Orphans No More: A Review of Elizabeth Sanderson, Government Lawyering: Duties and Ethical Challenges of Government Lawyers
Book Review, Future Research, Government Lawyers, Legal Ethics, Attorney General
Elizabeth Sanderson’s Government Lawyering: Duties and Ethical Challenges of Government Lawyers is the first comprehensive and long-form assessment of why government lawyers are different than lawyers in private practice and why that difference matters. This book review essay begins by setting out Sanderson’s position on a few concepts key to legal ethics for government lawyers: a definition of government lawyers, an account of the duties that apply to them, and the identity of the client. It then goes on to highlight the book’s four major contributions: an emphasis on the role of the Deputy Attorney General as an interface between the non-partisan public service and the Minister of the day; Sanderson’s extensive reflection on reconciliation; a critique of common comparisons between the role of the Minister of Justice in Canada and in New Zealand; and the suggestion that Parliament could establish a separate regulatory apparatus for federal government lawyers that would remove them from law society jurisdiction. Finally, the review sets out three areas for future research building on Sanderson’s work.
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Andrew Martin, "Orphans No More: A Review of Elizabeth Sanderson, Government Lawyering: Duties and Ethical Challenges of Government Lawyers" (2018) 41:2 Dal LJ 575.
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