Corruption and Ethical Issues in Legal Education: The Need for a Global Watchdog

Paper presented at the 2013 CLEA Conference in Durban

Sunday Adabenege Ateiza
University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria

Transparency International defined corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain. The anti-corruption statute /law of various nations define the limit of this broad definition. Today corruption is endemically and universally present in every strata of the society of the global divide. The worst hit is the legal profession in every jurisdiction-common law, civil law and the mixed breed. Education corruption exists in every culture. It often implies degradation due to violation of certain ethical standards (at school and outside school of study).

Within the ambits of the above definition legal education corruption is the abuse of ethical rules and regulations prevalent in legal education. This is an archetype of corruption that obstructs and erodes robust legal education and practice for global benefit. Although corruption and ethical issues are not synonymous they correlate. In this paper, therefore, the two issues are discussed as a global legal education problem that deserves a commensurate solution. The foremost suggestion proffered in this paper is the need for a legal watchdog of universal nature to curb the two menaces. By this the many benefits of the service branch of globalisation tree will spread more and better to the global community.

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