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    The theme of the special issue of Law and Method on Education in (Professional) Legal Ethics consists both of content-related as well as didactical-oriented contributions, of which most are written in the Dutch language and two are written in the English language. The content-related approaches show that in education in legal ethics use can be made of professional standards, constitutional principles as well as general ethical theories (such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics). Because lawyers work with ‘the law’, broader or narrower conceptions of law (in relation to morality) also affect legal reasoning and are therefore relevant to education in professional legal ethics. However, these approaches are also put into perspective: the leap forward from moral reasoning based on abstract core values and ethical principles to morally correct action in concrete moral dilemmas in legal practice is a large one. Several solutions are proposed: I. teach ethics indirectly, stressing the importance of facts and of professional role consciousness, and of the importance of formal and informal respect for all concerned, as an essential part of the professional lawyers’ role (Kaptein – written in English); II. use insights from social psychology to overcome barriers to actual ethical behaviour (Becker and Mackor); III. use dialogues about case studies that demonstrate different aspects of judicial ethics for judges (Brenninkmeijer&Bish – written in English) or IV. give (to future governmental lawyers) context-sensitive bottom-up moral dilemmas to enhance realism, alertness and role resistance against opposing forces (Van Lochem). A relevant theme in the didactical approaches to legal ethics is the absence or limited practical professional experience law students have, so that, for example, conversation techniques based on personal experience have limited value. At university level, this can be remedied to some extent by reinforcing one’s own experience, i.e. experiential learning, or by bringing the experiences of others into the classroom, for example with guest lecturers from the field, or by telling and discussing fictional or true stories (Van Dongen & Tigchelaar). Education at university gives a good starting point for (professional) legal ethics, followed by post-academic legal ethics education and legal practice as lifelong learning school. A contribution with a focus on the notary (Waaijer) highlights the different approaches within this continuum.


Emanuel van Dongen
Dr. Emanuel van Dongen is Assistant Professor Private Law at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, researcher at the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law and the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice, Utrecht School of Law.

Jet Tigchelaar
Dr. Jet Tigchelaar, Assistent Professor Legal Theory, researcher at Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law, Utrecht School of Law.
Artikel

Access_open Professionele ethiek in het academisch juridisch onderwijs - Enige inhoudelijke en didactische aanknopingspunten

Special issue on Education in (Professional) Legal Ethics, ­Emanuel van Dongen & Jet Tigchelaar (eds.)

Journal Law and Method, June 2021
Authors Emanuel van Dongen and Jet Tigchelaar
AbstractAuthor's information

    In deze bijdrage bespreken de auteurs inhoudelijke en didactische aanknopingspunten voor de integratie van professionele ethiek in de academische juridische opleiding. Dat gaat wat de auteurs betreft verder dan (enkel) het leren van gedragsregels, maar betreft ook de (kritisch-)ethische reflectie (op de professionele rol) van de jurist en ethische oordeelsvorming. Aanknopingspunten uit rechtstheoretische en onderwijskundige literatuur vragen om een curriculum brede, stapsgewijze, inbedding met passende toetsing. Dit onderwijs dient idealiter een combinatie te zijn van afzonderlijke meta-juridische vakken over recht en ethiek, positiefrechtelijke vakken die ethische elementen bevatten, klinische training en specifieke vakken over beroeps- of professionele ethiek. In dit artikel bespreken de auteurs diverse methoden die kunnen worden gebruikt om het onderwijs vorm te geven en illustreren dit met enkele voorbeelden uit het Utrechts universitair juridisch onderwijs. Actieve participatie, reflectie en – idealiter – eigen ervaringen zijn daarbij van groot belang. Een aantal modellen uit niet-juridische disciplines kan behulpzaam zijn bij het bieden van structuur voor ethische reflectie, voor zover het morele sensitiviteit en morele oordeelsvorming stimuleert. Verscheidene toetsingselementen op het terrein van de ethiek zijn door het curriculum heen nodig. Leeractiviteiten en toetsing kunnen worden opgebouwd in het curriculum van kennis en begrip, naar competenties ten aanzien van ethische dilemma’s en moreel oordelen.


Emanuel van Dongen
Dr. Emanuel van Dongen is Assistant Professor Private Law at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, researcher at the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law and the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice, Utrecht School of Law.

Jet Tigchelaar
Dr. Jet Tigchelaar is Assistent Professor Legal Theory at the Institute for Jurisprudence, Constitutional and Administrative Law, researcher at the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law, Utrecht School of Law.
Artikel

Access_open Teaching Legal Ethics by Non-Ethical Means – With Special Attention to Facts, Roles and Respect Everywhere in the Legal Curriculum

Special Issue on Education in (Professional) Legal Ethics, ­Emanuel van Dongen & Jet Tigchelaar (eds.)

Journal Law and Method, June 2021
Keywords legal ethics, informal respect, educational integration, importance of setting examples
Authors Hendrik Kaptein
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legal ethics may be taught indirectly, given resistance to ethics as a separate and presumably merely subjective subject. This may be done by stressing the importance of facts (as the vast majority of legal issues relate to contested facts), of professional role consciousness and of the importance of formal and informal respect for all concerned. This indirect approach is best integrated into the whole of the legal curriculum, in moot practices and legal clinics offering perceptions of the administration of legal justice from receiving ends as well. Basic knowledge of forensic sciences, argumentation and rhetoric may do good here as well. Teachers of law are to set an example in their professional (and general) conduct.


Hendrik Kaptein
Hendrik Kaptein is associate professor of jurisprudence em., Leiden University.

    Central to this contribution is the question whether Dworkin’s theory of constructive interpretation as a method of applying law for the judge, can be used as a method of legal-dogmatic research. Constructive interpretation is a method of legal interpretation that aims to find a normative unity in the diversity of rules that characterize a legal system. In order to find an answer to this question, the key elements of Dworkin’s theory are explained and applied to the author’s PhD research. Methodological difficulties that could give rise to problems when applying Dworkin’s theory, are investigated. In the end, the author concludes that since the judge and the scholar use quite the same methods when interpreting law, the principles of constructivism should fit legal research well, even though some aspects of Dworkin’s theory are difficult to operationalize in practice. As a leading notion however, constructivism constitutes a workable method of legal research.


Francisca Christina Wilhelmina de Graaf LL.M
Fanny de Graaf is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, VU University.
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