WG Hart, session 4

by Paul Maharg on 24/06/2014

Avrom’s working us hard…  Fourth session, and Julian Lonbay on What can be learned about legal educational standards from the European dimension.  Given Bologna and Lisbon processes, and the Morgenbesser case (which has increased the fee movement and the concomitant assessment load on Bars and Law Societies), and the newly revised professional qualification Directive (in force since Jan 2014) where should we go with this?  Julian gave us examples of how the EU is coping and dealing with the problems arising from the structures. Vintage Julian.

David Marrani next up, on Legal education and training in tiny jurisdictions.  David is from Jersey Institute of Law.   Coming from Scotland, which is a small, but not tiny jurisdiction (defined as being less than 100K inhabitants, from 50 to 110K [Tonga, since you ask]) this is definitely of interest.  The study of eight case studies that David and Andrew Le Sueur included Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, San Marino, Isle of of Man, Gibraltar, and Jersey (four civil, four common law).  As David pointed out, all the cases had developed International Finance Centres — because they are international finance centres.  This affected legal education and training. Eg Jersey lawyers train in English law then train in Jersey law, from Jersey legal system to trust law, etc.   The physical and/or historical connection with larger neighbours is a central concern, not least because of the cultural porosity and dominance of the larger neighbour.  Four main research questions: does scale matter?  (yes it does); do the advantages & disadvantages differ between civil & CL jurisdictions?; how do tiny jurisdictions balance the needs of legal services provision to residents and how do they support IFC work.  Fascinating work.

Next, Matt Harvey, Victoria U., Melbourne, A distant mirror: An Australian response to LETR.   A roundup of recent developments in Australian legal education, including abolition of articles, adoption of JD alongside LLB, arrival of AQF, Melbourne model of JD as a postgrad qualification (with Monash retaining the LLB).  States & territories in Australia do have Councils of Legal Education; but there’s a lot of red tape at multiple levels.  Entirely agree.  According to Matt, Australian authorities won’t follow LETR too closely but universities will look at possible roles in CPD.  I agree with the latter point; but I do think that LETR is less of a mirror and more a warning as to how aspects of the future might look to Australian law schools.

Finally, Rodrigo Cespedes Proto on Legal education and training in Chile: background, current situation and future prospects.  He defined his undergrad education in Chile briskly (and maybe only partly in jest) as five years of hell, Masters in Italy, purgatory, doctoral study @ Lancaster, heaven. To qualify in Chile, there are 5 years academic study, there’s practice for 6 months, Bar Examination, and a Supreme Court oath.  This is required for attorney at law, civil service, academia, the Bench or Master PhD in Law.  RCP described Chilean legal education as a process of privatisation of education, with the main aim being fees, funding, business-orientation.  Contacts with foreign law schools not very strong, scholarship is not high quality according to him.  The Supreme Court has concerns about the curriculum.  In teaching there are black letter approaches, little case law (except for admin law), no sociolegal studies, no interdisciplinary studies.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JH June 25, 2014 at 00:44

Many thanks for all these posts – it provides not only a record but a valuable insight particularly for those who for whatever couldn’t be there. Can’t quite decide whether the Morgenbesser ‘fee movement’ is a typo or a wider point!


2 Paul Maharg June 27, 2014 at 18:49

Thanks James; and thanks for pointing out the stream of consciousness nonsense as well. I think that Julian was referring to the way that Morganbesser opened the gates to further free movement of professionals across Europe, rather than ‘fee movement’. Apologies Julian! One of the hazards of live-blogging, especially when speakers and sessions follow hard on the heels of each other and proofing becomes minimalist before the Publish button is pressed. Still — I think it’s useful to get conference ideas out there beyond the conference abstracts and the four walls of the conference room.

Actually, I was thinking on the way home that it would be useful, eg at ILEC and other conferences, to have a number of nominated bloggers covering sessions (especially useful in parallel sessions, where one blogger can only attend one session) and pushing reports out into the blogosphere — gives a conference much more profile.


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