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Society blog

21 Feb 18

Scottish Legal International comes to fruition

Joint initiative aims to promote Scottish profession internationally

30 Aug 17

A paralegal's tale

Janet Rieu-Clarke, the Law Society’s accredited paralegal, explains the path that led her to new role at the Society and the rationale behind the new accredited paralegal status.

30 Aug 17

A call to vote from John Scott

John Scott QC urges his fellow solicitor advocates to vote for their dedicated representative

29 Aug 17

No globalisation without representation...

Katie Hay discusses the globalisation of the legal market and urges Scottish solicitors working internationally, to get involved

24 Jul 17

Bringing the world to "world-class"

Sarah Sutton, digital communications executive at the Law Society of Scotland, talks about her bright idea to ensure international representation on the Society’s Council

26 Jun 17

The Debate - backstage, front of house and top tips

In this mini-series of blogs, three key players in the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament share their individual perspectives of the event.

19 Jun 17

Got a passion for the profession?

Could one of the 23 current vacancies for 16 different committees be just right for you?

28 Apr 17

Professional Practice - advising the advisers

Scottish solicitors help their clients through some of the most momentous occasions of their lives, personal or professional, good or bad. But where do solicitors turn for support? Prof Prac, that's where.

1 Nov 16

How getting involved in debating can change your life

Head of education Rob Marrs explains how getting involved in debating, whether as competitor or judge, can be incredibly rewarding. And more importantly, he explains how to win a debate.

14 Oct 16

Career development and volunteering at the Law Society of Scotland

If you want to enhance your career, develop your skills or just give back to your profession, there are lots of different personal and professional development opportunities at the Society

Editors Blog

Defend our rights

12 Jun 17

Don't sacrifice rights to combat terrorism; welcome to Edinburgh for the UK Supreme Court

Defend our rights

Deplorable though the recent terrorist attacks are, politicians and others should be very careful not to choose the wrong response in seeking to prevent a recurrence.

There was a strong reaction, not least in legal circles, to the Prime Minister's comment at an election rally, “if our human rights laws get in the way of [tackling terrorism], we will change the law so we can do it”. As one cartoonist put it, “In order to preserve your civil liberties we are going to have to suspend your civil liberties.”

The point has already been made that if we start restricting civil rights, we are effectively handing victory to the terrorists. Nor could it be achieved under the Human Rights Convention, and the rule of law is one of our highest values that deserve protection. And the challenge should be made, does the Convention really prevent us taking effective action?

Of equal relevance is the question, are more repressive measures likely to have the desired effect? Unduly broad restrictions may be as likely to turn some members of the community against the legal order as to reduce any threat. Some claim this is happening with the Government's “Prevent” anti-radicalisation strategy.

As it is evident that most members of the Muslim community are shocked and appalled by the acts committed supposedly in name of their religion, and many are willing to identify those who appear to be becoming radicalised, the better course by far would be to attempt to deepen engagement with that community in order to isolate the extremists.

Seat of the court

We should not let the occasion pass without welcoming the initiative of the UK Supreme Court in coming to Edinburgh this month for three appeal hearings. Even if the cases do not generate the drama of the article 50 appeal, the very fact of the visit is certain to raise public awareness of the court and its role in the legal order.

In the eight years since its creation, the court has made great strides in making itself accessible, through its user-friendly website, its internet streaming of its hearings, and its welcoming atmosphere for those able to visit its London seat. But there is nothing like a bit of theatre to arouse public interest, and the significance of the court reaching out to the Scottish jurisdiction should not be lost on those who recall a unfortunate political spat a few years ago when one or two decisions were handed down that were not to the liking of Scottish ministers of the day.


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Blog archive

14 Jan 19

Seeking the positive

A bit of flexibility and imagination can achieve things this year, whether for a business in the face of Brexit or for employees to improve their work-life balance, and wellbeing

3 Dec 18

A turbulent Christmas

Depressing divisions and a lack of clear thinking dominate the Brexit scene. But (stop press) there is something positive in the official reaction to the legal aid review

7 Nov 18

Put to the test

The Society's position as regulator will come under renewed scrutiny following the Roberton report, but the report itself should equally be subjected to proper scrutiny

9 Oct 18

Under siege

After the extra money announced for prosecutors and then the police, something has to be done now for the defence sector

10 Sep 18

Programme for action?

How much can we expect to happen through the Scottish Government's Programme for Government?

6 Aug 18

No deal, no say?

The arguments for a second EU referendum apply with greater force in a "no deal" scenario

9 Jul 18

System under threat

Items in this month's issue illustrate increasing threats to the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system

11 Jun 18

Speaking out

The benefit sanctions system has drawn some unusually sharp comments from the Society, but the need for such strictures is likely to increase

8 May 18

After Windrush

The treatment of those of Caribbean origin shows a need for the law to be rebalanced

9 Apr 18

Mind the gap

Do the Gender Pay Gap Regulations provide enough useful information to justify their approach?