The Transnational Lawyer: GATS, Globalisation and the Effects on Legal Education

Hutchinson, Terry C. (2006) The Transnational Lawyer: GATS, Globalisation and the Effects on Legal Education. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Law and Education, 11(2), pp. 93-110.


The emerging transnational agenda has been evident generally in the Australian education sector in recent years, but none more so than in the tertiary legal education environment. Noteworthy factors have been the increasing number of deputations between Australian university law faculties and foreign university law schools including India, China and South East Asia, the increasing numbers of special relationship arrangements between Australian and overseas law schools, the importance placed on increasing the international student numbers at home, and more recently new legal education associations being established at an international level. However; these aspects of the change are only the 'tip of the iceberg'. Economic forcests from the agreements on international trade and in particular the trade in legal services are the drivers and they underpin these activities. The services sector is Australia fastest grawing exporter? Exports in professional legal services increased fourfold in the 1990s. Technological advances and international harmonisation of law form the necessary context. This article firstly defines the terminology of this new post-Industrial era in law. What is transnational law and what exactly is a transnational lawyer? The article examines the various contextual issues and asks to what extent the changes are pre-determined by the meta-forces such as technology and globalisation. Next it attempts to assess the effects the General Agreement on Trade In Services and other bilateral agreements are having on Australian legal education. Finally, It questions how the law schools are preparing their students for this transition. After all, the twentieth century lawyer needs to have a good understanding of the transnational legal environment because international concerns and agreements in this century are pervasive and encompass virtually all branches of human activity— from the ocean floor to the planets climate to outer space. This article argues that legal educators need to be more aware of the changes and be pro-active in changing to meet the challenges.

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ID Code: 13758
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please contact the author.
Keywords: Transnational legal practice, internationalisation, globalisation
ISSN: 1327-7634
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:26

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