Friday, February 16, 2007

Reforming Scotland's Judiciary at the point of a Judge's Gun

I'm beginning to wonder when the ghost of Roland Freisler is going to be dragged out by Scotlands desperate lawyers & judges, to defend the 'self-given' right of Scotland's legal fraternity to recommend, appoint & regulate its fellow members of the Judiciary .. such is the dictatorial way & lack of honesty with which the legal establishment protect their own privileges.

When one mentions the word reform, one expects a little more than what we usually get, and this is certainly the case with the proposals for reforming Scotland's antiquated Judiciary which you can view in pdf format at : Judiciary (Scotland) Bill

Don't expect things like, open transparent selection of Sheriffs & Judges ... no we won't get anything like that .. and you can forget a decent code of conduct on how those on the Bench are to behave in Court ... that would be like going back to ancient Rome & asking the lions not to eat those thrown into the Circus Maximus.

Why no real big changes then ? - because the Judiciary don't want change, that's why.

Unsurprisingly, the Lord President is being put in charge of most of the operation - this to throw off the notion there could be any 'political interference from Ministers & the Executive in issues of regulating & selecting the Judiciary, and also, particularly the issue of regulating conduct issues, which will see a Tribunal, chaired by a Judge and composed mostly of - yes you guessed it, fellow members of the legal profession, investigate the conduct of the Judiciary in terms of complaints, behaviour & other issues. There will be one lay member on this 'Tribunal' - I understand possible candidates include Judges pets, (excepting those which have more than four legs), and the deceased.

This Lord President is going to be a busy chap then .. because he's also been put in charge of appointments to the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, so we will have to be on the lookout for bent staff migrating from the Law Society of Scotland to the new SLCC, posing as those 'unrelated to the legal profession' .... and from a hot tip earlier this week, I understand the Law Society's plans for infiltrating the new SLCC are well underway ... which begs the question, will the Lord President be told to let the Law Society's chosen 'independent' investigators & staff through the gates on a nod & a wink ?

A quote from the Executive in the Scotsman article states : "The public expect a certain standard of conduct from the judiciary and we believe having a lay member on the tribunal would give the public greater confidence in the judicial system,"

Well, yes we do expect a certain standard of conduct from our Judges - but we haven't had that before now, have we ? .. and we certainly aren't likely to get it while the likes of Lord McCluskey and the rest of the legal profession have their way in protecting any of their colleagues in true crooked lawyer protects crooked lawyer fashion.

The Sheriffs Association oppose all this too of course, and no wonder, since all their members are former lawyers - some with quite disgraceful regulatory histories, all covered up by the Law Society of Scotland so they can progress to the Bench and be an even more powerful spokesperson for the legal profession.

Incidentally, the Sheriffs Association threatened the Justice 1 Committee/Parliament with Court action in 2001 if they went ahead with an investigation/review of Sheriffs & the Judiciary.

We also had these same protests from the Judiciary last year - well organised by the Law Society of Scotland & the rest of the legal profession, where McCluskey & the many more Chernenko types came out to threaten the public good & protest over any reforms to the way in which the Judiciary does its business ... claiming of course, it would breach their own 'independence' from Government and also the question of if being against the Judiciary's Human Rights to fiddle complaints against their colleagues came into it ...

Why then, are the Sheriffs & Judges so hell bent on protecting their extensive legal empire ?

Well, the fight certainly parallels the problems which the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill suffered, in terms of the Law Society motivating all its allies under it seems heavy payment, to defend their right to self-regulation & fiddle complaints against crooked lawyers.

Just about everyone, from FibDem Peers to University Professors, to escapees from Robert Mugabe were brought out to intimidate the Scottish Parliament on that one - capped by the act of Douglas Mill, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, threatening the Scottish Parliament with Court action on ECHR grounds if it didn't pass certain amendments from Law Society mouthpieces in Parliament such as Bill Aitken - who wanted to all but kill off the proposed increases in fines for crooked lawyers.

One of the main weaknesses of the Judiciary, is their past - what they got up to when they were lowly lawyers ... running around the Courts, representing clients, and doing what comes naturally to Scotlands army of solicitors .. and we all know what that is ...

How would you feel, if you knew that a lawyer who had embezzled your money, was being tried in front of a Sheriff, or Judge, who himself, had amassed a long list of client complaints during the time when he was a lawyer, some of those complaints relating to embezzlement, which were of course swept aside by colleagues at the Law Society of Scotland under the corrupt system of lawyer investigates lawyer.

If you were a 'pursuer' in such a case, against a crooked lawyer as I have written of above, you would be a bit upset, wouldn't you ? perhaps, you might wonder if there was a conflict of interest ? right ? YOu might even wonder why that Sheriff had actually got his job ?

How about this ....

A Sheriff tries a rapist - or maybe sex offenders, yet has been implicated by his own wife in charges of alleged rape, which the local keystone cops refused to investigate because of the Sheriff's position & connections ?

Just think of the havoc that one could cause ... lawyers would be able to heave that Sheriff off the Bench in hearing any such case immediately .. oh but wait a second there .. it's happened .. and the lawyers did nothing .. just why was that now ? Want me to name the case ?

Yes, the issue of 'regulatory histories' has to be one of the main weaknesses of the Judiciary in terms of their service as a lawyer, but conveniently, there is no need for a disclosure of said regulatory history to the Executive prior to a Sheriff being appointed, soo one gets to know what some of those up on the bench have been up to in the past.

I suspect if someone was brave enough to do the story in the press, there might just have to be a few early retirements ...... however, given the way the Scotsman has swung in the legal debate, I think it may well be up to us bloggers & 'resistance members' to dish the dirt on some of those wigs up there which really shouldn't be running our political system - because we don't elect them.

If Lord McCluskey is so concerned with the public good, and Justice, and clearing up the sins of his colleagues ? I wonder if he would sign my petition to the Scottish Parliament ? PE1033 awaits you, Lord McCluskey in it's e-petition format .. show your true colours and support a review of the conduct of your legal profession colleagues against members of the public ... oh wait .. perhaps not .. there might just be a few lawyers among the list of cases of injustice which have been 'elevated to the Bench' ... I wonder indeed how that one is going to be answered !

Articles from the Herald newspaper & Scotsman to follow - good thing we have the Herald, everyone .. for that more impartial view on things in the legal world.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.1193631.0.0.php

Ministers bow to pressure over judicial reforms
DOUGLAS FRASER, Scottish Political Editor February 15 2007

Ministers have bowed to pressure from lawyers over judicial reform, promising statutory protection for judges' independence.

The executive further accepts that Scotland's top judge, who is to take charge of the entire judiciary including sheriffs, should also have some say - so far unspecified - in the running of courts.

The executive has also limited the amount of interference that ministers are allowed to have in the decisions of the judicial appointments board, only getting involved in "procedural matters". But they will retain the power to appoint its members.

That remains a major concern for lawyers, who fear that any such ministerial appointments run the risk of political interference in the choice of those appointed to the bench, and also in strengthened powers to dismiss judges and sheriffs on the grounds of unfitness for office.

Their fears were one of the reasons why the Judiciary (Scotland) Bill was withdrawn from the legislative timetable. A revised version was published yesterday, for the incoming administration to take on after the May elections.

It is part of the raft of justice reforms, including High Court and summary court reforms, with a review announced this week of the civil courts as well.

The executive wants Lord Hamilton, as Lord President of the Court of Session, to take charge of a more streamlined and managed judicial administration, but had planned to keep the Scottish Courts Service in civil service hands, answerable to ministers. Since the original plans were withdrawn last autumn, the executive has moved ground on that, under pressure from Lord Hamilton, who has argued he cannot manage the judiciary while having no formal role in the Courts Service.

The proposals set out yesterday by Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson include the power of a tribunal, chaired by a judge and with at least one lay member, to investigate the case for dismissing another judge or a sheriff. The lay member is intended to increase public confidence in the judicial system. It would be for parliament to vote on the recommendation of the tribunal. That change was opposed by the Sheriffs' Association, which argued for no change in the present system, which sees two senior judges investigating a complaint.

A further change from the proposals published last year is that the plans for a statutory judges' council, to gather the collective view of those on the bench, have been dropped. Instead, Lord Hamilton is setting up a non-statutory council.

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=243882007

Executive plans judicial revamp
RHIANNON EDWARD

SCOTLAND'S most senior judge is to be put in overall charge of the judicial system under draft legislation published by the Executive yesterday.

The Judiciary (Scotland) Bill would also modernise the machinery for sacking judges and sheriffs on the grounds of unfitness for office.

Under the proposals, they would be investigated by a tribunal chaired by a judge and containing a lay element.

"The public expect a certain standard of conduct from the judiciary and we believe having a lay member on the tribunal would give the public greater confidence in the judicial system," said the Executive.

This tribunal would make a recommendation to ministers and an order would ultimately be made by parliament.

The change was opposed by the Sheriff's Association, which argued for no change in the present system - under which investigation is carried out not by a tribunal but by two senior judges.

Scotland's current senior judge is Lord Hamilton, the Lord President of the Court of Se ssion.

The proposals have no chance of being passed before the May election but the justice minister, Cathy Jamieson, said they provided "options for action" by a future administration.

The reforms include a statutory guarantee of judicial independence, putting the judicial appointments board on a statutory footing, and giving the Lord President a new role as head of a unified Scottish judiciary.

... and finally, if you can stomach more ... Lord McCluskey's letter in today's Scotsman.

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=252502007

Scottish Executive disregarding expert opinion on the draft law reform bill

I was more dismayed than surprised by the announcement that the Scottish Executive has published the draft bill to "reform" the relationship between the judiciary and the Executive.

The main proposals contained in it were published last year under the title, "Strengthening Judicial Independence". Although only 90 days were allowed for the so-called consultation, the people who know and understand the system in Scotland strongly condemned most of the changes. The grounds for condemnation, contained in the published responses, are too numerous and detailed to repeat here. I shall try to outline them.

Many of them disagreed absolutely with the pretence that the new proposals are intended to "strengthen" judicial independence.

First of all, it doesn't need strengthening; it has a centuries-old tradition of strong independence.

Secondly, does anyone really imagine that ministers honestly want to make judges more independent? On the contrary, ministers on both sides of the Border are for ever criticising judges. Ministers want to exercise pressure on judges, and seek to do so by changing the machinery for appointing, dismissing or promoting judges: that is the machinery for removing independence by threatening administrative sanctions, including dismissal.

Thirdly, the new arrangements will be expensive, time-wasting and bureaucratic.

Fourthly, they are designed to turn leading judges into administrators, acting jointly with civil servants.

Fifthly, these proposals ignore not only the views of those who have been in the courts daily for decades but also the carefully considered views of the Royal Commission that sat for several years under the chairmanship of Lord Hughes. Many other criticisms have been advanced, and are being ignored by the Executive.

The political tactic is clear. The Executive publishes the bill now, in the run-up to the elections in May; it contains the original, much-criticised, proposals but ignores the criticisms. If returned to power in May, ministers will claim they have the support of the electorate for the provisions in the bill. In truth, not one voter in a thousand will have read the proposals or seen the bill. Few would have the knowledge or experience to grasp their true character or effect. Fewer still will have heard the views of the critics of the bill. But ministers will then claim that the bill has somehow gained democratic support and will ride roughshod over the considered objections.

The late John Smith took the first devolution bill through the Commons. I was privileged to play a considerable role in the relevant debates in the House of Lords. The 1978 Act carefully preserved the judiciary and the law officers from ill-considered initiatives by the devolved administration. The 1998 act unfortunately abandoned that concept. It saddens me to see that this administration is determined to disregard the wisdom of those who have real experience of how the justice system should be administered and to act in this fashion to bring the judiciary to heel.

JOHN (LORD) McCLUSKEY, House of Lords, London

11 comments:

Poirot said...

I'm sure their Lordships will enjoy being compared to Freisler !

Still, you managed to get to the heart of the issue again, the Judges playing lord god almighty in our Courts, and I'm sure there are plenty of us who don't mind you taking a swipe at that lot !

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone Peter Cherbi wont take on when it comes to the Law ?

Keep up the good work pal !

Anonymous said...

I think you killed off most of what McCluskey said quite well.Nice to have you around on the Scotsman message board peter !

Peter Cherbi said...

#Poirot, rather than comparing the Judges to Freisler, I was comparing the attitude of the Judiciary & legal profession as a whole towards change, AND anyone who suggests it.

There was a good debate in the Scotsman letters section between myself & some people on this story .. so I will post it here for you all to read.

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=252502007

Scottish Executive disregarding expert opinion on the draft law reform bill

I was more dismayed than surprised by the announcement that the Scottish Executive has published the draft bill to "reform" the relationship between the judiciary and the Executive.

The main proposals contained in it were published last year under the title, "Strengthening Judicial Independence". Although only 90 days were allowed for the so-called consultation, the people who know and understand the system in Scotland strongly condemned most of the changes. The grounds for condemnation, contained in the published responses, are too numerous and detailed to repeat here. I shall try to outline them.

Many of them disagreed absolutely with the pretence that the new proposals are intended to "strengthen" judicial independence.

First of all, it doesn't need strengthening; it has a centuries-old tradition of strong independence.

Secondly, does anyone really imagine that ministers honestly want to make judges more independent? On the contrary, ministers on both sides of the Border are for ever criticising judges. Ministers want to exercise pressure on judges, and seek to do so by changing the machinery for appointing, dismissing or promoting judges: that is the machinery for removing independence by threatening administrative sanctions, including dismissal.

Thirdly, the new arrangements will be expensive, time-wasting and bureaucratic.

Fourthly, they are designed to turn leading judges into administrators, acting jointly with civil servants.

Fifthly, these proposals ignore not only the views of those who have been in the courts daily for decades but also the carefully considered views of the Royal Commission that sat for several years under the chairmanship of Lord Hughes. Many other criticisms have been advanced, and are being ignored by the Executive.

The political tactic is clear. The Executive publishes the bill now, in the run-up to the elections in May; it contains the original, much-criticised, proposals but ignores the criticisms. If returned to power in May, ministers will claim they have the support of the electorate for the provisions in the bill. In truth, not one voter in a thousand will have read the proposals or seen the bill. Few would have the knowledge or experience to grasp their true character or effect. Fewer still will have heard the views of the critics of the bill. But ministers will then claim that the bill has somehow gained democratic support and will ride roughshod over the considered objections.

The late John Smith took the first devolution bill through the Commons. I was privileged to play a considerable role in the relevant debates in the House of Lords. The 1978 Act carefully preserved the judiciary and the law officers from ill-considered initiatives by the devolved administration. The 1998 act unfortunately abandoned that concept. It saddens me to see that this administration is determined to disregard the wisdom of those who have real experience of how the justice system should be administered and to act in this fashion to bring the judiciary to heel.

JOHN (LORD) McCLUSKEY, House of Lords, London

This article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=252502007

Last updated: 16-Feb-07 02:19 GMT
Comments Add your comment

1. Wisnaeme, Sent to Coventry, / 3:24am 16 Feb 2007

Weel, at least it had a 90 day consultation.Mind you, some folk involved in protesting against the Skye bridge toll scam have been in "consultation" with judges and politicians for over 11 years now and it still hasn't been resolved so I reckon a lot of folk will be pushing the daises up before this matter has been resolved either. So politicians and judges don't have enough time to consult with each other? Aye,right.
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2. Isonomia / 8:29am 16 Feb 2007

We have a democratic judicial system which is the envy of the world. It is democratic because each day ordinary people sit in a court room and review the way it works and determine whether it is doing its job.

We may democratically elect politician to enact law, but they are not elected to sit as judges and it is time they stopped interfering in our democratic system of justice.
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3. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 8:33am 16 Feb 2007

Lord McCluskey doesn't seem to like any reform of the legal system - only last year he was in the press, attacking the first round of proposals on reforming the Judiciary .. then he had a go at the LPLA Bill, which brought independent regulation to the legal profession's solicitors & advocates.

There must be a great fear of transparency & honesty in the Judiciary, and given how they are appointed, I'm not surprised.

I see in the new proposals that the Lord President is to have a role in the Courts Service too, see : http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.1193...
so they are getting some of their way anyway ... and we all know they will be dictating what happens at the point of either strike action or Court action threats when it comes to the crunch - just like the Law Society of Scotland recently did with the LPLA Bill

I sense these Judges have only their own interests in mind, and certainly not the public's interests.
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4. Isonomia / 9:36am 16 Feb 2007

The politicians draw their legitimacy for action from the vote of the people, the judges from the democratic decision of a jury. What we have here is a turf war between two groups each with a mandate from the people.

We can't have our politicians telling our judges what to do anymore than we can allow judges to be a self appointing elite only brought to judgement when juries refuse to convict when they have had enough of the "tyranny" of judges.

But the real danger is that these two groups will just stitch up the system to empower them and undemocratically remove power from the people.
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5. td, Highlands / 10:18am 16 Feb 2007

"Be you ever so high the Law is above you" quoted by the late Lord Denning. Master of the rolls.

Judges make judgements based on long legal predents. They, by definition, can only reflect the Law they are there to uphold.

This Government with its huge majority assured by the UK's ancient first past the post system has attempted to tear down the established way this country has been run, brick by brick. Through their 'so called' Lords reform, they have emasculated the power of the House of Lords. They no longer need to go to the House of Commons to enact legislation ...for their majority in that chamber leaves them confident of victory in any and every vote of consequence.

The last "bastion" of the state not completely cowed by the activities of New Labour is the judiciary. Once the power of the judges to uphold the law without hinderance is disrupted, then public confidence in the judiciary will collapse, and we will truly have created an elected dictatorship.

It is clear to some of us which way this process has been moving for the last decade. We should consider every attempt to destabilise the judiciary with great concern.
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6. td, Highlands / 10:21am 16 Feb 2007

5# Sorry I meant 'precedents'
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7. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 2:41pm 16 Feb 2007

oh right - Judges & the Judiciary are independent and they have to be protected so they can continue to do as they have done for 400 years & keep the population & politicians at bay.

McCluskey & the rest of his colleagues certainly know which issues to be 'outraged' on & which to keep silent on.

For instance, I never saw him coming to the defence of the consumer when his colleagues lobbied for sections of the Law Reform & Misc Provisions Bill (1990) be kept off the stztute books so that only advocates & lawyers could use the courts - no .. wouldnt have much to say on that one, would he .. as it would be denting the business of his colleagues lower down the legal ladder ... and possibly introducing a rogue, uncontrollabe element to the courts which would be more difficult to 'shut up' when it came to the controversial cases.

How about some of these retired Judges of the likes of McCluskey come down from their ivory tower and face the victims of the legal profession .. I wonder how he would do against a room full of ex-clients of lawyers who had their lives ruined by his colleagues ... say for instance, a family whose father committed suicide over the thievings of his lawyer because he was harrassed by the legal mafia & denied any legal representation to resolve the matter ...

I can think of a lot more stronger cases - but of course, these ex Judges and even the serving ones cant be bothered to speak out on those .. oh no .. because of course, their colleagues in the legal profession are saints.

McCluskey is talking about preserving a Judicial dictatorship - which has been demonstrated time & again by threats of legal action & more against Parliament whenever the talk of reform comes up. No more, no less than that.
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8. td, Highlands / 3:04pm 16 Feb 2007

7# Does the thought that all Judges have been lawyers but not all Lawyers get to be judges help to explain the distinction.

If you really think that Parliament should be the fount of all that is correct in Society, then quite how Parliament and Politicians can ever be called to account is a most worrying problem.

There has to be clear water between the Judiciary and the executive. Any attempt to " muddy" this clear distinction by the transient executive should be treated with grave concern by all the electorate. Without insisting that the maintenance and respect of a proper " Law is above everything " framework is one duty of Government, we will have authorised the formation of a totalitarian state.
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9. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 3:44pm 16 Feb 2007

#8 td, Highlands

"If you really think that Parliament should be the fount of all that is correct in Society, then quite how Parliament and Politicians can ever be called to account is a most worrying problem."

The members of Parliament are elected by the people - their ultimate regulator is the electorate.

Judges are elected by their peers, and as the Judiciary point out, they are their own regulator.

Who says there will be a totalitarian state if there is a little more accountability & transparency in the Judiciary ? - the Judiciary, right ? I've not heard that call from the general public - that they are afraid that increased regulation over Judges conduct might bring a dictatorship.

The thing is, no matter what is said, no one can answer why the Judiciary stick up for their own colleagues, claim they have to be independent from everyone so they can do as they like, then interfere when they feel like it in other parts of legislation, such as in the case of the LPLA Bill - which was actually to do with regulation of solicitors - not Judges.

It seems we have more of a legal dicatorship than a totalitarian state.

i suppose you would call the way Judges are elected & Supreme Court nomiations in the US part of a totalitarian state then ? perish the thought we could ever have such a system here, which has to be even a little more transparent than what we currently are stuck with.
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10. td, Highlands / 6:17pm 16 Feb 2007

9# Peter,

The only response I can come up with now is to point out that it is only the LAW that ensures that any Government does offer themselves for re-election.

If ever we had political appointees to the Judiciary...excepting the office of Lord Chancellor of course...then there would be no certainty that the Judiciary would be independant or powerful enough to enforce the law. This particularly when any one party had a huge and commanding majority in Parliament.

This worries me.

If instead an all party committee, including all demoninations of Faiths in the UK as well as a cross section of Leading citizens (arguably one definition for the Old House of Lords :-) ) .was empowered to tamper with the present "statusQuo" within the Legal system that appoints judges, then that could be more acceptable.

That any one political party should embark on this process alone is a very dangerous step for democracy.

I am not defending Lawyers per se...just the system - from my viewpoint -does not appear to be broken, and we don't need transient politicians breaking it down , and undermining it, as they appear to have done with the House of Lords...unless there is a clear vision , acceptable to wide sections of society, as to what should replace it......and I don't see any consensus being allowed to operate by this Government in this land today. This is the Government that shelves consultation reports and petitions with which it does not agree after all.
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11. open, LJPR LEGAL JUDICIAL POLITICAL REFORMERS / 7:22pm 16 Feb 2007

As ONE of many victims of Scotlands CLOSED SHOP legal system we WANT judges and lawyers stripped of the powers they have heaped upon themselves behind closed doors of the bar associations.

We want JURIES to take BACK the judicial tyranny that has undermined Scotlands long suffering victims who have been stripped of their land,business's and properties but most importantly their children due to appalling decisions made by an unelected and unaccountable judiciary.My childs human rights undermined time and again by monsters controlling court decisions that are not impartial tribunals.Onle a jury of our peers can restore ORDER back to the CHAOS caused by those who only seek to line their pockets using Scots law and not create real JUSTICE.

LJPR LEGAL JUDICIAL POLITICAL REFORMERS
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12. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 7:53pm 16 Feb 2007

# 10. td, Highlands

WIth all respect, td, I dont see this as a political issue at all, and I wouldn't really pin much on the vast majority in Parliament which New labour once had.

I do understand of course, the LAW is the one thing which keeps us right, so to speak, and away from 'totalitarianism', but the problem is, if one wants to argue an undue political majority, there is equally an undue judicial ability th thwart change - the two cancel each other out ? or do they come to some compromise ? as we see in parts of the new proposals for Judicial Reform.

The greater problem of the Judiciay & the legal profession - which I can say from a very deadly experience myself, is that it produces umpteen cases of injustice against individuals who have been wronged by the very people who claim to represent or serve the law - either on the Judiciary or as a solicitor or advocate.

The thing is, the Judiciary can argue all it wants to keep itself independent - but please, get away from defending the monsters & crooks of the legal profession - who set out to ruin anyone who dare complain against their activities or catch them at something illegal.

In short - Judiciary - clean up your act, and you will find the people have more confidence in you - stay dirty, and you risk further questions & action against conduct unbecoming those who serve the law and the nation.

i have to wonder a little, about Lord McCluskey's turnaround on some of these issues. I recall in the early 90's, he used to take great exception with those who served the law in the legal profession maligned it by way of 'being crooked' .. people will recall the occasional spats with the likes of ex Law Society President Kenneth Pritchard, etc .. and I myself wrote to McCluskey in 1994 on issues relating to regulation in the legal profession and the way in which the Law Society were about to fiddle a complaint against a lawyer ... last year, the ex-judge intervened in the debate on LPLA, saying it was a bad thing ... I wonder what swayed his mind .. certainly not the 5000+ complaints against Scotland's less than 10,000 lawyers each year .. pity that ..
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13. td, Highlands / 8:21pm 16 Feb 2007

10# Come away from any suggestion that society permits politicians to interfere with the appointment of Judges and I think we may be able to agree.

There was an issue for me, too, long ago in the past where activities that reflected a clear conflict of interest between two beneficiaries/ factions, both represented by the same Lawyer, went unnoticed, until it was too late. This ultimately led to advantage for one party at the expense of the other. When referred to the Scottish Law Society, a committee of his peers found the veteran Lawyer concerned ( now deceased) to be ( so well respected in Scottish legal circles ) beyond reproach. Not the outcome we expected. But this was not a question of the any failings by te Judiciary, more a cosy clique of professionals covering each others' backs.

And I'm sure things similar to this happen in all professions....more's the pity.
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14. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 8:37pm 16 Feb 2007

#13. td, Highlands

There still has to be, in my view, and I think in the eyes of many (unless I have read the situation very very wrongly) .. a certain amount of outside scrutiny of the Judiciary.

Cathy Jamieson's single lay member approach to this, which I'm sure has to be a compromise from no lay membership which the Judiciary wanted .. simply wont do.

I'm talking about a robust lay membership now, not those poodles which sit on the Law Society Complaints Committees as lay members and obey the lawyers at the end of the table - even on so obviously fiddled evidence that a 3 year old could discern as a lie ..

It still comes down to the Judiciary cleaning up its act - and all this intransigence when it comes to the word 'reform' portrays it as the very same dicatatorship it argues would result if politicians meddled in its affairs.

Hey, I'm all for keeping politicians at bay myself - I've had plenty experience with scandals & the like at Holyrood, and many of they are simply not to be trusted, but there has to be a solution whereas some representatives (from outside the legal system) of transparency and fairness comes into the Judicial system, more so than what is currently there - or what is currently seen to be there .. and members must learn to stay out of the likes of issues relating to regulation of the legal profession - as a Judge changing & swapping his views on such can have a damaging effect on the outcome and thus, the lives of many who suffer injustice at tha hands of the very legal system put there to protect us.

notyetretired said...

Would have to agree with you on this Peter

If the Judiciary want to remain as they call it 'independent', they should clean up their act as you say, and come clean on all the problems lower down the line with lawyers.

Lawyers and Judges are inextricably linked - even though they probably can't stand each other's company.

Get them to do something about all these cases of injustice, and I'm sure there will be more public respect and less political mileage in critisising their actions

Keep up your writing Peter.I'm sure people have noticed whats going on dur to your work.

Anonymous said...

interesting site.lookslike you know your stuff so continue to keep them on their toes mr cherbi

gh todd said...

I saw what you said about the Borders in the Scotsman.
Had a bad experience ?

Anonymous said...

McCluskey has no intention of cleaning up his profession or those bloody lawyers.Its about protecting their own positions as you say, nothing to do with the public good.

Anonymous said...

go on tv with this !

Anonymous said...

Its about time the judiciary were reformed but as you say everytime its brought up they threaten our democracy then turn the arguement policital
its bugger all to do with politics its to do with those fuckers in their wigs retaining the power to control us

Gordon said...

You write some good things Peter.I can see why they fear you so much.

Stick with it kid.