News In Focus
Mackenzie named as IBA Access to Justice co-chair
Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, has been appointed co-chair of the International Bar Association Access to Justice & Legal Aid Committee.
Previously co-vice chair of the committee, Mr Mackenzie has already been involved in research work and the publishing of reports on Children and Access to Justice, and Access to Justice for People with Disabilities. His co-chair is Mark Woods from Australia.
The committee aims to gather information from around the world on the barriers to access to justice in each jurisdiction and any ways in which these barriers are overcome, with specific emphasis on statutory schemes such as legal aid. It is currently developing guidelines on the principles and practice that should underpin an effective legal aid system, hopes to embark on a project focusing on the economic case for legal aid, and plans to scrutinise ombudsman services at the next IBA annual conference in Rome.
Established in 1947, the IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. It has considerable experience in providing assistance to the global legal community.
Mr Mackenzie, a solicitor on secondment from the Scottish Government Justice Directorate to the Scottish Arbitration Centre, commented: “One of the great strengths of the IBA is its global reach, which is key to the committee’s objective of sharing and spreading good practice on access to justice around the world. The differing approaches to seeking access to justice provide a valuable source of ideas and information for jurisdictions struggling to maintain or improve access to justice."
Congratulating him, Brandon Malone, chairman of the board of the Centre, said: "One of our core beliefs at the Scottish Arbitration Centre is that Scots law and Scottish lawyers have much to offer the legal world, and that Scottish lawyers should become more involved in the international legal framework. It is fantastic to see Andrew leading by example, and taking on such an important international position."
Graham Matthews, President of the Law Society of Scotland, added: "In the course of his legal career, Andrew has made a varied and remarkable contribution to government and legal services and the outstanding breadth of his experience, knowledge and energy will be an invaluable asset to the committee.
"At the Law Society, we vigorously defend legal aid and champion access to justice on behalf of our members and in the public interest. With a legal market that is becoming increasingly globalised, it follows that we should share best practice with our international colleagues and take learnings from legal jurisdictions across the world."