Legal Education in the Context of Autocratic Legalism

Law is not as static as it appears to be at first sight, it is made or remade in the capillaries of legal profession. This makes legal education an important target for regimes in which autocratic legalism is present. As these regimes try to keep their democratic façade, how law is practiced in the  capillaries of society becomes more important. Control over legal education gives the regime an opportunity to influence legal practice more subtly. Therefore, rather than focusing solely on instruments of public law, it may be useful to turn our attention to legal education. In this perspective, I will examine how these regimes target legal education and Turkey will be my main example. I will explain how centralized type of governance for universities blocks the possibility of critical approaches to legal education while allowing the government to have more control on legal education. I will also focus on the tensions between bar associations and government in Turkey and the impact this has on legal training, and eventually, on “law as it is lived” in society.