Duty to the court and the administration of justice : some examples, implications and clarifications

Stobbs, Nigel (2014) Duty to the court and the administration of justice : some examples, implications and clarifications. Precedent: Journal of the Australian Lawyers’ Alliance, 123, pp. 16-20.

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Abstract

No liberal democracy can survive without popular trust in its judicial system. The legal profession and the judiciary enjoy a level of independence and autonomy from the executive that makes them both powerful and privileged.

A UNIQUE AND ORGANIC DUTY: So long as the courts are seen to fulfil their duty to guard against encroachments by the executive on the freedoms and rights of individual citizens with integrity and credibility, they maintain enough public support to retain their normative authority. But support for those with power and privilege is easily undermined. It is contingent upon trust. Lawyers who breach that trust in ways that go to the heart of the legal system ought to expect to be made examples of and to suffer severe penalties.

The good news is that the sorts of breach discussed here should be neither difficult to anticipate nor to avoid – in theory. In practice, smart and honest lawyers sometimes fall foul of these duties for all sorts of understandable (if not condonable) reasons. Law does not get practised in a social or cultural vacuum. Lawyers are people, and people have weaknesses, failings and stresses...

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 75602
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: legal ethics, courts
ISSN: 1449-7719
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Legal Practice Lawyering and the Legal Profession (180121)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the author
Deposited On: 27 Aug 2014 23:42
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2015 07:12

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