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English Lawyers between Market and StateThe Politics of Professionalism$
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Richard L Abel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198260349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260349.001.0001

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An Unlikely Revolutionary

An Unlikely Revolutionary

(p.33) 2 An Unlikely Revolutionary
English Lawyers between Market and State


Oxford University Press

Toward the end of the 1980s, the English legal profession could congratulate itself on having survived two decades of critical scrutiny virtually unchanged. A few years later, two government reports urged the elimination of some professional monopolies and the radical reform of legal education. Organizations such as Justice, the Haldane Society, the Society of Labour Lawyers, the Consumers' Association, the National Consumer Council, and the Legal Action Group sought to translate criticism into reform. Other government critiques of restrictive practices culminated in Labour's creation of a Royal Commission on Legal Services. In its wake, academics, journalists, and practising lawyers exposed anachronistic traditions and restrictive practices, the customs of barristers' clerks, and solicitor sexism. This chapter gives an account of these unlikely revolutionary changes and proposals in detail.

Keywords:   justice, Haldane Society, Society of Labour Lawyers, Consumers' Association, National Consumer Council, Legal Action Group

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