News In Focus
Society challenges criticisms of Holyrood law
31 August 2012
The Scottish Parliament is not a threat to Scots law but has delivered important reforms, according to the Law Society of Scotland's Director of Law Reform.
Responding to yesterday's criticism of Holyrood by solicitor advocate Alistair Bonnington, who said it had done "huge damage" to Scots law since it was set up in 1999, the Society's Michael Clancy said: “We don’t recognise the description of the Scottish justice system described in the headline in The Times."
Mr Clancy said the creation of the Scottish Parliament had allowed reform in important areas of the law as adults with incapacity, the abolition of the feudal system, and much needed developments in family law, but had also "revolutionised the way law is made", allowing more public engagement and input from experts.
He added: "However legislation is not always the answer, and we urge politicians of all parties in the two parliaments which can legislate for Scots law to give careful consideration to whether new legislation is needed.
“We called for an emphasis on good legislation in our manifesto, published in 2011, and for the Scottish Parliament only to legislate when the law needs to be modernised, comply with court decisions or conform to international obligations."
The Society has opposed some reforms. On criminal justice Mr Clancy commented: “We are raising with the Scottish Government our concerns about the abolition of corroboration when there are no corresponding safeguards proposed to prevent potential miscarriages of justice.”