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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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Reflecting Society

Reflecting Society

(p.120) 4 Reflecting Society
English Lawyers between Market and State


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents mounting criticism of the unrepresentativeness of silks and judges. The selection process was particularly vulnerable: an anonymous barrister denounced favouritism and the misuse of privilege; the 1995 Bar annual general meeting expressed grave concern; and LS President Rodger Pannone declared that the practice owed nothing to the principles of defining quality. The ABC Working Party declared that some outward indication of an individual's achievement and career progression was an almost universal aspect of professional work. The role of silk had supreme importance as a means of identifing those practitioners of outstanding ability. The criticism that the concept of the silk increases the level of fees and therefore costs was not justifiable because it is a commercial truth that the members of the perceived front rank of any profession are always able to command higher status and wages.

Keywords:   silks, judges, barrister, Bar, ABC Working Party

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