The Amendments to the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill have finally been put forward to the Scottish Parliament, awaiting discussion by the Justice 2 Committee later this week.
However, not to be outdone by myselt & other campaigners, the Law Society of Scotland have put around 40 amendments forward to the LPLA Bill via Bill Aitken MSP , the Conservative MSP and former District Court Judge who was also a Glasgow City Councillor & has long ties to the Insurance Industry .. so he must have been a tame msp for the Law Society to try and get their point over.
Funny thing is, Bill Aitken was quoted on the Lord Mike Watson fireraising conviction saying .. "Nobody should make a profit as a result of a criminal act." .. I wonder how that fits in with how the Scottish legal profession makes profits over ripping off the Scottish public & companies who have to use legal services ?
There has been a spate of lawyers in the media recently, convicted of criminal acts .. and plenty more to come ... bu the Law Society of Scotland have let them keep their jobs as solicitors ... even some at the Law Society have been asking journalists to "go easy" on stories relating to crooked lawyers and criminal cases ...
I wonder how Bill Aitken feels about that then ? All those crooked lawyers keeping their loot from poor clients or even from tax & benefit frauds against the Country ?
Bill Aitken must feel just fine, as he has put forward some 40 amendments to the LPLA Bill .. .on behalf of the very same people who have fiddled client complaints against crooked lawyers for decades .. to the point where some have even killed themselves through stress. Bill Aitken then, must be fine with that too, as I can't think of anyone who could defend such an organisation, other than someone from within it. Remember, he's a Conservative ... not a party which would ever be likely to give us independent regulation of the legal profession then ... as we have seen from the antics of some of the Conservative party members at Holyrood recently, with regard to issues concerning the legal profession.
John Swinney MSP & Colin Fox MSP have come forward with amendments reflecting the public's concern of crooked lawyers and lax regulation .. good for them, I congratulate their understanding of this important issue.
The Scottish Executive have also submitted some 300 amendments to the LPLA Bill, and one of the most powerful amendments they have put forward, reported by today's Herald newspaper, is that the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission should have the power to bring the Law Society or Faculty of Advocates before the Court of Session on a contempt charge if they failed to implement the watchdog's recommendations. Sanctions include fines and imprisonment.
Quite an amendment, that one .. makes me think the Executive have finally read all the correspondence people have been sending to them over the years about how crooked & corrupt the Law Society of Scotland really is when it comes to dealing with complaints against Scottish solicitors.
Progress of the LPLA Bill can also be viewed at :
However, while the LPLA Bill sails through the Parliamentary process, the agents of darkness - aka - members of the legal mafia opposed to pro consumer reforms, are warning in other newspapers the LPLA Bill will probably be challenged under ECHR laws - because it will be against the Human Rights of the legal profession to have itself subject to outside scrutiny which would reveal just how crooked, corrupt & evil it is.
Brian Fitzpatrick, an Advocate & former Labour MSP claims in today's Scotsman newspaper, the creation of an independent legal complaints commission will be successfully challenged in court because it does not fit with human rights laws. Sounds like he will be leading the charge then, against the consumer. Better watch out for Mr Fitzpatrick and the rest of the gang then.
Just think about that for a second ... lawyers arguing it is against their Human Rights to limit their power to overcharge clients, embezzle client's money, sweet talk elderly & vulnerable clients out of their properties & prized posessions, fake up papers in complaints investigations & fiddle evidence, ... even, that it would be against lawyers Human Rights to not be able to fiddle complaints against themselves so no one gets compensation. Some arguement, isn't it ? No wonder we desperately need independent regulation of the legal profession in Scotland.
Another thing of course that we need in this situation, is a review commission to look at the legal profession's sins of the past.
Potentially, tens of thousands of complaints have been fiddled against crooked lawyers over the years, by the Law Society of Scotland and it's crooked Client Relations Office - which many would rather refer to as the Client Destruction Office .. which sports a vast array of dirty tricks to use against those who dare complain against their obviously crooked lawyer.
Over the years, the likes of Philip Yelland, the Director of the Client Relations Office, and even his boss, Douglas Mill, Chief Executive of the Law Society itself, have directly intervened in many cases, fiddling their outcome, so a crooked lawyer or legal firm can go on practising, while a poor client gets nothing ... and the most evil & twisted of dirty tricks have been authorised by the Law Society to be used against those very same clients, who have lost every penny, and many years of their lives fighting the corruption & deviousness of Scotland's legal mafia.
Yes, there are many sins to answer for, Mr Mill, Mr Yelland, and all your colleagues .. who have fiddled complaints to the nth degree over the years ..
.. and these sins, just like in the Shirley McKie case, require intervention by the Scottish Executive & Parliament so that cases can be cleared up, finally addressing the wrongs against clients which were buried by the legal profession, so that those victims of crooked lawyers, whose lives & livelihoods were ruined, even, laid asunder so that crooked lawyers could go on practising, can finally get some justice & deserving compensation payouts for all the harm & hurt which has been caused to them for decades ... akin to a lingering abuse, sanctioned by those who stood by for years & did nothing to stop it.
Read on for the article, from the Herald, at : http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/70806.html
Lawyers plan to give watchdog bite
PAUL ROGERSON September 26 2006
The leaders of Scotland's 10,000 lawyers could be called before the courts for contempt if they snub the recommendations of the new independent watchdog being established to oversee the profession.
Deputy justice minister Hugh Henry has opened a new round in the Scottish Executive's battle to remove control of complaints- handling from governing bodies, the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates.
Mr Henry has proposed a legislative amendment which would give the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission the power to bring the society or faculty before the Court of Session on a contempt charge if they failed to implement the watchdog's recommendations. Sanctions include fines and imprisonment, although it is unclear whether individual executives and office-bearers would be in the line of fire.
The proposed commission will comprise a majority of non-lawyers and end centuries of self-regulation by the two governing bodies. Under the bill, Scots who receive poor service from their lawyers will be able to claim up to £20,000 in compensation, which is four times the present maximum.
Mr Henry's amendment to the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill is one of 300 being brought forward by the executive and will be discussed this week by Parliament's Justice 2 committee.
The minister was spurred to act by criticism of the legislation from Linda Costelloe Baker, who held the soon-to-be-defunct post of Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman for six years before she stepped down earlier this year.
She condemned the bill as a recipe for confusion and conflict, partly because the commission's powers are limited to complaints of poor service by a lawyer. Complaints alleging outright misconduct remain to be dealt with by the society and faculty. Since many complaints concern service and conduct, Ms Costelloe Baker argued, the commission and society would end up probing the same complaint and ending up at loggerheads over their conclusions.
Now the commission will be able to impose its will on the handling of conduct complaints too – in sharp contrast with the ombudsman's position.
Since 2001 complaints to the ombudsman have risen five-fold, but at present she has no powers to impose her findings on the professional bodies and they can and do sometimes ignore them. As the predecessor Justice 1 Committee pointed out some years ago, the lack of such powers undermines consumer confidence.
An executive spokesman said: "When the executive consulted last summer on reform of complaints handling, an overwhelming majority [88%] of those who commented on the powers of the ombudsman believed these powers should be increased. The bill enables the commission to direct a professional body to comply with its recommendations on the handling of conduct complaints and [the amendment] provides a sanction in the event of non-compliance."
A spokesperson for the Law Society said: "This amendment looks unnecessary as courts have always had oversight of professional bodies such as the society. What is unusual is this power is proposed for the commission without any prior consultation and any opportunity for the Justice 2 Committee to scrutinise."
A faculty spokesman said: "In the case of the proposed sanction for failure to comply with a recommendation of the commission, it would be unusual to regard failure to comply with the requirements of an administrative body as being the equivalent of a contempt of court."