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The Status of Legal Ethics

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Pawel Teodor Skuczynski

The basic aim of the study is to describe the ambiguity of the term legal ethics in the context of different traditions and conceptions. The three most important traditions of legal ethics are: the French, with the categories of virtue and independence, the American, with the ideas of loyalty and professional duties, and the German, with professional roles and obedience. On that base, a theory of critical legal ethics is developed. It claims that the subject of legal ethics consists of three planes – deontological, social and moral. Further it is examined, whether chosen legal-philosophical conceptions contain any legal ethics conceptions and what could be the interdisciplinary research program of legal ethics.

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Introduction ........................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 1 Traditions and transformations of legal ethics .............................................. 17 1.1. Preliminary remarks .................................................................................... 17 1.2. The beginnings of legal ethics .................................................................... 19 1.3. Traditions of legal ethics ............................................................................ 24 1.3.1. The French tradition ......................................................................... 24 1.3.2. The American tradition .................................................................... 27 1.3.3. The German tradition ....................................................................... 30 1.4. Transformations of legal ethics .................................................................. 34 1.4.1. Juridisation ....................................................................................... 34 1.4.1.1. Codification ........................................................................ 34 1.4.1.2. Legalisation ........................................................................ 39 1.4.2. Professionalisation ........................................................................... 47 1.4.2.1. Profession's criteria ............................................................. 47 1.4.2.2. Profession's mission ........................................................... 55 1.4.3. Globalisation .................................................................................... 66 1.4.3.1. Institutions of globalisation ................................................ 67 1.4.3.2. Intercultural communication .............................................. 74 1.4.5. Transformations of legal ethics: modernisation or Americanisation? ......................................................................... 79 1.5. Legal ethics in Poland ................................................................................. 82 Chapter 2 Conceptions of legal ethics ............................................................................... 87 2.1. Preliminary remarks .................................................................................... 87 2.2. Empirical and analytical conceptions ......................................................... 89 2.2.1. The lawyer's ethos and its forms ...................................................... 89 2.2.2. The myth of legal ethics ................................................................... 92 6 Table of contents 2.2.3. Legal ethics as ideology ................................................................... 95 2.2.4. Professional deontology ................................................................... 98 2.3. Normative and critical conceptions .......................................................... 101 2.3.1. Applied ethics ................................................................................. 101 2.3.2. The situational ethics of a lawyer ................................................... 106 2.3.3. Critical professional ethics ............................................................. 111 Chapter 3 Multi-dimensional theory of legal ethics ....................................................... 119 3.1. Preliminary remarks ................................................................................... 119 3.2. Validation crisis in ethics .......................................................................... 121 3.2.1. Two views of ethics ....................................................................... 121 3.2.2. Practical rationality and the tradition ............................................. 124 3.3. Three planes of ethical theory ................................................................... 132 3.3.1. The scope of the planes of ethical theory ....................................... 132 3.3.2. Pragmaticality ................................................................................ 134 3.3.3. Ethicality ........................................................................................ 135 3.3.4. Morality .......................................................................................... 138 3.4. The problem of universalisation of professional deontology standards ................................................................................................... 142 3.4.1. Universalisation and generalisation in ethics ................................. 142 3.4.2. 'Little' universalisation in deontology ............................................ 148 3.5. Legal ethics in social...

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