Charter was adopted much more recently, in 2006. As of 2008, forty-one countries had signed on to the CCBE Charter and Code of Conduct. A review of national codes of legal ethics reveals the influence of the CCBE approach. There is a good deal of uniformity among these, and the CCBE Charter and Code of Conduct are apparently the models for many of the recently enacted or amended Codes.


Law | Legal Education | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility | Legal Profession


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