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Society blog

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

4 Oct 16

Going international – a Scots lawyer's week at the IBA

John Morgan, a newly qualified solicitor at Brodies, recently received a scholarship from the International Bar Association to attend its annual conference in Washington DC. He tells of his experience

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

9 Jan 18

Hold tight for 2018

Get set for another rollercoaster ride through the year

4 Dec 17

Trends and revelations

From the Journal employment survey: sexual harassment must be taken seriously

9 Nov 17

Mergers and markets

After the Maclays-Dentons merger, what now for the independent Scottish legal firm?

9 Oct 17

For the greater good

The profession should support those who attempt to improve the lot of the most vulnerable

11 Sep 17

Brexit and the legal order

Government recognition of the need to continue civil judicial cooperation with EU countries after Brexit is welcome, but how can it exclude the involvement of the CJEU?

7 Aug 17

Taking access to justice seriously

The House of Lords decision on employment tribunal fees elevates this constitutional principle

10 Jul 17

Advance of the courts

There is momentum behind civil procedure reform, and practitioners need to be alert to have their say

12 Jun 17

Defend our rights

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

8 May 17

Review time

Patience will be needed as regards the outcome of the new review of legal services regulation, but there is much for the profession to concern itself with meantime

10 Apr 17

Complaints about the Commission

It is not surprising that solicitors are complaining about the SLCC budget and levy – but what should be done?