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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

Advance of the courts

10 Jul 17

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

Courts in different jurisdictions, Scotland included, are doing their best to catch up with the pace of change in the profession. Whether or not one agrees with all the proposals, there is no doubt that under Lord Carloway, determined efforts are being made to shake off the image of past centuries and deliver procedures, both criminal and civil, that match public expectations of our present age.

A comprehensive rewrite project for the civil procedure rules, producing parallel codes for the Court of Session and sheriff ordinary procedure, headed by statements of principle and purpose to which courts should have due regard, has reached the stage of an initial report with over-arching proposals. Open meetings at sheriff courts in the coming weeks (click here for news item) will provide opportunity for information and feedback; and Lord Carloway himself is speaking, and taking questions, at the Society's September conference.

The undertaking is enormous, but the will is there, there is momentum for change and those with an interest need to keep abreast of what is happening.

Meanwhile Lord Neuberger, President of the UK Supreme Court, has given an address in which, as well as castigating the legal aid reforms in England & Wales since 1999, he promotes online dispute resolution for low value cases. Even if it leads to “more imperfect justice” than traditional systems, he argues, a “quick and dirty” provision is “better than no justice or absurdly over-priced justice”.

With enabling legislation imminent, we should not be surprised if pressure builds to make similar provision for Scotland.

While mentioning the Supreme Court, we should thank the four Justices who gave a very real insight on the working of the court in their panel session at the Society's offices last month, during their Edinburgh week – another way to keep the courts in tune with their public. Open responses were given to some good questions from the audience. A report is online with this issue.

Happy birthday

Four hundred years is a long time by any standards, at least as respects recorded history. So we should not let this anniversary of our property registers, in their successive incarnations, pass without marking such a significant milestone. To gauge its span, consider that for more than half that time the ceremony of handing over earth and stone – the original sasine – remained part of the transfer of title process. Yet as Registers of Scotland enters its fifth century, it hopes in three years' time to be an entirely digital business. Let us wish it every success.


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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?