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From the archives - January 2015

Advocacy skills in domestic abuse and rape cases

The particular skills that have to be brought to bear on both sides, particularly in rape cases where complainer and accused know each other

Life on the edge

In-house interview with the principal solicitor at BBC Scotland: “What I most enjoy are the creativity and adrenalin of newsrooms, courts and productions.”

Signs of equality

Case study of a successful intervention by the Equality & Human Rights Commission against a service failure by a health board

What price on safety failures?

New guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council (England & Wales) on penalties in health and safety and food safety cases are likely to impact on Scotland

Off on a frolic? Reining in adjudicators

Lessons from two recent cases on whether adjudicators have gone beyond their remit

Reading for pleasure

This month's selection of leisure reading, chosen by the Journal's book review editor

Opinion: Christine O'Neill

Aspects of the Smith Commission proposals deserve proper scrutiny by constitutional lawyers as well as politicians, due to their implications for the future status of Westminster legislation

Book reviews

Reviews of Law, Practice & Conduct for Solicitors (Paterson and Ritchie); A Fork in the Road (Lane-Smith)


This month's profile features Carole Ford, the non-solicitor convener of the Society's Regulatory Committee

President's column

2015 will see the Society reviewing its strategy, and the way it regulates the profession – a profession of changing demographics, but one that retains the public's trust and confidence

Embracing the change

Registers of Scotland page: now that the designated day for the 2012 Act has passed, support and guidance is still available on whether an advance notice or a plans report is needed

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

Thumbs up for LBTT forms

The Law Society of Scotland’s Tax Committee has had a preview of the forms to be used for LBTT returns, which are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, especially when completed online

In five years' time...

What will legal services in Scotland look like as we go into 2020? The Journal asked a selection of practice leaders for their thoughts on what to expect – and how solicitors’ firms should respond

DAS ist gut (for business)?

Scottish businesses in financial difficulty now have the option of a Debt Arrangement Scheme service if they are unable to take part in formal company insolvency arrangements

Legal aid: time for a rethink

Following last month’s feature on the legal aid discussion paper, the Society’s legal aid co-conveners explain the thinking behind the proposals, some of which have proved contentious

Holiday pay: turning up the heat

An update, in the wake of the significant rulings during 2014 on holiday pay, on the UK Government’s response, and some issues for legal advisers to businesses and employees

Law reform: a new era?

In its 50th anniversary year, the Scottish Law Commission can look forward to speedier implementation of its law reform proposals, thanks to a new, specially designed parliamentary process

Hearings and the foster parent

Who should be treated as a “relevant person” entitled to be heard in proceedings before a children’s hearing? The Inner House has now provided clarity as respects foster parents

Experts: where to draw the line

Latest civil procedure cases, including expert evidence; orders for disclosure; jurisdiction; summary decree; appeals; tenders; medical certificates; personal injuries actions; decree in absence; child protection orders

The appliance of science?

Licensing briefing: Scientific findings justify the reduction in drink driving limits. However there has not yet been established a link between the number of alcohol outlets and public health

Planning/environment briefing: 2014 – a retrospective

A reminder of some key developments in planning and environmental law in the past 12 months

Slice of luck for house buyers

Tax briefing: the Autumn Statement delivered a stamp duty land tax saving for many housebuyers – but adds to the pressure to settle before 31 March in Scotland

Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal

Reports of cases relating to James Kelly; Roy William Andrew Miller; Gerard Tierney; David Blair-Wilson

No bar to working together

The latest 21st Century Bar Conference explored how in-house solicitors and practising advocates can work more closely together, including whether to instruct direct

Dilapidations: reinstating the law

Decisions in two cases recently before the Court of Session are set to limit landlords’ attempts to recover large sums of money from tenants by way of dilapidations

AWI guardianship court for Edinburgh

New court among changes in Lothian & Borders practice note

Law reform roundup

Recent work of the Law Reform Department, including corroboration; crofting; mental health; execution in counterpart; Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill

Lawyers as leaders

Written as the follow-up to last month’s in-house article, this advice on cultivating your “leadership presence” to get your voice heard when it matters, has a much wider relevance

How did that claim arise?

A Master Policy panel solicitor and member of the pursuers’ panel identifies the 10 most common underlying causes of claims against solicitors

Ask Ash

Advice column: how do I face my boss after overdoing it at the office Christmas party?

Head and shoulders above

The Word of Gold: it’s visible experts who see off the competition

New year, new rules

The regular feature from the SLCC introduces the important changes to the Commission’s Act and rules which came into force on 1 January