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Society scales back constitution ambitions

30 March 2012

Law Society of Scotland members will be asked to vote on reducing the size of the Society's Council at this year's AGM on 31 May.

The proposals involve amendments to the Society's constitution, which will be put forward in place of the completely new draft constitution recently put out to consultation.

A number of responses queried whether the time was right to press ahead with a new model, as well as challenging the terms of the draft, and Council today agreed not to seek the more radical change at present.

The proposal to be put to members will be for Council to comprise 30 solicitors elected by constituency, up to seven co-opted solicitor members and nine non-solicitor members. The maximum size will then be 46, compared with 63 as at present.

Bruce Beveridge, vice president elect and convener of the Society’s constitution working group, said: “We conducted a thorough consultation which elicited a broad range of views. Responses confirmed a widespread endorsement of proposals for a smaller Council. We recognised though that there remain some reservations about proceeding with a new constitution, which we have decided not to take forward at present."

He added: “Members also voiced a keen interest in using technology to increase participation. Modernising voting procedures would allow greater involvement by our members on important issues. At the moment all votes must be made in person or by paper proxy. This is an area that we are exploring.

"We remain committed to working with our members to ensure that the Society’s governance structure is modern, effective and transparent.”

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