Countries undergoing or recovering from conflict and authoritarianism often face profound rule of law challenges. This book is about how lawyers as ‘real people’ navigate these challenges. How do they exercise resistant agency and at the same time maintain a sense of professional legitimacy? How do lawyers working within such settings imagine the law? How do they understand their ethical obligations towards their clients and the rule of law? What factors motivate them to use their legal practice and social capital to challenge repressive power? What challenges and risks do they face? Are there particularly gendered consequences for ‘taking on’ legal resistance in such contexts? And when do lawyers facilitate or acquiesce with injustice, thus becoming part of the problem? Drawing on over 130 interviews conducted during field research in Cambodia, Chile, Israel, Palestine, South Africa, and Tunisia, McEvoy, Mallinder and Bryson seek to extend existing theoretical understandings of law and society and cause lawyering in particular by exploring their application (or not) in these more challenging environments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages413
ISBN (Print)9780521853989
Publication statusPublished - 02 Mar 2022


  • gender;
  • cause lawyering;
  • conflict;
  • transition;
  • transitional justice;
  • human rights;
  • legal ethics;
  • lawyer-client relationships
  • resistance;
  • legal imagination;
  • legitimacy;
  • agency
  • government lawyers;
  • authoritarianism;
  • law and performance;
  • rule of law;
  • boycott;

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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