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From the archives - July 2017

Family law: still scope for reform

As the Scottish Law Commission prepares its Tenth Programme of Law Reform, a host of topics under the broad umbrella of child and family law would benefit from its attention

People's court

What happened on the day that four UK Supreme Court Justices took questions at the Law Society of Scotland

The importance of lawyers in a democratic society

The full text of the lecture, one of the Jean Clark Memorial Lectures series, of which an extract appears in this month's magazine

Thy will be done

Some reflections on the practical considerations in making an application for rectification of a will to the court

Children's rights and physical punishment

An extended version of this month's opinion article develops the ECHR arguments for banning physical punishment of children

Pension sharing and professional negligence

A cautionary tale for family law practitioners, about a client losing out due to bad advice despite an agreement over pension sharing

Reading for pleasure

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

Opinion: Bruce Adamson

The bill to outlaw physical punishment of children should have Government support as a way to remedy its repeated failure to bring Scotland up to international standards relating to children’s rights

Book reviews

Reviews of Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 Annotated; Commercial Awareness for Lawyers (Todd and Sim)


Former President Christine McLintock now convenes the Society's recently established Public Policy Committee

President's column

New lawyers at the admission ceremony are full of enthusiasm for their future career. I still share that enthusiasm; but what can we do for those who struggle to cope with the demands of the job?

People on the move

Collected news of new appointments and practice changes

400 years – still innovating

Registers of Scotland’s celebrations to mark 400 years of the General Register of Sasines coincide with two developments to take the organisation into the future

Litigation: a bill to settle

Following publication of the bill to implement civil litigation funding reform, the author critically examines the thinking behind two key provisions, and encourages practitioners to join the debate

Access to justice: the small print

Some issues that arise from the Civil Litigation Bill from the standpoint of the Society’s Professional Practice team

Benefits of devolution

Taking over part of the social security system is one of the most complex exercises yet undertaken by the Scottish Government. This contribution sets out the approach of its Social Security Bill

The changing role of the courts in our democracy

This extract from the lecture “The Importance of Lawyers in a Democratic Society” considers the factors that, it is argued, have revolutionised the role of the judiciary this century

Core values

“For the greater good” is the inspirational title of this year’s Law Society of Scotland annual conference. The Journal spoke to two of the presenters, and previews the programme

The will bank opportunity

In association with Finesco: legal firms and their clients can both benefit from a review of the firm's will bank

Deep and meaningful

How can external law firms best serve their in-house legal team clients? An in-house lawyer considers how firms might develop the relationship that will cement their seat at the client’s table

The fall and rise of interrogatories

Taking evidence on commission by way of interrogatories, little used in practice until recently, has undergone a revival due to the legislation on vulnerable witnesses

To act or not to act?

Latest civil cases, including supervision of professional practice; notes supporting preliminary pleas; case management; objections to evidence; skilled witnesses; family actions; appeal after extract

Immigration issues: more red tape

Licensing briefing: the new immigration rules requiring right-to-work checks on all potential employees pose serious issues for all employers in the licensed trade

Taxman scores winner in Rangers contest

Tax briefing: the UK Supreme Court ruling in the Rangers appeal marks a major victory for HMRC, who can be expected to adopt the court's purposive approach more widely

EIA: the regimes change

Environmental briefing: new regulations, implementing a 2014 EU directive, have made significant changes to the requirements regarding environmental impact assessment reports

Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

Reports relating to Alan J Nicoll; Jane Elizabeth Steer

Practitioners or salesmen?

Property briefing: a veteran conveyancer calls into question the standard of service given by some solicitors and their attitude when a spotlight is shone on their mistakes

Where the buck stops

Having charge of Scotland’s largest local authority during a severe public spending squeeze might not be every in-house lawyer’s dream, but this month’s interviewee is up for the challenge

Law reform roundup

Recent public policy work of the Society's committees, including Child Poverty Bill; international sanctions; protective expenses orders; engaging communities; Energy Performance Certificate Register

Cyber basics for lawyers

A new Law Society of Scotland guide attempts to explain cyber risks in plain language for solicitors

Practice points from missives review

The annual review of the Scottish Standard Clauses will not result in a new edition, but two points of practice in particular are worth highlighting

Money laundering update: new regulations in force

Regulations previewed in the two previous issues have now been made

Courts raise the stakes

A guest risk management contribution this month highlights the trend of penalising failures to comply with civil court rules, and suggests some good practices to help reduce the risk

May: the force be not with you

The Word of Gold: the Prime Minister’s conduct of the general election can teach us much about what great leadership really means

Conference success

Paralegal pointers: the SPA President reports on recent events, and invites you to a new conference in Aberdeen

SYLA: 2016-17 in focus

The SYLA committee has taken a proactive approach in a year of challenge

Ask Ash

Advice column: morale is bad and people are leaving at my new employers, and it’s stressing me. What can I do?