4123 Legal professions 3

WG Comparative Studies of Legal Professions

Room: B2.01


Chair: Rosemary Auchmuty

Akira Fujimoto | Nagoya University, Japan

Partial Stratification of Japanese Attorneys – Recent National Surveys Results




In this paper, I will argue that the stratification of Japanese attorneys is still only beginning, referring to some results from several national surveys on attorneys. According to the JFBA Keizai Kiban Chosa 2011, we find a tiny handful of boutique lawyers and business lawyers and the vast majority of attorneys still indulge in traditional areas of law or legal services. However, we also find in another surveys of two cohorts of new attorneys who registered in 2009 and 2014 that the new generation of attorneys through the new bar examination system spends more times in criminal defense cases in comparison with attorneys in general. One of the reasons of this is the existence of some new lawyers who have to rely on public defender cases just because they have no other clients. The rapid increase of lawyers after the Justice System Reform in Japan could have produced stratified structures of attorneys, at least for the new generation. 

Manuel Gomez | Florida International University

Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo | Universidad Metropolitana

Gilberto Guerrero | Florida International University

Venezuelan expatriate lawyers: a study on the globalization of the legal profession




The purpose of this paper is the explanation of a research project on Venezuelan lawyers working outside their country of origin. Venezuelan lawyers in 19th and 20th century were nation builders and, at the same time, their education was strongly national. In late 20th and early 21st centuries an important number of Venezuelan lawyers have decided to establish themselves out of Venezuela. In this paper we will analyze the difficulties and facilities these lawyers have encountered in a time in which there is much talk about globalization and internationalization but, at the same time, of tighter regulation of immigration and severe limitations for working in a foreign country.

Valerija Dabetic | Faculty of Law University of Belgrade

Independent judiciary in Serbia – Ideal or Illusion?




Paper brings up the issue of personal and institutional independence of judges in in Serbia in the last nineteen years with reference to the judges’ perception of their independence in a decision-making process. The research is based on the semi-structured in-depth interviews with twenty judges, randomly chosen from different courts and towns in Serbia, all members of the most numerous associations - Judges’ Association of Serbia (JAS).
Gained results indicate that judges, as one of the key representatives of legal profession, are often confronted with some kind of the illegal or illegitimate influences. Analyzing judges’ narratives, the author pointed out the common patterns of direct and indirect influences on the judges’ independence as well as the subjects or sources of these illegitimate pressures: representatives of executive and legislative authorities; fellow and superior judges; presidents of the courts; parties and their lawyers in cases that judges have led; media and public etc. The author also examines the implications of media interference in the judiciary processes that are still on and outline the side effects of personal and professional discredit that judges suffered through the media. When they are faced with illegitimate or illegal pressure, judges deploy various “coping strategies” and the author tries to analyze these strategies and indicates patterns of personal and institutional behavior in these cases. This also includes the consequences that respondents were willing to bear in preserve the trust in their independence and impartiality.
   The main conclusions are that judges are faced with various and often innovative ways of pressures from different actors. In these situations they develop numerous individual “coping strategies”. Unfortunately, they do not rely on the government protection and believe that the state has no interest in strengthening independent judiciary that will be immune to all kinds of threats and cannot be controlled by executive and legislative authorities. This outcome is an indicator of the weakness and porosity of the social system which does not have adequate mechanisms to guarantee judicial independence.

Danilo Vuković | University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law

Marko Mrakovčić | University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law
Samir Forić | Faculty of Political Science, University of Sarajevo

Legal Profession in SEE: From Post-Socialist Transformation to Globalization




Legal professions are undergoing deep changes in contemporary Serbia and Croatia affected by the processes of post-socialist transformation and globalization. They range from changes of the social status and professional independence of judges and prosecutors to new market conditions in which lawyers (attorneys) are practicing law. The impact of these is a subject of a regional research dealing with social status and internal stratification of legal professions. The research will be carried out in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first half of 2018. The survey will be conducted using a combination of online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews on a sample of working age judges, prosecutors and attorneys (that have graduated between 1974 and 2014). Our presentation will focus on the perception of law and judiciary. We will be exploring their attitudes with regards to neutrality and effectiveness of legal system determinants of these attitudes. The analysis will particularly aim to put the findings in comparative perspective and also compare it with the perceptions and attitudes of general population where possible. 



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