This course provides an introduction to professional ethics for lawyers
in the corporate sector.
In the last decade, the financial crisis and the wide range of corporate
frauds (Enron, World.com, Volkswagen) have spurred the debate in legal
ethics about the professional responsibility of corporate lawyers. More
recently, the leaked ‘Panama Papers’ led to public critique on the
apparently limited sense of responsibility of the lawyers involved.
This course focuses on the topic of lawyers' ethics in a corporate
context. It is based on the idea that lawyers' (mis)conduct cannot be
explained exclusively by the choices of individual lawyers. Instead, a
full explanation needs to take into account the influence of the social,
organizational and political context on the functioning of lawyers.
Hence, this course takes up an interdisciplinary and contextual approach
by combining insights from law, legal ethics, social psychology,
sociology, economy, moral-, social- and political philosophy.
The following three interrelated parts constitute the core elements of
a) a general introduction to professional ethics;
b) an interdisciplinary analysis of lawyers' ethics in a corporate
c) an examination of the relation between personal and professional
integrity in corporate lawyering.
Paper, presentation and participation.