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The Politics of Legal Expertise at Westminster in Times of Crisis

Yong, Ben

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Authors

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Dr Ben Yong benjamin.y.yong@durham.ac.uk
Associate Professor



Contributors

Emilia Korkea-aho
Editor

Päivi Leino
Editor

Abstract

How is legal expertise deployed in an institution such as the Westminster Parliament? The sociology of the legal profession suggests that the client plays a major role in how legal expertise is understood and used. In the case of Westminster, this is somewhat problematic because Parliament as a ‘client’ is not easily pinned down: it is multicentred-institution and parliamentarians; and it is an intensely political arena. The result is that there is a wide variety of sources of legal expertise (this chapter prefers the term ‘legal support’) for Parliament and parliamentarians, and no one source has a monopoly over legal support, save where the issue relates to institutional matters. The ultimate argument of the chapter is that the processes of seeking and making use of legal support is not that different from the way that legal support is sought and made use of in society more broadly. The client determines when they will seek legal support, and what use they make of it. In practice, then, parliamentarians make use of known sources first to understand legal issues (which may come from inside or outside Parliament); only rarely will they seek or need to seek formal ‘legal advice’.

Citation

Yong, B. (2022). The Politics of Legal Expertise at Westminster in Times of Crisis. In E. Korkea-aho, & P. Leino (Eds.), Legal Expertise in EU Policy-Making: Changing Roles for the Legal Profession (124-146). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108909099.007

Online Publication Date Oct 13, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 13, 2023
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 124-146
Book Title Legal Expertise in EU Policy-Making: Changing Roles for the Legal Profession
Chapter Number 7
ISBN 9781108909099
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108909099.007
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1652400
Contract Date Jul 24, 2022

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Copyright Statement
This material has been published in Law, Legal Expertise and EU Policy-Making Edited by Emilia Korkea-aho, Päivi Leino-Sandberg. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.






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