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Professional Ethics at the International Bar

Sarvarian, A; (2012) Professional Ethics at the International Bar. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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This thesis poses the research question of whether it would be desirable and feasible to articulate common ethical standards for counsel. It conducts original research into the issues arising from the nascent process of professionalisation of advocacy before international courts and tribunals. Its methodology includes: historical narration, comparison between national standards, detailed examination of the procedures and practices of international courts and analysis of international codes of conduct. Its research sources include: national and international rules and cases, published secondary sources, interviews with judges and advocates and unpublished archival materials. The thesis first sets out the theoretical and historical framework in which the research question is situated. It defines key conceptual terms such as 'advocacy', 'professionalisation' and 'procedural integrity' in placing the problem of common ethical standards within the sociological context of the wider international judicial system. It describes the historical origins of advocacy, compares the ethics of major national jurisdictions and sets out the historical evolution of international advocacy. It then examines the procedural architectures and practical experiences of the International Court of Justice, European Court of Justice and International Criminal Court in a comparative study. In seeking to determine whether the articulation of common ethical standards would be desirable, it identifies areas of commonality and difference amongst three distinct international courts. Finally, it addresses the question of whether the professionalisation of advocacy through common ethical standards would be feasible. It considers the competence of international courts to prescribe and enforce such standards as well as early efforts to articulate common ethical standards. It analyses whether an international bar of centralised regulatory authority is feasible and the potential consequences of professionalisation. In answering its research question, the thesis argues that common ethical standards are both desirable and feasible. It suggests that the rationale for such standards is the protection of the integrity of judicial proceedings. It contends that such standards are feasible through a coordinated process that involves carefully articulated principles by senior counsel with the involvement of national bar authorities and judges.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Professional Ethics at the International Bar
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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