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The work of bureaucratic lawyers: An empirical investigation of lawyers working in the UK Government and the European Commission

Theophanidou, Stephanie 2023. The work of bureaucratic lawyers: An empirical investigation of lawyers working in the UK Government and the European Commission. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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While bureaucratic lawyers serve a crucial role in strengthening and upholding fundamental principles of modern government, a comprehensive insight into their work is generally neglected from the academic literature. More attention is usually paid to lawyers working in private practice or the courtroom. To help overcome this substantial gap in knowledge, this thesis adopts a multiple-case study which explores the work of UK Government and European Commission lawyers during the preparation of a legislative proposal. It draws on semi-structured interviews to achieve rich, detailed insights into the perceptions and experiences of these lawyers. The concept of work is defined using three fundamental questions: what functions do these lawyers perform, when do they perform them, and how do they perform them? The first two questions provide a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the tasks, judgments, interactions, and chronologies that constitute lawyers’ functions. The third question places a greater emphasis on the sociological aspects of their work. To address this question, the thesis develops a unique analytical framework which integrates insights from legal ethics, political science, and sociology. This framework is then applied to the empirical data to demonstrate how in-house socialisation processes, specifically interactions and experiences within the bureaucracy, shape how lawyers approach political-professional conflicts in their work. The second contribution of this framework is to reveal how these socialisation processes enable lawyers to acquire and develop the expertise needed to perform their work successfully.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bureaucratic lawyers, Executive Branch lawyers, Government lawyers, European Commission, UK Government, Legal expertise, Legal advice, Legislative drafting, Socio-legal research
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 21 February 2024
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 15:37

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