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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

Constitutional meltdown?

12 Aug 19

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

Last August I was observing that despite this usually being a quiet month for current affairs, Brexit was much in the headlines, with a raised profile for the prospect of no deal, following the controversy over the white paper that preceded Theresa May’s ill fated Withdrawal Agreement.

Now we have even more feverish coverage as her successor, who only last month suggested during his election campaign that the chances of no deal were “one in a million”, orders all Government departments to make planning for no deal their top priority, as nothing in his view must stand in the way of the UK leaving the EU on the now due date of 31 October, whatever the consequences.

Why should anyone have supposed that the EU27 would accept that fresh proposals should be made as soon as a new Government was in office? The Withdrawal Agreement was, after all, concluded by the then UK Government, and if it is not deemed acceptable by that Government as now constituted, the onus is not on the EU to bring forward something different. And in demanding that it does, what are we now risking in terms of the UK being seen as a reliable trading partner?

In terms of good government at home, by what stretch of the imagination could it be regarded as acceptable to in effect suspend our elected Parliament – the sovereignty of which was supposed to be one of the principal reasons for leaving the EU – in order that its objections to leaving without a deal, reaffirmed in successive votes over recent months, can be nullified? Yet there are those in Government who quite openly contemplate the prospect, and they appear to include the Prime Minister.

As we go to press, the latest hot topic is whether he could, in the event of a vote of no confidence, defy convention and cling to office, again treating the unimpeded passing of the Brexit deadline as an overriding priority.

The respected Professor Mark Elliott argues that such a course would be neither legal nor constitutional, and even the Queen, as the ultimate guarantor of fundamental constitutional principle, would come under a duty to prevent it should an alternative Government, say of national unity, emerge. To put that to the test would imperil our very institutions, and further entrench the warring factions in our divided public.

The stakes are enormous for all political parties as respects their prospects post-31 October. But none are higher than the potential damage to basic constitutional principles which are in danger of being sacrificed to the reckless pursuit of political objectives. In the national interest, think again.


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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