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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

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

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?