For the 2010 Hamlyn Lectures, Alan Paterson explores different facets of three key institutions in a democracy: lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary. In the case of lawyers he asks whether professionalism is now in terminal decline. To examine access to justice, he discusses past and present crises in legal aid and potential endgames and in relation to judges he examines possible mechanisms for enhancing judicial accountability. In demonstrating that the benign paternalism of lawyers in determining the public good with respect to such issues is no longer unchallenged, he argues that the future roles of lawyers, access to justice and the judiciary will only emerge from dialogues with other stakeholders claiming to speak for the public interest.
Alan Paterson is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies at Strathclyde University. He is also the Chair of the International Legal Aid Group. As research adviser to the Scottish Legal Aid Board he has been responsible for the training and monitoring aspects of the peer review programme of quality assurance for legal aid lawyers in Scotland. He served as a member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland from 2000 to 2008 and as a founding member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland from 2002 to 2008. In 2008 he was appointed as an inaugural member of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and in the following year he was awarded the OBE for services to legal education and the law.
1. Introduction: determining the public good; 2. Professionalism reassessed: what now for lawyers?; 3. Access to justice: whither legal aid?; 4. Judges and the public good: reflections on the last Law Lords; 5. Conclusion: where next?