The Future Practice of Law
Edited by William van Caenegem and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 1: Breeding lawyers for the global village: The internationalisation of law and legal education
When the legendary First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay, Australia in 1788, its voyage from England had lasted approximately eight months. Today the same distance is covered by air travel in less than 24 hours. This comparison points to the tremendous acceleration in travelling, made possible by technological progress over the last 200 years. Innovations such as steam engines, aircraft, steel vessels, telegraphy, railroads and the internet have not only increased the speed of the transport of passengers, cargo and data, they have also allowed for a formidable extension of transport capacities. The consequences are usually encapsulated in the term ‘globalisation’, which has led to what has been described as an ‘eradication of distance’or the ‘shrinking’ of the world. Economists and social scientists have described the resulting changes; the extension of markets, the anational, binational or plurinational identity of persons and groups and the growing internationalisation of political decision-making. All this has a stark impact on law-making and the application of laws to issues and disputes which are increasingly framed by expectations arising from various economic, social and cultural backgrounds. It is up to education in general and legal education in particular to respond to these changes. The following chapter outlines the evidence for the internationalisation of the legal systems, before discussing the objectives to be pursued by legal education in response to globalisation.
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