Corruption and the limits of legal education
Sara Chandler and Nigel Duncan
There were ten groups in the room, each of which explored one or more aspect of
corruption raised by Sara and Nigel’s presentation. This note records the written
comments provided by the ten groups, some of which were not entirely clear.
1. Role of lawyers in combating corruption:
Importance of judges (as former law students) in fighting corruption.
Problem of corrupt judges.
2. Impact of corruption on society and the economy:
1. Definition of corruption;
2. History of corruption – how it changes
3. How corruption affects career
4. How corruption exists in academy
5. Role of lawyers in perpetuating corruption
6. Society’s confidence in the legal profession
7. Administration of government contracts.
Our group felt that the interesting facet of this discussion is context. The learning
process, at least initially, could use the establishment of a framework to allow the
situatedness of corruption to be approached. Specific instances and examples could
then be used to explore the culturally and socially contingent aspects of corruption.
4. Impact of corruption on society and the economy:
1. Talk about corruption in their society – how affect their communities? Not
just something in other countries, e.g. Columbia.
2. Discuss the local framework, eg in the UK: very sophisticated legal
democratic society but still have corruption, eg police in the News of the
3. Does law fail? The systems we have in place do not remove corruption in the
4. What is needed to complement law? How can we learn from the existence of
corruption to better our systems?
5. Role of lawyers in combating corruption:
Corruption limits opportunities for lawyers.
What lawyers do when faced with corruption.
Professional Ethics – way of dealing with corruption – discussing lawyers’ role / actions
when faced with corrupt practices.
6. Role of lawyers in combating corruption:
Open students’ eyes to existence of corruption.
Present them with dilemmas to resolve / address.
Describe effects and allow students to see effects / consequences for themselves rather
than telling them.
7. Role of lawyers in combating corruption:
Not much we can do. Corruption is everywhere.
Bring a case in court, provided underlying court system is not corrupt.
Training women to become leaders to change the power dynamic.
Stronger laws to combat corruption.
8. Impact of corruption on society and the economy:
We would speak about impact on public interests and their enforcement, eg:
Then we would discuss devastating impact of corruption on credibility of public power,
not only administration.
9. Role of lawyers in combating corruption:
Resist taking bribes.
Choose judges that are not corrupt.
Allow personal values to be discussed to try and help to strengthen those who
do not want to accept corruption.
Two participants from India said:
Use focus on effect on individual human rights and then move to effect on rule
Arkady Gutnikov (Russia):
Be explicit with students.
1. Would participate in completely corrupt system whether in government of
practice – how will survive without being an alcoholic, depressed and ???
2. Convince yourself it’s good.
Leah Wortham (US):
Importance of being explicit that it exists and honest in options.
Question whether there is a word for corruption in Farsi.