Modernizing the courts and the legal profession

Jane Creaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article traces the key watersheds and reforms in the courts and legal profession since 1979 and examines the impact on the sector of the modernization agendas of successive governments. It begins with an account of the geography of governance of the courts and the legal profession, and then goes on to consider developments since 1979, particularly in relation to funding and the political factors that have operated to determine the direction of reform and change. It argues that the sector has used the rhetoric of judicial independence and constitutional separation of powers to maintain some autonomy from other criminal justice agencies and to resist wider public-sector reform. It concludes that the current joined-up government agenda is weakening the ability of the courts and the legal profession to justify a special status within the criminal justice sector and that their ability to resist reform has therefore been undermined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-126
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


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