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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

Brexit and the legal order

11 Sep 17

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?

With successive rounds of Brexit negotiations, and now the beginning of serious parliamentary scrutiny of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, initial ministerial reassurances regarding timescales and prospects for progress are beginning to take a much needed reality check.

Fortunately we now hear less from the UK Government about being prepared to leave without agreement, and more of the importance of delivering some equivalent to the many arrangements that at present minimise practical issues arising in relations with other European countries.

In the legal sphere, for example, last month’s policy paper “Providing a cross-border civil judicial co-operation framework” states at the outset that it is vital for UK and EU consumers, citizens, families and businesses that there are coherent common rules to govern interactions between legal systems, and that to this end, the UK as a non-member state will seek to agree new close and comprehensive arrangements for civil judicial cooperation with the EU.

This would include “close and comprehensive cross-border civil judicial cooperation on a reciprocal basis, which reflects closely the substantive principles of cooperation under the current EU framework”. The Rome I and II instruments on choice of law and applicable law in contractual and non-contractual matters will be incorporated into domestic law, supporting the continuation of both cross-border trade and the protection of family law rights.

This is all well and good, but it is regrettable that the Government has been so fixated with excluding any future role for the EU Court of Justice. The impression is given sometimes that ministers, including the Prime Minister, do not have a clear picture of how the court operates – only for rulings in principle on points of EU law in cases referred from national courts, which are then applied by those courts. Nor is it obvious why avoiding its jurisdiction should appear to take a higher priority than securing the best form of future trading relationship with the EU for the health of the economy. The closer our continuing links with Europe, and the Government’s professed aim is a “deep and special partnership with the EU”, the more certain it is that questions will arise that may require a ruling by the CJEU.

As the clock ticks down towards the March 2019 expiry of the article 50 notice (barring an agreed extension), it will in addition be essential, barring earlier agreement on all the above, to ensure that any transitional arrangements cover cross-border family and private commercial issues alongside the headline continuation of the ability to trade.


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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?