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Justice: the election target

13 December 10

The Society is preparing a manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections, to give justice issues a higher profile

Justice issues will have a higher profile following the Law Society of Scotland’s decision to publish a manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections.

The Society published a manifesto for the first Holyrood elections in 1999 but has not produced one since. The move aims to ensure that the voice of the profession and the interests of the wider public in terms of accessing justice feature prominently in the election campaign.

In considering what to include in the manifesto, the Society organised a series of discussion evenings in September and October, each covering a particular area of government and open to solicitors as well as other interested organisations. Business groups, universities, charities, professional bodies and others fed in their ideas and suggestions on issues such as reform of the justice system, legal education, and Scotland’s lawmaking processes. The Society also received written submissions, all of which fed into a document due to be taken to the Society’s Council this month.

The manifesto will be formally launched in early 2011, ahead of the election on 5 May, and will be used to engage with Scotland’s main political parties as they prepare their own manifesto documents.

Jamie Millar, Society President, commented: “There is no doubt that the manifesto we produce next year will be all the better because of the vast and varied knowledge on which it will be built.

“These elections in May could hardly be more important. We know the Scottish Government, whatever its political persuasion, will need to take forward significant cuts to public spending. These are difficult times. However, in producing our manifesto, we can ensure the voice of the profession and the interests of the public are at the very heart of that election debate.”

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