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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

No deal, no say?

6 Aug 18

The arguments for a second EU referendum apply with greater force in a "no deal" scenario

August may be the month when current affairs are usually less dominant in the news, but this year Brexit looks like it will remain in the headlines.

It is not surprising, with only a matter of months remaining until the UK’s scheduled leaving date and little sign of consensus, whether within the Conservative Party, the wider nation or as between the UK and the EU27, on the terms on which we will continue to trade with the EU – if indeed an agreement will be reached at all.

The prospect of no agreement ought to be a matter of alarm, even if Government ministers are displaying some bravado over this outcome. The reaction to suggestions of food stockpiling may have slowed the release of the promised scenario papers relating to a no-deal Brexit. But others have spoken out: airlines and the aviation industry, for example, have warned that they do not even have a fallback position comparable to the WTO rules that apply to most trade, and the prospect of planes no longer flying is not so fanciful. Shipping companies are equally concerned.

On a narrower legal view, “no deal” would scupper hopes of reciprocal agreements, including recognition and enforcement, continuing in force, and serious problems would surely emerge very quickly in both the commercial and family law contexts. And what of the UK’s obligations under the Good Friday agreement in relation to the Irish border?

Immediately after the 2016 referendum, this column argued that it would be in the interests of all sides for the people to be given the chance, before withdrawal actually takes effect, to answer the question, in effect, “This is what Brexit actually means; is that what you want or should we remain as we were?” That was written in the belief that there would be an agreement. It surely applies with greater force if there is not.

Opinion in favour of a further poll has been slow to gain momentum, but it is building. The importance of the Government being answerable in some way is greatly increased in the event of no deal: can our elected representatives take a stand, at least to attempt to delay the cliff-edge scenario? That was certainly not an option being promoted during the campaign. And there must be some risk of the democratic process as it works in this country being regarded with some contempt, if the last poll continues to be presented as the settled will of the people despite the growing questions over its integrity due to covert activities. That can only be harmful in the long run.

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Blog archive

7 Oct 19

High noon

The welcome decision of the UK Supreme Court in the prorogation case shows the need for a court free from political influence

9 Sep 19

Courts and politics

Courts should be able to intervene if an abuse of power threatens the balance between executive and legislature

12 Aug 19

Constitutional meltdown?

The fundamentals of our constitution should not be put at risk simply in order to achieve Brexit by the scheduled date

8 Jul 19

70, and counting

The Society is in good shape as it turns 70, though uncertainty lies ahead

12 Jun 19

Uncovering the unacceptable

Our self-styled ethical profession has a problem of bullying and harassment. Can it be treated as a question of fitness to practise?

15 May 19

Make wellbeing a thing

Staff wellbeing in legal firms has to become a matter of culture, with supporting mechanisms in place

8 Apr 19

Law for people

The dignity of the law has come before the dignity of those caught up in its processes. What might happen if that were reversed?

12 Mar 19

Shape your future

Despite the uncertainty, it would benefit legal firms to think proactively about how to react to Brexit

11 Feb 19

Flexible is possible

As this month's lead feature illustrates, large and small firms alike can operate flexible working practices, and there appear to be few issues with clients when they do

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