08 Dec 2016

Legal 'experts' less honest than newsreaders and scientists, say public

Lawyers are less trustworthy than the average person, say respondents to a recent survey.

Ion Chiosea

The study, conducted by research outfit Ipsos MORI in conjunction with parenting website Mumsnet aimed to gauge people attitudes towards ‘experts’ in various professions during the run-up to the Brexit referendum in June. The annual ‘Veracity Index’, which forms the backbone of the study, surveyed 1,000 individuals about which types of professionals they believe to be the most trustworthy. While nurses, doctors, teachers and judges were all trusted to tell the truth by more than 80 per cent of respondents, only 51 per cent of people said they would trust a lawyer. This was a fair drop below the 65 per cent of people who said they would trust an average person in the street, and also shy of the trustworthiness ratings for hairdressers, scientists, priests, television newsreaders and police officers.

It’s not all bad news, though. Lawyers were still ranked as more trusted to tell the truth than business leaders, bankers, estate agents, charity chief executives and journalists, among others. Unsurprisingly, politicians ranked at the very bottom of the Veracity Index, with only 15 per cent of respondents saying they trusted politicians to tell the truth.