ETHICAL DILEMMAS faced by in-house lawyers, government lawyers and public servants in their day-to-day work will be the focus of a half-day seminar held by the ACT division of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) next week.
ACT ACLA president, Michael Chilcott, told Lawyers Weekly the aim was to encourage practitioners to actively consider the ethics of day-to-day situations. “Ethics is something we want to draw on and remind our membership that this is their obligation as practitioners,” he said.
The seminar is part of the Association’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, which it tries to keep relevant to its members, said Chilcott. “We want them thinking in an active way, thinking about ethics as it will affect them on a day to day basis.”
Dr Simon Longstaff, director of the St James Ethics Centre, will be the keynote speaker and facilitator of the seminar and the panel will include: PM&C deputy secretary Andrew Metcalfe; merit protection commissioner APSC Jeff Lamond PSM; ANU academic Doug Hassall; ACT director of public prosecutions Richard Refshauge, and ACT Law Society professional standards director Dr Tony Kidney.
Discussions will centre on the expectations placed on practitioners and how, as lawyers and employees, individuals deal with those expectations.
“Problems put to the forum are based on issues we believe confront lawyers on a regular basis,” Chilcott said. He added that the seminar would be particularly useful for exposing junior lawyers, with less practical experience, to certain situations and make them think about the ethical problems and issues involved. These lawyers will be given a chance to raise issues that they see as needing ethical consideration, and have others in the forum to work out their position.