Current issues

Issues surrounding counsel continue to resonate today.  Some pertinent questions include:

Public accountability and counsel

Freedom of speech, its justifications, and limits

Lobbying versus counsel

Trust, secrecy, and disclosure

Who has authority to advise

The rise of special advisers and their role in government

Appointment and removal of advisers

Perceptions of ‘traditional’ or ‘proper’ channels of advice

Unsolicited advice

Unconventional advisers

Implicit obligations and expectations about advice-giving; the unspoken rules of counsel

The effect of the political/electoral cycle on advice-giving

Counsel as a form of consensus-building

Consultation as a means of testing ideas and taking the political temperature

The implicit messages hearing certain advisers sends out