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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

System under threat

9 Jul 18

Items in this month's issue illustrate increasing threats to the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system

This column speaks out from time to time in support of the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system. Without wishing to sound repetitive, a number of items in this month’s issue raise these related, and vital, themes.

While complacent politicians are a frequent target for criticism – as below – it could be said that sometimes the profession does not do its own cause any good. Witness our online article “Missives: time to add a penalty”. It tells of an elderly client who had a stroke due to the stress induced by two failed attempts to sell her house as missives had not concluded. Whether the author’s proposed solution is the right one can be debated, but he is not alone in calling for urgent action to preserve the reputation of the profession and restore the integrity of our housebuying system.

The actions of lending institutions also impact on transactions. Whatever commercial pressures they claim to face, there is surely no excuse if a lender completely fails to deliver a discharge following repayment of a loan. Yet a correspondent on the letters page has twice experienced just that, leaving both him and his fellow agent in breach of various obligations. He believes a remedy may lie in an addition to the standard clauses. Good luck to him in pursuing that, but it should not be necessary.

Much more serious issues threaten the criminal justice system in England & Wales, and have been illustrated, starkly but without exaggeration, in the book known only by the author’s mask of The Secret Barrister. “The impact of devastating cuts is on display daily,” it states, and our reviewer this month (see the online version for a fuller picture) has certainly sat up and taken notice. “The heat engendered as it excoriates the current state of the English justice system is awesome,” he writes. “While our Scottish system is different, many of the outrages set out in this book will be happening on our doorsteps too.”

The book has been distributed to MPs and we can only hope that enough of them start to take notice. Given the apparent, and recently illustrated, influence of Government whips when it comes to a vote, that may not be enough.

At least we have not yet reached the situation in Poland, where the Chief Justice is, as I write, resisting attempts by the President to force her retirement under new powers condemned by the EU as a threat to the legal order. But the threats in this country, though more insidious, are just as real. All lawyers should be proactive against them, including by ensuring our own house is in order.

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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?