Centre for Legal Education

Maharg, P. , 2017. The Gordian knot: regulatory relationship and legal education. Asian Journal of Legal Education, 4 (2), pp. 79-94. ISSN 2322-0058

This article is a version of themes presented at a plenary lecture given at the 2016 Legal Education Conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Regulation of legal education is becoming increasingly important as regulation becomes more complex and intrusive in educational design and practice. As a consequence of pressures upon regulators from government, consumer groups, educational institutions, the profession and other stakeholders there has been an increase in the number and size of reports and reviews as regulators and accreditors seek to position and re-position their practices within the regulatory field. In that field regulatory relationship is one aspect of the regulation of legal education that is insufficiently researched and understood. This article seeks to explore models by which the relationship between regulators and legal educators can be improved. It begins by summarising some of the regulatory literature on legal education, and suggesting that a complexity theory approach in safety regulation could be used in legal education. An example of regulatory relationship between educational institution and regulator will be described and aspects analysed; and in the final section I outline possible ways forward for regulators and legal educators.


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