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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

After Windrush

8 May 18

The treatment of those of Caribbean origin shows a need for the law to be rebalanced

Harold Wilson’s famous comment that a week is a long time in politics has been borne out once again by the “Windrush generation” affair. How many of us, a matter of weeks ago, knew the term or what it derived from? Yet at time of writing it has cost one Home Secretary her job, and it appears to have plenty of mileage in it yet.

The shameful treatment of some of those who have lived and worked here almost all their lives but to whom no one granted a simple document confirming their right to stay, for which the Government is rightly proposing compensation, has at least caused more people to question the “hostile environment” it set out to create in relation to illegal immigration.

Now illegal is illegal, and with so many seeking to come to this country for many different reasons, it is right that there should be clear criteria, fairly applied, to determine admission, and a system for removing those found to have got round the rules. But to set out to create an atmosphere of suspicion, which for some ethnic groups could be akin to “guilty until proved innocent”, when it comes to seeking work, or accommodation, or even medical treatment, is surely wrong where the authorities must have known that there are many innocent people in our midst who were likely to suffer as a result.

The wider relevance of this concerns nationals of other EU member states whose status here is affected by Brexit. (And who knows who else?) Tales of Home Office harshness towards individuals who have been here often for decades, but who again lack vital official pieces of paper that no one at the outset thought to issue, are shockingly frequent, and if Windrush forces a rethink as to how their residence rights may be confirmed, some good will have come of it.

Again, there should be examined what kind of society we wish to be, or become, more particularly as Brexit deadlines approach. A country that seeks to forge new and deep partnerships with other nations globally cannot afford to be seen as hostile without good reason towards foreign citizens, who may come from those same countries, and who happen to be within its territory. Moreover, it appears that our health service is already suffering from a shortage of skilled personnel due to quotas being given more weight than actual need. Time, surely, for the law to be rebalanced, and to be applied having regard to the needs of the society it should be there to underpin.


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Blog archive

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?

12 Mar 18

Case to be made

If the independent legal aid review could not find evidence to support a general rise in fees, what should the response be?