Monday, January 29, 2007

Legal Profession & Legal Aid Bill finally passed by Scottish Parliament, with amendments.

More in from A Diary of Injustice in Scotland

At around 5.31pm on Thursday, 14th December 2006, the LPLA Bill was finally passed by the Scottish Parliament - seven years after myself & several others asked the Scottish Parliament's Justice & Home Affairs Committee of 1999 to consider the issue of corruption within the Scottish legal profession & rampant prejudice in responding to complaints against solicitors & advocates.

The passing of the LPLA Bill, did, however, not go unconditional, as you saw in my article on the day of the debate : Law Society of Scotland lobbies Scottish Parliament to pass anti consumer amendments on LPLA Bill threatening Court action if demands not met ... and many anti consumer amendments, demanded at the point of threat of Court action by the Law Society's Chief Executive Douglas Mill, were passed by what seems to be a roll of MSPs infatuated - or maybe even on the payroll, of the Law Society of Scotland. At least, however, the ₤20,000 fine limit - which pro-crooked lawyers msp Bill Aitken demanded be reduced to a paultry ₤5,000 was left alone.

I covered the Law Society of Scotland's threat to take the Parliament to court on the LPLA Bill here : Law Society of Scotland threatens Court challenge against Scottish Executive over LPLA legal reform Bill

I think you can describe some of those politicians who passed the Law Society's amendments, as enemies of the people. After all, what I said on Thursday is true - these MSPs helped criminals amend the Law, so they can go on being criminals - albeit they will have to be a little more inventive on how they get round the new Laws. Sick isn't it ? but what can you expect from a desperate bunch of people as lawyers - who have infiltrated our parliamentary democracy & run it for their own private dictatorship - while we have to pay.

Doubt me ? Well, you have already seen how easy the Law Society of Scotland have censored the Scottish Media, in articles I wrote here : Law Society of Scotland actively censors the Scottish Press to kill articles on crooked lawyers & here : Scottish Legal Profession censors the Press to kill off bad publicity - Part II .. so neutering the Scottish Parliament would have been easy.

After all, a few of it's members are juts crooks too .. such as this example ;Scottish Parliament withholds documents as Deputy First Minister faces allegations of questionable mortgage arrangements - milking their expenses & giving false information on mortgages so they can get the taxpayer to pay them off and then of course there's this example : Scottish Labor Politician rents his own son's flat for £7000 a year, charging it up to taxpayers .... so it would be easy to nobble that lot then ! ... plenty dirty secrets to hide in exchange for favourable votes .. and please note how Nicol Stephen msp & John Home Robertson msp voted - for the crooked lawyers anti consumer amendments .... makes you think, doesn't it ?

You can see who voted for & against the amendments in the Official Report from the Parliament on the LPLA Bill debate at Holyrood.

Only John Swinney & Colin Fox really seem to have taken consumer interests to heart with comments they made in the chamber - comments which will be most unwelcome at Drumsheugh Gardens, where no doubt, Douglas Mill will be ripping what little hair he has left, out in a beetroot red rage.

Here is what John Swinney said in comments relating to how an ex Boss of the Law Society, Kenneth Pritchard, intervened in a case to protect crooked lawyers, and thus obstruct the law :

Later on in the debate, John Swinney, again, makes comments on a story I covered here : Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland branded a liar after FSA denies claims of intervention to block complaints body on how the current Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, Douglas Mill, was caught out lying in the newspapers over the remit of the Financial Services Authority, in a campaign of legal profession sponsored disinformation against the public :

What now for the LPLA Bill ?

Well, it will, or should go into law .. unless some unforeseen happens ... but for those of us who have campaigned for so many years (since 1994, myself ... others just as long) ... this is only the beginning of a new battle ... to ensure the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission actually does it's job and the public do get justice and proper compensation when they find their crooked lawyer has messed up their legal affairs - or worse, embezzled all their money .. something typical of the Scottish legal profession - go to a lawyer, and expect to be robbed - that should be pasted onto each lawyer as Government Health Warning - just like a packet of cigarettes.

If I can be a little more cinematic on it, let me quote Winston Churchill's Mansion House speech to the Lord Mayor's Luncheon on 10 November 1942 ... "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." and that is where we now stand on the issue of crooked lawyers in Scotland - more to come, folks ...

Read on for the reports of the LPLA Bill passing the Scottish Parliament, from the Scotsman & Herald newspapers, links to follow with the articles.

Complaints against lawyers procedure amended

MINISTERS bowed to warnings from the legal profession yesterday and changed the proposed new complaints procedure for lawyers, introducing a right of appeal for the first time.

The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act was passed by Holyrood yesterday, creating an independent commission to deal with consumer complaints against lawyers.

But lawyers had warned of legal action and a possible breach of European human rights law if ministers went ahead with their original plans, which would have refused a right of appeal to lawyers against decisions of the commission.

During the final day's debate in parliament Johann Lamont, the deputy justice minister, said ministers accepted the need for a right of appeal and this was added to the bill before it was passed.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie lodged the amendments to allow a limited right of appeal.

"They [the amendments] would preserve the essence of the current policy, not undermine them," Ms Lamont said.

The changes to the bill will mean that lawyers must seek leave to appeal to the Court of Session before they are able to challenge a commission decision. The grounds of all appeal are limited to error in law, procedural impropriety, that the commission has "acted irrationally" or where its findings are not supported by the facts.

The Executive accepted moves to distance ministers from the appointments process for the new body, handing over responsibility for this to the Lord President.
Lawyers win right to appeal consumer watchdog decisions
ROBBIE DINWOODIE December 15 2006

Lawyers were yesterday given a limited right of appeal against a new independent commission to deal with consumer complaints.

The profession, which remains deeply uneasy about the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill, had claimed that without any form of appeal the new procedure would fall foul of the European Convention on Human Right and the legislation could become the first at Holyrood to be struck down as incompetent.

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission will have the power to bring the Society of Advocates or Law Society of Scotland before the Court of Session on contempt charges if either of the professional bodies fails to implement its recommendations.

The bill also provides for compensation payments of up to £20,000 to clients found to have received poor service. An attempt by a Labour back bencher to have this reduced to £15,000 failed in a vote.
The current £5000 level was raised from £1500 only in the past 18 months.

A spokesman for the Faculty of Advocates said: "The faculty will require to consider in further detail whether or not these and other amendments do address the concerns which have been raised about compliance with the convention."

Douglas Mill, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: "The parliament has taken steps today to try to ensure the legislation is both legal and fair.

"A number of other positive amendments were also brought forward, which, it is hoped, will improve the legislation to ensure that it can work in practice, something the society has promoted from the start of this process."

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