Legal ethics education in South Africa: possibilities, challenges and opportunities

Article


Robertson, Michael and Kruuse, Helen. 2016. "Legal ethics education in South Africa: possibilities, challenges and opportunities." South African Journal on Human Rights. 32 (2), pp. 344-374. https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.2016.1210934
Article Title

Legal ethics education in South Africa: possibilities,
challenges and opportunities

ERA Journal ID33791
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRobertson, Michael (Author) and Kruuse, Helen (Author)
Journal TitleSouth African Journal on Human Rights
Journal Citation32 (2), pp. 344-374
Year2016
Place of PublicationSouth Africa
ISSN0258-7203
1996-2126
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.2016.1210934
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02587203.2016.1210934
Abstract

The South African legal profession has been subject to harsh criticism in the last few years, leading to what some have called ‘an ethical crisis.’ Although this perception may or may not be warranted, there have been numerous calls for improved ethical legal practices by South African lawyers. This article seeks to contribute to a discussion about the importance of implementing legal ethics
education in South African law schools. The authors (a) explore the meaning of ‘ethical legal practice’ by reference to the international literature; (b) examine the way in which legal ethics has so far been presented in the limited South African literature on the topic;
(c) argue the need for a more thorough and critical literature on South African lawyers’ ethics, coupled with a commitment to developing a stronger legal ethics culture within the profession and the legal academia; and (d) suggest a possible approach for South African legal ethics education in the future, with reference to recent developments in other countries.

KeywordsSouth Africa; law schools; legal ethics education
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480505. Legal practice, lawyering and the legal profession
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Rhodes University, South Africa
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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