Today, I am at University College London talking with Professor Richard Moorhead, Professor of Law and Professional Ethics. University College London has a curious distinction – the possessor of the utilitarian philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham’s skeleton dressed in his clothing preserved in a glass case.(Infra)
Professor Moorhead gives a brief definition of ethics before moving on to consider the practical difficulties lawyers face in practice today, illustrating his theme with examples. We consider whether the Code of Practice for solicitors is fit for the purpose – referencing a lawcast I did with Andrew Hopper QC on the regulatory framework – and we consider whether more emphasis should be placed on legal ethics at the academic and vocational stages of legal education.
Blog posts by Professor Richard Moorhead
|Employment Tribunals: Weighted Against Employers?|
|Hackgate: where were the lawyers?|
|(Wannabee) Law Students: One graph which signals your future|
|LNATs and aptitude tests: what’s good got to do with it?|
As requested in his will, Bentham’s body was dissected as part of a public anatomy lecture. Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the “Auto-icon”, with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham’s clothes. Originally kept by his disciple Thomas Southwood Smith, it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is normally kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college, but for the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the college, it was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where it was listed as “present but not voting”.