(553)  DISCIPLINING LAWYERS

 

The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill, which will transform the regime for disciplining lawyers in Scotland, was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 1 March 2006.  The lead committee in the Stage 1 process is Justice 2.  The Law Society of Scotland obtained an opinion from leading human rights lawyer Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC that the lack of appeal to the courts under the new disciplinary system and other features were contrary to the ECHR; but this seemed to cut little ice with Justice 2, especially Labour members, when considered on 2 May (see the Official Record,  http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/justice2/or-06/j206-1202.htm#Col2254, cols 2264-69).  When you think about it, the combination of an English silk who is also a prominent Liberal Democrat and a peer, giving an opinion on human rights law, was always likely to be a political loser in Labour Scotland, no matter what the rights and wrongs from a legal point of view.

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