The Death of the Professions?

Birmingham Law School, Moot Room
Arts and Law, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Research
Tuesday 17th June 2014 (14:00-17:30)

Please register your place with Lesley Griffiths, CEPLER Administrator:

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The Centre for Health Law, Science and Policy and the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research will host an afternoon workshop on the impact of recent reforms, budgetary cuts and public criticism on the publicly funded sectors of the legal and medical professions.

Traditionally viewed as the paradigmatic professions, until relatively recently the claims of Law and Medicine to possess such traits as specialist expert knowledge, distinctive ethicality and a commitment to service were generally held to be credible, earning them high social status, public trust and market shelters.

These traits were reinvigorated by their mobilisation as major players in the post-war Keynsian interventionist state, performing crucial roles in a growing public sector.   Correspondingly, the turn to economic liberalism and the resulting reconfiguration of the relationship between state, market and society has transformed them. New Public Management has led to drastic financial re-structuring and increasing intervention in professional markets and standards.  The drive to subject professional services to competitive pressures,and to re-shape professional services as commodities has been accelerated by the current government

These changes to the publicly funded sectors of the legal and medical professions, and the impact on clients/ patients are the focus of the workshop, and we hope that it will be the start of cross university collaborations. 

The leading presentation will be given by Professor Mike Saks who has written extensively on the sociology of the professions; other presenters include Professor Mark Exworthy (Health Policy & Management, Birmingham) who will consider whether Doctors should be viewed as an endangered species or whether they are adapting to the current challenges and Professor Andrew Francis (Keele Law School) who will focus on the legal profession. 

For further details please contact:  

Professor Hilary Sommerlad: or Professor Jean