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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

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

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?

13 Mar 17

Crack this one

Digitising summary criminal business is a tough nut to crack, but a bold attempt has been made

13 Feb 17

Imbalance of power

These days, all lawyers may need to be ready to take a stand in defence of the rule of law

9 Jan 17

Civic engagement

The Society risked becoming political in welcoming the Government paper Scotland's Place in Europe

6 Dec 16

The year that was

The Journal employment survey reveals a gloomy outlook; how can solicitors meet clients' needs in these times?