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(Re)Evaluating Values

Submitted by Nigel Duncan on Wed, 09-05-2012
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(Re)Evaluating Values: a response to Burridge and Webb
Cownie, Fiona
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The Law Teacher
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United Kingdom
This is one of seven articles collected into a Special Issue of the Law Teacher, published in 2008. The special issue constitutes a reprise of an article by Burridge and Webb, published in 2007, vol. 10, 1 Legal Ethics, pp 72-97 and a series of responses to the arguments presented in that article. It concludes with a response to those articles by Burridge and Webb.
Fiona Cownie challenges the Burridge/Webb description of her as being despondent about progress in teacher awareness of the values which permeate our work. While conceding that the demands such a development places on law teachers are considerable and that there are no 'quick fixes', she expresses optimism that we are in fact making progress in delivering a legal education which addresses the humanity of our students as well as being aware of the values involved. Her challenge to Burridge and Webb is based in part on differences as to the role of individual and collective responsibility for progress. She is confident that there has been progress. The adoption of sociolegal and critical legal approaches increases the likelihood that values will be addressed in studying the law. Modern textbooks increasingly address underlying values. There is copious material addressing the values of education itself. These are circumstances and resources which do permit optimism.
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