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From the archives - August 2014

Can solicitors be bystanders to offensive language?

To challenge may not be easy, but may be professionally required, says the Society's Equality Committee

Driving away candidates

The importance of careful wording of job advertisements to avoid advertising an intention to discriminate

Criminal injuries compensation – the new pitfalls

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 contains important changes that advisers need to know in order to avoid hopeless applications

Fish farms: a controlled environment

A guide to the complex planning and regulatory requirements surrounding marine fish farming in Scotland

Still trying to take care of the dead

Who decides on the burial of the deceased, the widow or the executor? The latest decision in a long running saga

Permanence: beyond the past

Past behaviour of a parent is not the sole focus in a permanence application

A series of unlikely events

The fuller opinion article on the penalties imposed by the Information Commissioner for loss of personal data

Reading for pleasure

This month's selection of leisure reading chosen by the Journal's Book Review Editor

Opinion: Paul Motion and Laura Irvine

Despite an adverse appeal ruling a year ago, the Information Commissioner's Office has yet to review its approach to monetary penalties for failures to protect non-sensitive personal data

Book reviews

Reviews of Final Judgment: The Last Law Lords and the Supreme Court (Paterson); Human Rights and the United Kingdom Supreme Court (Dickson)


This month's Council profile features newly elected Edinburgh member Vikki Melville

President's column

Events since the Commonwealth Games continue to provide an international flavour; and the Society's role in promoting an informed referendum debate will continue right up to the vote

Count of 10

Registers of Scotland page: completion of Land Register; crofting photo competition; notifications information; appointment

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Your life on file

Was emergency legislation to permit continued retention of communications data needed, or justified? Does it simply restate previous powers? Should legal professionals be concerned?

Drip, drip, DRIP: privacy draining away?

A signatory to the academics' open letter on the Data Retention and Regulatory Powers Act explains why they are so concerned

LBTT: prepare to switch

Practitioners will soon have to start implementing changes in preparation for the changeover from stamp duty land tax to land and buildings transaction tax

Workers: a class apart

The UK Supreme Court's decision that LLP members are “workers” has implications that their firms need to address, but leaves open the position of partners in traditional partnerships

Dictation has a silver lining

In association with Voice Technologies: Scottish law firm adopts cloud-connected dictation and sees refreshing flexibility for remote working

Don't cross them

Is there a way of judging when, and when not, to cross-examine? The author shares some personal experiences

A case to make its mark?

The UK Supreme Court has ruled against a human rights challenge by prisoners seeking to vote in the independence referendum, but would the Strasbourg court take the same view?

Variations on a theme

Latest criminal cases, including appeal following guilty plea; sex offenders; dock identification; extensions of time; Victims and Witnesses Act

Child abduction: recent developments

Two recent cases seeking the return of a child from Scotland, one concerning a young child and one an older child, have delivered contrasting results

Whistleblowing update

The Government has announced its (limited) proposals for reform following last year's consultation

Pension changes mean trustee alert

Changes to State pensions and the abolition of contracting-out for open defined benefit schemes may result in more changes to schemes

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to Iain David Haywood; William Christopher Tulips; Frederick Neil Waterman; Tracey Campbell-Hynd; Richard Thorburn (application for restoration)

Changing elitism to equality

How one in-house team is attempting to encourage social diversity within the legal profession through a programme targeting potential entrants at different stages

Shape of the future

The Society's working party on the future of conveyancing was set up a year ago, and recently surveyed practitioners' opinions on priorities for action. What has it achieved to date?

Mentors wanted for scheme's second year

The Society intends to run its career mentoring scheme for a second year

Mandatory PC online renewal is coming for all

The Society is encouraging members and firms to renew practising certificates online – next year it becomes mandatory

Join wills charity drive

Will Relief Scotland and Will Aid are seeking more firms to take part in their respective 2014 campaigns

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including underground drilling access; land and business transaction tax; gender quotas on boards; Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

Carolyn's at the top of her Games

Behind the scenes: Carolyn Morgan, honorary legal adviser for Commonwealth Games Scotland

Smartcards - the lawyer's friend

As the Society begins to roll out the issuing of smartcards containing digital signatures to all practising solicitors, what can we learn from colleagues on the continent about their benefits?

With growth there is risk

Insurers are forecasting an increase in conveyancing claims in England & Wales as the volume of transactions increases. How can this be prevented in relation to the Master Policy?

Ask Ash

Advice column: how can I break the habit of checking emails round the clock?

Smarter money

As hourly billing falls out of favour, how do you replace it? We report on a presentation by pricing expert Richard Burcher

Across borders

The Word of Gold: it is neither a failure nor a betrayal for a Scottish law firm to choose to merge with a larger practice from elsewhere

Angles on immigration

Professional Practice column: some issues relevant to immigration and asylum practitioners – and also to others

Legal aid – the hidden catches

This month's alert from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission suggests four steps legal aid practitioners can take to avoid issues which have resulted in recent complaints