Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review of solicitor advocates to go ahead after criticisms from judiciary

The Scottish Government is to carry out a review of the conduct of solicitor advocates, after criticisms from senior members of the judiciary. No surprises for guessing that any review will be masterminded by the Law Society of Scotland (as usual ! – Ed)

The Scotsman reports :

Review to put work of solicitor advocates under the spotlight

Published Date: 30 May 2009
By Christopher Mackie

THE Scottish Government has announced it is to carry out a review after one of Scotland's most senior judges criticised the conduct of solicitor advocates appearing in courts.

During a recent murder appeal, Lord Gill expressed concern that some solicitor advocates appeared to be taking on work outwith their competency.

The Lord Justice Clerk's call was echoed by the Law Society of Scotland, and it sent a request to justice secretary Kenny MacAskill to instigate an independent check of the entire system of rights of audience in Scotland's higher courts.

Speaking at the Law Society AGM on Thursday, its outgoing president, Richard Henderson announced that the government had agreed to the request.

Alayne Swanson, the president of the Society of Solicitor Advocates, said: "The Society of Solicitor Advocates and the Law Society have supported the idea of a review from the outset. We are confident the review will examine robustly the professional practices of all those who appear before the higher courts."

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed that the review would take place and added: "Officials will now discuss the details of the review with stakeholders and an announcement will be made when the remit has been agreed."

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