The Future Practice of Law
Edited by William van Caenegem and Mary Hiscock
There are widely held views accepting the importance of the change of context for future legal practice, as the authors in this compilation demonstrate. Even a conservative view that national law, including legal doctrine, is still the dominant factor must accept that national law today reflects and gives effect to the influence of global and regional forces. A more pragmatic view would recognise the results of the growth in cross-border transactions, and its underlying legal infrastructure. In the world of cooking and food, there are debates about the influence of other non-indigenous cuisines, whether more aptly described as fusion or as infusion. Similarly in law, we live in a world of blurring boundaries and failing distinctions: between public law and private law; between civil law systems and common law systems; between international and transnational law; and between international commercial law and international economic law. There are also significant structural differences in the legal profession, particularly the extent to which legal practitioners can now work outside the territory, geographic and legal, in which originally they studied law and qualified for practice. This affects the autonomy of the providers of academic studies in law in designing their programs, and their relation to the regulatory structures of the legal profession. Underlying all of this is the emergence of globally accessible legal information through inexpensive information technology. There is a common perception of the issues that this melange throws up, but no common acceptance of the solutions.
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