Friday, March 13, 2009

Law Society calls MacAskill for review of rights of audience in Scotland

The Law Society of Scotland as we all know, doesn’t do anything which is not in its own benefit … and

The governing body of the legal profession which doesn’t even allow members a vote in what goes on at its Edinburgh headquarters, has now decided after the recent argument between the Society & the Faculty of Advocates over the regulation of solicitor advocates, that the best way forward is to call for a review of rights of audience, with the intention the Society carries out the review itself …

The Law Society release :


Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society, said:

“Following on from Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill’s call for a review, the Lord President Lord Hamilton had written to Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, to add his support for a review and we are in favour of this. We believe that after almost 20 years it is time for an independent, comprehensive review of rights of audience in the higher courts.

“Qualified solicitor advocates were given rights of audience in the High Courts and Court of Session in 1990, with the first appearing in the higher courts in 1993, giving clients an extended choice of well trained, experienced and regulated legal professionals to represent them.

“The Society is the regulatory body for all solicitors. This includes solicitor advocates. All of our members are expected to adhere to the professional standards set out in law and the Society’s rules. The Society has a rigorous regulatory system in place to ensure that the public interest is protected and high standards are maintained.

“Solicitor advocates must also comply with Supreme Court Rules. These rules were first approved by the Lord President Lord Hope in 1992 and then in 2002 by Lord Roger when they were reissued.

“To date the Society has never had to prosecute a member for professional misconduct arising from them acting as a solicitor advocate.

“Any complaints about solicitor advocates should be made to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). The SLCC would deal with any service complaints while issues of conduct would be passed by them to the Society.

Lorna Jack added: “We would welcome a wide ranging review and the opportunity for ongoing discussion of the various issues with the government and the Faculty. We are currently in a time of significant change and this is an important issue for the future of the legal profession.”


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan or Suzy Powell at the Society on 0131 226 8884 or 0131 476 8115. /

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