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Report by Professor Andy Boon published by Law Society

26 January 2011

Legal Ethics at the Initial Stage: A Model Curriculum report by Dean of School of Law, Professor Andy Boon published by the Law Society.

The report was launched at a public lecture and symposium at the University of Westminster’s Fivey Hall on 16 March 2011. A distinguished panel of regulators discussed the proposals for including legal ethics in qualifying law degrees and wider issues of legal education and training. The panel included Tony King, chair of the Law Society Education and Training Committee, Susan Bews, chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Education and Training Committee, Dr John Carrier, chair of the Bar Standards Board Education and Training Committee, Professor Julian Webb, director of the UK Centre for Legal Education, and Andrew Middleton, of CILEx (formerly known as ILEX) Professional Standards. Closing remarks were made by John Wotton, vice-president of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Three of the panel began their contributions by noting previous connections with Westminster. Professor Webb had been a member of Law faculty for a number of years. Dr Carrier had completed a law degree as a part-time evening student while lecturing at LSE, finding it one of the most enjoyable of his educational experiences. Sir Mark Potter then related how he had made ends meet as a young barrister by teaching at the University. He recalled that, coincidentally, his first lecture had been to business students in the Fivey Hall.

Most of the panel and contributors were in favour of steps towards an ethics curriculum, although opinion was divided about how far professional ethics should be at the core of the curriculum. Professor Webb warned of possible resistance from the academy. Tony King assured one contributor that action along the lines of the report was not a "done deal", although the Education and Training Committee stood behind the proposals in Professor Boon’s report.

Click here to read the report

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