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The importance of ethical behaviour and professional responsibility has long been something lawyers have insisted is a hallmark of their chosen profession.
However, many lawyers would argue that the rigorous process through which they must pass to be admitted to the Bar, and the institutionalized code of conduct to which they must adhere if they wish to remain at the Bar, make discussion of these matters necessary only when considering isolated and occasional cases of aberrant behaviour.
In Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Allan Hutchinson makes a convincing case that this view no longer serves the profession well. He argues that the profound changes in the way in which law is practised, and the demographic shifts among those who practise it, demand a new and systematic approach to the subject—one that stresses personal responsibility over professional regulation. Professor Hutchinson's book is both an accessible introduction to legal ethics and professional responsibility for students of law and a provocative call to arms for the profession as a whole.
The second edition of the book contains significant discussion and analysis of the Canadian Bar Association’s new Code of Professional Conduct, which was adopted in 2006.