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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

High noon

7 Oct 19

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

Last month I ventured to suggest that our judges should in principle be willing to step in if necessary, if a purported exercise of executive power appeared to disturb the constitutional balance between the executive and our elected Parliament.

The decisive intervention of the UK Supreme Court in the Cherry and Miller appeals, upholding the approach of the First Division of the Court of Session, more than met the expectations of those who believed that the act of securing the prorogation of Parliament amounted to an abuse of prerogative powers when it had the effect – irrespective of motive – of precluding debate and accountability.

It appears, however, that respect for the decision by those most affected by it is not all that it should be. Saying you “strongly disagree” with the ruling, while claiming to respect it, as the Prime Minister did, is playing mere lip service to the rule of law and the position of the judiciary. Still, it pales beside those MPs who suggested that the Supreme Court had shown itself by its ruling to be superfluous. Is the answer to a decision that the Government or its party does not like, now to be to abolish the court that gave it?

No better are the calls for some executive and parliamentary role in the appointment of our leading judges. The recent experience of the USA has been neither a happy one nor one to inspire confidence in its own top court, due to the increasing partisanship that first blocked all President Obama’s nominees ahead of the 2016 election, then used the Republican majority in the Senate to approve President Trump’s nominees in the face of damaging allegations that raised questions as to their suitability. Imported into this country it would raise immediate questions over ECHR article 6 compliance, and only serve to weaken a public trust already at risk from the nonsensical aspersions being cast on our judges by some of the popular press.

And it could be that the ultimate courtroom showdown has yet to take place. Before the month is out we should find out whether the Prime Minister truly has a way to ensure Brexit on the 31st, deal or no deal, while claiming he will observe the law which now includes the Act designed to preclude the latter alternative. If our judges are placed in the difficult position of having to consider whether to make mandatory orders against Mr Johnson at the behest of his equally partisan opponents, we should be grateful at the outset that they are not being labelled as the appointees of any of the interested parties, or their predecessors.

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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