Speaker examines ethical decisions

first_imgAnn Tenbrunsel, director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide, discussed the discrepancy between promises and actions in her talk titled “Ethical Blind Spots,” which took place in the Mendoza College of Business on Wednesday as part of Notre Dame’s Ethics Week.Tenbrunsel said ethical knowledge does not always translate to actions.“People that think a lot and know a lot about ethics are not necessarily immune to unethical behavior,” she said.She asked the audience to rate themselves on a scale of zero to 100 of how ethical they consider themselves to be, with zero being not ethical, 50 being average and 100 being the most ethical.“People rate themselves higher than they should,” she said. “Not only do we inflate how good we are relative to other people, we hyper inflate our own ethicality.”Tenbrunsel said the three steps of ethical decision-making are prediction, action and reflection.“Studies show a large discrepancy between prediction and action, and this is known as forecasting errors,” she said.Tenbrunsel said people often make forecasting errors when they think about charitable giving. Most people predict that when the time comes, they will donate a dollar or so to a charity, but less than half of them actually end up doing so, she said.This phenomenon has to do with the difference between desirability and feasibility, Tenbrunsel said. Visceral forces, such as hunger, tiredness and fear, even influence our ethical decisions.“The more sleep-deprived you are, the more likely that you will behave unethically,” she said.Another reason for the discrepancy between prediction and action is “ethical fading,” Tenbrunsel said.“[Ethical fading is] a process by which the moral colors of an ethical decision fade into bleached hues that are void of moral implications,” she said.Tenbrunsel said she aims to help people to recognize their ethical illusions and thus avoid ethical fading and correctly compartmentalize ethical questions.“[Then] we can work to become the people that we want to be,” she said.Tags: business, Ethics weeklast_img read more

University chooses not to sign NCAA diversity in hiring pledge

first_imgNotre Dame is one of two Division I Universities who has not signed the NCAA’s “Presidential Pledge” on diversity in hiring, The Washington Post reported Monday. Boston College is the other school yet to sign.The pledge’s stated goal is, “establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equity and inclusion, with a focus and emphasis on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics, to reflect the diversity of our membership and our nation.”University spokesperson Paul Browne said in an email statement to The Washington Post that the University already practiced diverse hiring, and adopting the pledge was therefore not necessary.“[University President Fr. John Jenkins] feels strongly that principals of such importance should be authored and pronounced by Notre Dame itself and applied University-wide, and not as the product of an association focused exclusively on collegiate athletics,” Browne said in the statement.Browne said diversity at Notre Dame is not currently where the administration would like.“The diversity of our current administrative team is not where we want it to be, and that’s being addressed soon,” Browne said in the statement. “ … Notre Dame is proud of helping advance the careers of some prominent African-American athletics administrators who are now serving at other universities.”Tags: Diversity, Hiring, NCAA, Pledgelast_img read more

Braveheart Coaching Elite Team members help others on multisport journey

first_imgFor professional triathlete Lesley Paterson, personal pursuit of excellence in the sport has shaped her impassioned view that the swim, bike and run disciplines are not only physical challenges but also unique opportunities to learn about your own psychological and emotional vulnerabilities, and how to overcome them.This has led to three off-road triathlon world championships for Paterson – two XTERRA and one ITU – but now also the formation of her own elite team of athletes that will compete worldwide under the banner of her Braveheart Coaching business she started with her sports psychologist husband, Dr Simon Marshall.Unique to Paterson’s team will be the requirement that each athlete give back to the sport by mentoring someone less fortunate to get involved in triathlon.The Braveheart Coaching Elite Team will initially feature eight athletes – made up of first year pros and top age group athletes who will compete worldwide in road and off-road triathlons as well as mountain bike races.In selecting the team, Paterson wanted to find athletes that embraced her approach of ‘getting out of your comfort zone and being able to mentor others to do the same.’ Paterson believes that it is in those moments that people become physically and mentally stronger, which can translate to other areas of their lives.Lesley Paterson said, “There’s a special physical and emotional transformation that happens when we force ourselves to confront our vulnerabilities, our physical limits, and the expectations we put on ourselves.“Triathlon is one of the best sports for this. It shouldn’t be all about how fast you are. For me, joining the triathlon community and trying your best is at the core of having a ‘brave heart’. And once you’ve been able to do this successfully, you’re in a position to help others do it too.” Related For Paterson and Marshall the Braveheart Coaching Elite Team is not all about winning races. Simon Marshall said, “Unlike other elite teams, this isn’t just about winning races or getting on the podium – this is a team that gets meaning and enjoyment out of the process of trying, discovering and learning from human limits.“It’s time to pass that on. From helping beginner exercisers to top pros, redefining what’s possible with the body and mind you have now is at the heart of confidence, motivation and personal change.”The Braveheart Coaching Elite Team will be based around Paterson’s ‘Be Brave’ model, which involves mentoring and giving back. The eight athletes selected for the initial Braveheart Coaching Elite Team are: Tammy Tabeek (San Diego, CA), Mauricio Mendez (Mexico City, Mexico), Brent McBurney (Navarre, OH), Brandon Mills (San Diego, CA), Cherell Jordin (Salt Lake City, UT), Billy Allen (Farmingdale, NY), Kyle Hummel (San Diego, CA), and Sian Turner (Truckee, CA).Paterson added, “Each Elite Team member will identify one person of their choosing who they feel would benefit from the experience of training and competing in a triathlon. The mentoring will be genuine and authentic, like a big brother/big sister program. It can involve anything, from setting them an exercise schedule, to helping out with equipment, to meeting to work out with them.”That sense of inclusiveness and giving back also extends to team sponsors. The Braveheart Coaching Elite Team sponsors have been loyal supporters of Paterson’s own journey and see sponsoring the team as an opportunity to support a broader message – ‘facing your fears and giving back’.Team sponsors are Scott Bikes, XTERRA Wetsuits, Tommie Copper for compression clothing, ON for running shoes, ENVE Composites for wheels, Oakley sunglasses, Powertap for power training systems, PowerBar for nutrition, Brand Betty for race clothes, and JWright Design for web design.Lesley Paterson is a Scottish triathlete and triathlon coach who won the XTERRA off-road triathlon world championship in 2011 and 2012, in addition to also winning the ITU Cross triathlon world championship in 2012. She started Braveheart Coaching with her husband, Dr Simon Marshall, and recently released her first fitness core workout video the ‘6-minute 6-pack’.www.braveheartcoach.comwww.lesleypaterson.comwww.6min6pack.comlast_img read more

Heading for UK’s second largest city, BikeFest 2015 rides to Birmingham

first_img Related BikeFest, a free, family friendly festival celebrating all things cycling, has been launched and will ride into Birmingham on Sunday 13 September.The event, which will run from 10:00-18:00 BST in Eastside City Park, is expected to attract up to 15,000 attendees and will include a closed-road one mile ‘Family Ride’, suitable for all ages and abilities.BikeFest will offer up bike stunt performances from Action Sports Tour and their World Champion riders, live music, Flatland BMX shows, the BikeFest Big Air and ‘have-a-go’ stunt sessions. Also on site there will be specialist cycling retailers, regional food and drink traders and a kid’s Strider Adventure Zone; designed for kids of all abilities aged between 18 months and five years, to test ride a Strider bike and make friends while improving their biking skills.BikeFest 2015 will be the first annual festival as part of Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR), a flagship Birmingham City Council initiative that aims to make Birmingham one of the UK’s leading cycling environments.Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, said “We are very excited about bringing BikeFest to the people of Birmingham and the region. This family friendly event is the perfect opportunity to help drive the message around why cycling is so beneficial.“BikeFest is just one part of Birmingham Cycle Revolution which aims to change the culture, attitude and perception of cycling whilst improving health and traffic congestion across the region. We would encourage anybody who has an interest in cycling or, anyone who is just looking for a fun day out in the city, to head on over and join us.”www.birminghambikefest.comlast_img read more

Neuff and Soles4Souls get together on pre-loved kit

first_img Related UK athletics and triathlon kit distributors, Neuff and Neuff Red, have launched a UK partnership with Soles4Souls. This sees the collection of… ‘gently worn kit for redistribution to hardworking entrepreneurs to build and sustain their own businesses selling donated shoes & clothing, and enabling them to fight poverty and support their families and communities.’Since 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 50 million pairs of shoes and pieces of clothing in 129 countries. As a result it has kept more than 23,000 tonnes of textiles from going to landfills and put them to good use.The efforts of the charity not only support disadvantaged individuals, children and families; it also helps to minimise environmental waste from ‘fast fashion’ and discarded textiles.Neuff and its pro triathlete ambassador Laura Siddall are working to support the charity by becoming a South West UK Soles4Souls collection centre. This is a not for profit activation, with potential to make positive impact across the UK and the developing world.Laura Siddall, pro-triathlete and Neuff Red team member, has worked with Soles4Souls for a number of years. She said “Soles4Souls is a great organisation, empowering women entrepreneurs to use these shoes to create jobs and break the cycle of poverty.“I love knowing that my ex-best kit is now supporting a budding athlete to fulfil their dreams, or just supporting someone to give them a chance and opportunity to live better day to day.“This partnership between Neuff Red and Soles4Souls in the UK is now opening up the possibility of supporting organisations in the UK, as well as the exciting prospect of helping para athletes with single shoes, creating yet another win-win of keeping single shoes out of landfill whilst benefiting people.”Neuff Director MaI Cunningham-Neuff said “Neuff was founded to support athletes in their development. We have supported paraathletics for many years and we also try our hardest to have ethical work practices, such as recycled packaging and Living Wages.“So, when Laura suggested we partner with Soles4Souls, we jumped at the chance. We are proud of this new partnership and looking forward to both receiving donated kit and developing the new distribution networks.”Athletes can help the environment, support micro-entrepreneurs, enable disadvantaged athletes and decluter their kit drawer, by sending gently used, pre-loved shoes & sports kit to:Soles4Souls @ Neuff Red3 Abbots CloseLee Mill Industrial Estate IvybridgeDevon PL21 9GAwww.neuff-red.co.ukwww.soles4souls.orglast_img read more

Does being paid hourly vs. yearly change how you save?

first_imgPBS:The majority of all workers in the United States were paid hourly last year. Typically, hourly wage earners have low incomes and are vulnerable to economic shocks. So we wondered, does being paid hourly instead of yearly somehow change the way people view themselves and their work?According to a well-established psychological theory known as “construal theory,” the answer is yes.According to construal theory, people view the distant future much differently than they view today, tomorrow or next week. When we think about long-term plans, we consider intangible factors like goals and desires. When we think about our future retirement, we envision ourselves relaxing on the golf course.Read the whole story: PBS More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

News Scan for Mar 07, 2014

first_imgStudy links community C difficile cases in kids to antibioticsA study published this week in Pediatrics suggests that most Clostridium difficile infections in children are unrelated to hospitalization and that a majority of these community-associated cases involve children who recently received antibiotic treatment for unrelated conditions.C difficile causes at least 250,000 infections in hospital patients and 14,000 deaths each year in adults and children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was involved in the study. Antibiotics can reduce beneficial gut bacteria, allowing C difficile to flourish.The authors used data from an active C difficile surveillance system covering 10 US regions to identify cases, defined as a positive stool test without a positive test in the previous 8 weeks. Community-associated cases were those in which stool was collected from outpatients or hospitalized patients within 3 days of admission.Of 944 pediatric cases that were identified, 71% were community-associated. C difficile incidence per 100,000 children was highest among 1-year-olds (66.3) and white children (23.9). The share of cases with documented diarrhea (72%) or severe disease (8%) was similar across age-groups, and there were no deaths. Among 84 patients who were interviewed and who reported diarrhea on the day of stool collection, 73% had received antibiotics during the previous 12 weeks.In a press release, the CDC said most of the children who had previously received antibiotics had been treated for ear, sinus, or upper respiratory infections. The agency said other studies have shown that at least 50% of antibiotics clinicians prescribe for children are for respiratory infections, most of which don’t require antibiotics.”When antibiotics are prescribed incorrectly, our children are needlessly put at risk for health problems including C difficile infection and dangerous antibiotic resistant infections,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, commented in the release. Mar 3 Pediatrics abstract Mar 7 CDC press release Report details GBS complication in likely Zika virus caseResearchers from French Polynesia yesterday reported what they call the first known case of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) following a probable Zika virus infection, detailing their findings related to an outbreak in the region. The case is reported in the latest issue of Eurosurveillance.The region is experiencing ongoing epidemics of Zika virus and dengue infections, and the authors noted that Zika virus illnesses are usually benign and rarely lead to hospitalization.In a weekly communicable disease update today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimated that more than 29,000 people in French Polynesia have sought medical care for Zika-like symptoms since the outbreak began in October. As of Feb 21, there were more than 8,500 suspected cases; 74 were in patients neurologic and autoimmune complications, including 41 with GBS.The case report describes a woman in her early 40s who was hospitalized for neurologic symptoms, which included paresthesia in four extremities. Over the next few days she experienced more symptoms, including muscle weakness and bilateral but asymmetric facial palsy, consistent with GBS.The medical work-up suggested that she had been sick with a flu-like illness about a week before the onset of her neurologic symptoms; her medical team suspected Zika fever because the outbreak was ongoing.Further, serologic tests suggested a recent Zika virus infection, without cross-reactions suggestive of an earlier dengue infection, according to the report.The authors said the case raises the possibility of GBS as a complication in Zika virus infections. Although the mechanism is unknown, it could resemble an immunologic pattern seen with other infectious agents, they noted, adding that the case could hint at a more pathogenic Zika genotype or increased susceptibility in the Polynesian population.Mar 6 Eurosurveill report Mar 7 ECDC weekly communicable disease threat reportlast_img read more

CDC assessment cites rural gaps in Liberia’s battle with Ebola

first_imgThough the disease’s spread in crowded urban settings has been a unique feature of West Africa’s Ebola situation, rural areas feeling the outbreak’s impact have faced their own challenges, such as investigation teams in Liberia walking up to 8 hours and crossing several rivers to probe new cases.The issues that four rural counties in Liberia grapple with in responding to the epidemic were detailed in a report today from experts with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a partner from Liberia’s health ministry, published in an early edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).Rural areas unprepared when first cases hitDuring the first months of the outbreak, resources poured into the areas of Liberia reporting the most cases, Lofa and Montserrado counties, where disease activity has started to tail off. By October, the disease had spread to all 15 of Liberia’s counties. In late August and early September the research team took a close look at the experience of four rural counties—Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Rivercress, and Sinoe—to identify challenges and response needs.Their initial assessment found that county health teams weren’t adequately trained in core Ebola response steps and struggled with poor transportation and communication networks, critical for successfully managing Ebola in remote locations. At that time, the four counties had reported 25 suspected, 16 probable, and 19 confirmed cases.Counties varied in their response gaps, the authors found. For example, only Grand Bassa county reported that teams had been trained to investigate cases and trace contacts when the first Ebola case was reported. Three countries reported that corpses had been transported by people who hadn’t been trained in safe burial practices. Only two of the counties had a functioning ambulance, and only one of those had a crew trained to handle suspected Ebola patients. Sinoe county didn’t have any lab technicians that were trained to handle Ebola specimens.During the rainy season that ran from July through December, county health workers struggled with impassable or difficult roads that made it hard to transport lab specimens or get sick patients to Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia. In addition, many communities didn’t have telephone coverage, which made it hard for local health officials to report suspected patients, to arrange clinical evaluation, or get timely lab results. For example, workers in Rivercress county had to take a 6-hour round trip to a neighboring county to submit an online surveillance report to Liberia’s health ministry, and health officials in Sinoe county reported a 3-day delay in getting lab results back.When the researchers checked back in November, they found that some areas still didn’t have trained personnel and continued to have problems with transportation and communication. They concluded that, like their urban counterparts, rural health workers need adequate training in case reporting, investigation, case management, contact tracing, safe burials, safe blood specimen management, and county-level incident management systems. The group also emphasized that innovative solutions are needed to help rural locations navigate challenges ranging from poor road conditions to lack of internet access.Report offers bird’s-eye view of outbreakIn a separate report in the same edition of MMWR on the status of the outbreak in the three hardest-hit countries, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the CDC’s incident management team and country health ministries said cases are widely distributed among districts in all three, with Mamou prefecture in Guinea as a newly affected area.During the 4-week period between Nov 9 and Dec 6, the three countries reported 4,281 new Ebola cases, compared to the 2,705 new cases reported during the 3-week period between Oct 19 and Nov 8. During both time spans, Ebola case counts were highest around Monrovia in Liberia, in the western and northwestern districts of Sierra Leone, and in Conakry in Guinea.The team said that although decreasing disease incidence has been reported in Lofa and Montserrado districts in Liberia, cases continue to be reported there, especially in Montserrado.Other developmentsMali has released the final 13 people who were undergoing Ebola monitoring, and the country has no other suspected cases, Reuters reported today, citing a World Health Organization (WHO) official. All patients finished their 21-day quarantine at midnight yesterday. So far the country’s total stands at 8 cases, 6 of them fatal.The first trial of convalescent therapy for Ebola in West Africa was launched in Liberia last week, with researchers collecting plasma from survivors at the ELWA 2 hospital in Monrovia and treating the trial’s first patient, according to a news story yesterday in Nature. The trial, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is being conducted by ClinicalRM in coordination with Liberian health authorities and the WHO. The trial will involve 70 participants and will include a control group of Ebola patients who will not receive plasma, because their blood type is incompatible with available plasma, but who will be given the same standard of care as the treatment group. The report said a larger trial will launch in Guinea at the end of the year, led by a consortium of European and African researchers along with blood transfusion organizations.Men recovering from Ebola should follow the current recommendation of waiting at least 3 months before having unprotected sex, despite a lack of research supporting the advice, according to a report today in the journal Reproductive Sciences. A research team from Colombia reviewed studies between 1977 and 2007 on men who were recovering from Ebola. They identified only four involving male survivors who donated convalescent semen. The virus persisted an average of 66.6 days, and in one case 91 days. The authors wrote that larger studies are needed to flesh out the social, clinical, and biological determinants of Ebola disease.See also:Dec 16 MMWR report on challenges in rural GuineaDec 16 MMWR Ebola epidemic updateDec 16 Reuters storyDec 15 Nature news storyDec 15 Clin Infect Dis abstractDec 16 Reproductive Sciences reportlast_img read more

AMSA: AAT Supports Detention of OOCL Le Havre

first_imgThe Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s decision to detain a Hong Kong-flagged container ship which dumped food waste near the Fraser Island in May 2016 was affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) at a hearing on November 25, 2016.AMSA detained the 4,578 TEU vessel OOCL Le Havre in Brisbane after a Port State Control inspection on May 24 found that its Safety Management System had failed to ensure crew had an adequate understanding of the rules and regulations related to the management and discharge of garbage at sea in accordance with the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL).The inspection also found that on May 23 crew dumped 0.08 cubic metres of food waste into the ocean less than 3 nautical miles from the nearest land.Hong Kong-based container shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line, the owner of the vessel, sought review of AMSA’s decision to detain its vessel at the AAT. At the conclusion of the AAT hearing in late November, with the company’s consent, the AAT affirmed AMSA’s decision to detain for a Safety Management System failure, finding that it was “the correct and preferable decision in the circumstances.”“Ships operating in Australian waters must have adequate Safety Management Systems which detail the correct management and discharge of garbage at sea, as per MARPOL,” Alex Schultz-Altmann, AMSA Acting General Manager of Ship Safety, said.last_img read more

Legal ethics, past and present – part two

first_img 1 Attorneys and solicitorsOn the other side of the profession was the attorney at law who was in some ways the forerunner of the present day solicitor, although the office of attorney was abolished in 1875 as a result of the Judicature Acts. The Ordinance of 1292 had recognised attorneys as a separate part of the legal profession, confirming their monopoly on the right to practise in the courts of the Common Bench, and may well be the origin of solicitors being officers of the court. Attorneys dealt with procedural matters and managed litigation on behalf of their clients. They began to develop similar professional standards to those adopted by the serjeants under the supervision (in their capacity as officers of the court) of the judges of the Common Pleas. There were in fact also ‘solicitors’, practising in Tudor England, who were not necessarily trained lawyers of any description, although some of them were members of one of the inns of court. It was not until the 19th century that the expression ‘attorney’ was dropped in favour of the term ‘solicitor’. The earliest surviving form of the attorney’s oath dates from the mid 1550s, although it is known that the oath was in use as early as the 1520s and possibly even before that. The oath contained the following requirements: ‘You shall do no falsehood nor consent to any to be done in this court; and if you know of any to be done you shall give knowledge thereof to my lord chief justice and other my masters his brethren, that it may be reformed. You shall delay no man for lucre or for malice. You shall increase no fees, but be content with the fees accustomed. You shall plead no foreign pleas nor sue any foreign suits unlawfully to hurt any man, but such as shall stand with the order of the law and your conscience. You shall seal all such process as you shall sue out of this court with the seal thereof or see the king’s majesty or my lord chief justice satisfied for the same. Also, you shall not wittingly sue or procure any false suit, nor give aid or counsel to the same, on pain to be expelled from this court for ever. And further use yourself in the office of an attorney within this court according to your learning and discretion. So help you God etc.’ An oath was also taken as early as the 15th century by court officers in which they were required to use every effort to hinder falsehoods and reveal them to the court. In the attorney’s oath can be seen an early reference to the disciplinary consequences of falling short of the required standards of ethical behaviour. The penalty for deliberately making or assisting in making false claims was permanent expulsion from the court and, thereby, legal practice. An attorney expelled from the court after formal investigation on oath was said to be ‘forejudged’ and it was customary for the penalty to be physically enforced by throwing the attorney over the bar of the court. This gave rise to the colloquial expression ‘to turn up one’s heels’. Some form of suspension from practice was imposed while a complaint of professional misconduct against an attorney was investigated and in serious cases the investigation could be by a grand jury of attorneys. It is believed that less serious offences such as continuing with a matter without good cause were punished by a fine or a term of imprisonment. As with all lawyers, the court regulated the professional conduct of attorneys. Up to the 13th century a litigant was required to appear in person and to plead his case. Practising attorneys became more commonplace during the 13th to 15th centuries. However judges appear always to have exercised an inherent power to control the admission of lawyers to practise in their courts and to sanction them when they misbehaved. (Indeed, the overriding power to refuse to hear a particular advocate has recently been placed on a statutory footing in sections 27(4) and (5) of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, subject to the requirement to give reasons for exercising the power.) It appears that the disciplinary function was carried out publicly, at least in serious cases. In 1558, the court summoned all the attorneys and court officers to hear the sentence of forejudging passed on a senior attorney of 40 years’ standing ‘to the terror of other offenders’. To assist the poor and oppressed without reward; To give counsel to anyone who should seek it – one of the earliest statements of what is now called the ‘cab rank rule’ comes from the Scottish Court of Session in 1532: ‘No advocate without very good cause shall refuse to act for any person tendering a reasonable fee, under pain of deprivation of his office of advocate’; To dissuade clients from pursuing unjust causes and to advise them to abandon causes if it appeared that they were in the wrong; To deal with business expeditiously and not to prolong it for gain; To keep clients’ business secret (by 1647, the allegation that an attorney ‘revealed the secrets of my cause’ was considered so shocking that it was actionable for slander); To avoid corruption by money or favour, not merely in deceiving clients but also for instance in pretending to be ‘blind’ – unable to assist in a worthy cause; To ‘stick with hand, foot and nail’ to the truth, never pretending that a wrong is right; and To do nothing contrary to good conscience. In spite of the wealth of legal training offered by the inns of court, whose principal function was the education of students and practitioners of the law, it seems that no specific instruction on professional ethics was provided. Formal instruction on ethics may have been considered unnecessary, not least because lawyers no doubt discussed professional conduct matters and specific recent examples of misconduct among themselves. Concepts such as the importance of loyalty and confidentiality would no doubt have evolved and developed from those discussions, influenced both by Christian religious education as well as developing humanist learning, such as the lawyer’s duty to justice. The academic Jonathan Rose suggests that senior lawyers, as role models, may well have influenced the development of ethical sensitivities. The similarities between the ethics of the lawyers practising before the church courts and those of the lawyers practising at the common law bar are no doubt explained partly by the fact that principles of ethics, in common with substantive legal principles, were originally based on biblical precepts. By way of example, the medieval ethical principle that it was wrong knowingly to defend an unjust cause can be traced to the writings of the theologian St Thomas Aquinas. St Thomas taught that lex humana was subordinate to the eternal law of God. Additionally, it appears that early lawyers practised in both the ecclesiastical and common law courts and that, although the two legal professions developed separately, there would no doubt have been some cross-fertilisation between them. The king’s serjeants, who were appointed from the ranks of the serjeants at law and represented the Crown in important criminal and civil cases, were not allowed to appear or advise against the Crown except in certain limited circumstances; and then, if the verdict went the other way, they could change sides and ‘pray judgment for the king’. Conflicts of interest remained a very serious matter. There are a number of reported defamation cases in the 16th century containing judicial pronouncements suggesting that accusing a lawyer of being an ‘ambidexter’ or, colloquially, a ‘daffy-down-dilly’ was reckoned to be as serious a charge as to accuse a doctor of killing a patient. Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in the reign of Elizabeth I, suggested in 1559 that it was improper to ‘offer jeofail or error’ – to take technical points after a hearing – although this may not have been a universally held opinion. 2 The litigation and advocacy divideHistorically, barristers had exclusive rights of audience in the higher courts including the Crown courts, High Court and Court of Appeal, although solicitors have always had rights of audience in the lower courts, including the magistrates’ courts and the county courts and, in interim matters, in the higher courts. Barristers could not generally appear in court, except on dock briefs, unless instructed by an attorney (or, later, a solicitor). They had to be attended in court by a member of the solicitor’s practice. Barristers expected their ‘professional clients’ (solicitors) to visit them for ‘consultations’ at their chambers, in the manner of a consultant doctor, and negotiations over fees were conducted by barristers’ clerks and not by barristers themselves who regarded such matters as unprofessional. In the early 18th century, the notion developed that barristers received an ‘honorarium’ rather than ‘merces’. In recent times many of these traditions of the bar have been swept away. The legal profession, spilt into two branches for several centuries by historical accident, is now in a period of uneasy transition. In 1990, all solicitors were given full rights of audience in all courts upon qualification, albeit with restrictions on the exercise of some of those rights until the grant of a higher courts qualification following training and monitored experience. Solicitors began to appear in the higher courts in 1994. Barristers are no longer prevented from visiting solicitors at their offices and may freely accept instructions from professional persons other than solicitors who have been approved to instruct barristers directly, or even, subject to certain restrictions, directly from a lay client. The profession of barrister is undergoing a transformation to accommodate modern legal practice while continuing to provide a service to the public specialising in advisory work and advocacy. At the same time, solicitors are beginning to take advantage of the increased work opportunities made available by the relaxation of restrictions on their rights of audience. Mark Humphries has 25 years’ experience of contentious legal practice. Until recently a litigation partner and head of advocacy at Linklaters in London, he is now the director of his own commercial disputes firm Mark Humphries Ltd. He is a past chairman of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocatescenter_img In the second of three articles tracing the history of ethics and the legal profession, Mark Humphries recalls a time when accusing a lawyer of being a ‘daffy-down-dilly’ was as serious as accusing a doctor of killing a patientIn the period 1483–1558, principles of professional conduct above and beyond mere honesty began to be formulated for the bar by the Court of Common Pleas, the main common law courts of the time. The principal evidence of this formulation consists of three speeches to the new serjeants at law during the reign of Henry VIII in which the lord chief justice would explain the ethics of the profession and the high standards of conduct expected of practitioners. A number of specific requirements can be identified from these speeches: Part 3 of this series, published online next week, will analyse the development of ‘modern’ ethics and professional regulation.last_img read more