Amorality explained. Analysing the reasons that explain the standard conception of legal ethics

Cesar Arjona Sebastià

Producció científica: Article en revista no indexadaArticle


The standard conception of legal ethics, based on the principles of partisanship and neutrality, affirms that lawyers must adopt an 'amoral' attitude with respect to their client's cause. After reviewing this widely discussed paradigm, the paper identifies and explores the three main factors that have contributed to its success. Firstly, state-centred legal positivism, as the dominant paradigm in contemporary Western legal theory. Secondly, the adversary context, presumed to be the environment where lawyers typically perform their function as professionals. Thirdly, the agency model, as the controlling metaphor describing the relations between lawyers (agents) and their clients (principals). As all these elements carry with them problems of their own, this paper concludes by highlighting the limits of 'amorality' as a general theory of legal ethics. Although moral neutrality is probably a justifiable position for the criminal defendant, it is difficult to extend its justificatory scope to many other areas of legal practice, especially in a globalised post-Westphalian world where lawyers typically act in ways that escape the traditional legal monopoly of the nation-state.
Idioma originalAnglès
Publicació especialitzadaRamón Llull Journal of Applied Ethics
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de febr. 2014


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