Thursday, November 22, 2007

Access to Justice : Holyrood Justice Convener praises Law Chief who threatened, lied to Parliament, while SNP dither on reforms

In last Thursday's Scottish Legal Services debate, among the vast array of questionable compliments afforded the Scots legal profession from members of the Scottish Parliament, was a direct reference to the now infamous Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, Douglas Mill.

Bill Aitken MSP, Conservative Convener of the Justice Committee : "Change that is imposed upon one is hard to take, but change in the legal services market is necessary. The way in which the Scottish legal profession has recognised the necessity of change has been encouraging. Although it is not committing itself to any specific direction at this stage and the matter is one for consultation, the legal profession is due considerable praise for the way in which it has adapted.

It is to be congratulated on making a virtue of the necessity of proceeding as the Parliament would wish it to proceed. Scottish lawyers have an excellent reputation.

Members of the Law Society, such as Douglas Mill, have contributed to the International Institute of Law Association Chief Executives. That is indicative of the way in which Scots lawyers are regarded elsewhere."

Such a strange compliment to make in a Parliamentary debate to the current Chief of the Law Society, who himself, is firmly against any change to the legal services markets, preferring to maintain the monopoly of members of the Law Society of Scotland on public access to legal services.

An even stranger compliment too, considering the fact that last year in 2006, Douglas Mill threatened the Scottish Parliament & Scottish Executive with legal action over the progress of the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, on the basis of the drafted-in English QC Lord Lester of Herne Hill's opinions that it was a lawyers fundamental human right to regulate complaints against other lawyers, and continue to interfere in clients cases & complaints against poor service, as Douglas Mill himself has been caught doing on several occasions, his conduct now found to be common on many more cases ...

I have to admit, I, and many others, would never have thought a member of the Scottish Parliament would have complimented, praised, even idolised so much, an individual who had threatened the very democratic principles which underpin political & public life in Scotland, to the extent of bullying elected politicians into changing or altering legislation for the sole benefit of himself and his ability to intervene in complaints as he saw fit.

It is certainly a conundrum awaiting a solution .. a Convener of the strangely sole Justice Committee for the term of this SNP administration (there have usually been two Justice Committees), tells us we should all admire someone who undermines our values, rather than adds to them - and SNP Ministers who knew of the legal threats & bullying from Mr Mill & others in the legal profession against the progress of the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, said nothing. Saying nothing in the face of such a wrong, surely supports that wrong ... especially when it is a widely known wrong ...

To explain this matter a little more clearly ...

It is a matter of record that last year, Annabel Goldie MSP, Conservative, was the Convener of the Justice 2 Committee whose job it was to consider & investigate the LPLA Bill for progress & forwarding to Parliament for a vote.

Annabel Goldie, is of course, a solicitor, but, noting there may be a conflict of interest in her convenership of the Justice 2 Committee under such circumstances, she resigned her position on the aforementioned grounds of conflict of interest, to be replaced by David Davidson MSP, a fellow Conservative. You can read about Annabel Goldie's resignation from the Justice 2 Committee here : Annabel Goldie does the right thing and resigns from Justice 2 Committee Convenership

The LPLA Bill as it was in 2006, went through the stages of committee deliberation and was finally passed, covered by me in an earlier article here : Legal Profession & Legal Aid Bill finally passed by Scottish Parliament, with amendments

The passage of the LPLA Bill, was one of the more difficult acts of the Scottish Parliament in 2006, being subject to a continuing campaign against the reforming legislation by the Law Society of Scotland, and various parts of the legal profession who wanted the LPLA Bill watered down, or even killed off.

One of those obstructions placed before the Parliament's consideration of the LPLA Bill, was the threat of a direct legal challenge by the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, Douglas Mill, who publicly threatened legal action against both the Parliament and Scottish Executive, if the bill was passed without desired amendments from the Law Society of Scotland, who were and still are, of the opinion that it is the fundamental human right of lawyers to regulate themselves, and cover up complaints against themselves, as they have done for decades.

Since the LPLA Bill sought to bring a measure of independent regulation to complaints against lawyers, and outside scrutiny, this was seen as a direct threat to such complaints powers that lawyers have for far long been used to wielding against the public, with as media reports show, terrible effect and prejudice.

Mr Mill was also concerned, and is still concerned, the existence of such legislation as the LPLA Bill, now passed Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, would limit Mr Mill's widely used power of intervening directly in complaints against solicitors, to either delay or destroy client claims of negligence against solicitors and legal firms, as the now Cabinet Secretary for Business John Swinney MSP had revealed to be the case in an extraordinary confrontation with Douglas Mill before the Justice 2 Committee hearings in 2006.

During last year's Justice 2 Committee hearings, John Swinney revealed that secret memos by Mr Mill's own hand and email exchanges with the infamous Insurance brokers Marsh (UK), illustrated a culture at the Law Society of Scotland, of interference, prejudice and hostility towards clients cases & complaints against negligent lawyers & legal firms, ensuring anyone making complaints or claims in such cases had no chance to recover from the damage done to their lives by disgraceful and corrupt legal practice.

The confrontation between John Swinney & Douglas Mill over the secret memo evidence, saw Mr Mill "swear on his granny's grave" before the Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish Parliament he had never interfered in client complaints or claims against a solicitor or legal firm ... despite Mr Mill's own memos & email exchanges showing that to be exactly the case. Simply, the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland therefore lied to the Scottish Parliament. You can read more about that story here : Law Society of Scotland claims success in gagging the press over Herald newspaper revelations of secret case memos

Curiously, there was no statement from John Swinney on his experiences before the Justice 2 Committee at last week's Scottish legal services market debate, despite many expecting him to speak up on his intricate knowledge of difficulties at the Law Society of Scotland, and perhaps even more importantly, Mr Swinney's experience and knowledge of Law Society officials operating a culture of obstructing individuals access to justice & access to legal services, whom the likes of Douglas Mill deemed should not get anywhere near a courtroom or a lawyer.

You can view some of Mr Swinney's comments during the 2006 LPLA Bill debate in which he reveals significant problems with access to justice by visiting InjusticeTV.

If perhaps, Mr Swinney had made mention he was in possession of material such as letters from Law Society Executives to solicitors ordering them to obstruct clients access to justice, and even drop clients cases, perhaps last week's legal services debate would have taken a different turn, more balanced for the consumer, than pro lawyer as it turned out.

You can read about that material which Mr Swinney has, proving Law Society officials intervention in cases & denied access to justice & legal services here : Law Society intervention in claims 'commonplace' as ex Chief admits Master Policy protects solicitors against clients

The unfortunate silence from Mr Swinney on these points, did spectacular damage to the fairness of last week's debate on access to legal services, and allowed elements of the political scene who are plainly too close to the legal profession, to promote selfish shameless protectionism for lawyers, directly against the public interest and against any hope of wider access to justice.

Since the SNP took office in May 2007 after the Scottish Parliament elections, the system of having two Justice Committees was scrapped for reasons not convincingly explained ... some pinned the culling of one of the two Justice Committees to costs, but others more in the know pointed to an effort to control legislation & calls for reform to the Scottish legal system which the previous Labour administration had began, slowly but surely.

Having two Justice committees, one traditionally chaired by an opposition party, and one chaired by the ruling party, was seen by the SNP as a problem, so they simply ditched one of the two Justice Committees and resolved the issue of 'impartiality' by installing a Conservative MSP as convener.

The MSP chosen to be Convener of the sole Justice Committee was Bill Aitken MSP - a close ally of the Law Society of Scotland, who had sought in the December 2006 LPLA Bill debate & vote to kill off major parts of the reforming legislation, including severely cutting back significant financial penalties to be imposed on crooked lawyers.

The 'pro-lawyer, anti-client' list of amendments Mr Aitken promoted within the LPLA Bill parliamentary debate, came from the Law Society of Scotland itself. You can read about Mr Aitken's service to the Law Society on desired amendments here : Amendments to Scottish Executive LPLA Bill reveal possibility of contempt charges against Law Society officials.

In last week's Scottish legal services market debate, Mr Aitken, happily installed by the SNP without so much as a flicker of questioning over impartiality or loyalty, made such praise as reported earlier, and such as the following :

Bill Aitken MSP : "Scotland has been well served by its legal profession and any debate on its regulation must be had against that background. However, as the cabinet secretary and Paul Martin have already said, that does not mean that change is not necessary.

The private legal profession contributes £1.2 billion to the Scottish economy. Obviously, against that background, we must be careful with what we are doing because we do not wish to prejudice that contribution in any circumstances."

Mr Aitken is clearly too close to the legal profession and too in awe of their 'contribution' and influence to the Scottish economy as to hold a position of a Committee Convenership, requiring impartiality and surely some support of the public interest rather than lobbying for professions on the idea of increasing their profits and killing off any regulatory reforms ....

It was left to Labour MSP David Whitton to question the wisdom of not implementing a more fairer & wider system for access to justice & legal services, while many MSPs sat by, flummoxed by the intricacies of the debate.

In the light of Bill Aitken's close friendship and intense admiration of the legal profession itself, particularly the Law Society of Scotland, who used him to put forward amendments designed to kill off reforms to regulation of solicitors, is he the right person, the most impartial person, to be Convener of the Scottish Parliament's sole Justice Committee ?

Surely the answer to that is a resounding "No", particularly in the light of Annbel Goldie's actions last year of resigning the position of Convener, on the basis of a weaker conflict of interest than that which Mr Aitken now has under his belt as lead lobbyist within Holyrood for the Law Society of Scotland.

A greater level of impartiality from Mr MacAskill as the Justice Secretary should also be the order of the day in the debate on access to legal services, rather than what appears from his own words to be blind support for his colleagues in the legal profession.

It is time for the SNP to show they are supporting Scotland and governing for the whole of Scotland, rather than allowing some of their politicians to indulge in blatant protectionism for their ex professional colleagues in the legal industry, which is widely accepted to be rotten to the core in terms of regulation, standards, accountability & trust. If Mr MacAskill cannot achieve that, it falls to Mr Salmond as First Minister to put right.

55 comments:

the enemy within said...

Well spotted Mr Cherbi and I think the SNP should either co-opt you or pay you off before you bring them down too.Shameful of Swinney to stand by and let all this pass without a word.Not much use in his post if he doesn't speak up.

Anonymous said...

good report Peter.I don't think they can beat you in the argument to open legal services up but remember there has to be someone in charge of standards too even if you dont want the Law Society to do it.

Jester said...

SNP are TORIES in sheeps clothing !!

Now that people are finding that out they can fuck off along with the TORIES - We need Scotland for Scotland not Scotland for more dodgy TORAGS and snouts in the trough !

Poirot said...

Peter

I agree with you over what happened to the two justice committees.Mr Salmond getting rid of the one with a Labour Convener was almost certainly an act of control over what was an expected turbulent time for justice.

mucker said...

I thought this was more a Scotsman type headline but at least you proved your point and very well too.

Swinney should have informed the debate of the info he has and MacAskill should not have went out of his way to praise lawyers as much as he did.As for Bill Aitken - well he is a Tory so we cant expect anything else.

Peter Cherbi said...

#The Enemy Within @ 6.52pm

There are many people whose cases require to be settled, not just mine, and every single MSP in the Scottish Parliament knows that full well.

You can always write to Mr Swinney about his silence on these issues too ...

#Anonymous @ 7.27pm

I have been proposing exactly that a fully independent accountable & transparent organisation in charge of standards on the opening up of the legal services market, for some time.

#Jester @ 7.51pm

Good point ... and odd that a tory is in charge of the sole Justice Committee.

#Poirot @ 8.07pm

I will send you a file which I received last night which may interest you ...

#Mucker @ 12.14am

We all do our bit ...

hootsmon survivor said...

Good to know that about Bill Aitken and the Justice set up at Holyrood.He was put there to block any reforms or critical debates while Kenny Mac & Co had a party ?

Keep up the good work Peter.See you on the Scotsman sometime.

Anonymous said...

disgusting ! and get rid of the tories from the justice committee - they wouldn't know justice if it came up and hit them in the arse

Anonymous said...

Very serious stuff Peter and way above my head,but I see your points and agree with you.Isn't it so sad to see the SNP fail on this when they could have cleaned up the mess Labour left before ?

Anonymous said...

I wish a newspaper would take that story up on Aitken.He should be forced to resign his position after these revelations.

Keep up the good work Mr Cherbi

Anonymous said...

I saw your comments on the legal aid story in the Scotsman online.Even though I cant really support you as a solicitor myself you are correct in what you are saying.
Good article on the legal services debate too.Has Mr MacAskill sent out a hit team for you yet ?

Anonymous said...

Why are the SNP trying to protect these leech scum lawyers? Are they getting big fat brown envelopes for all that complimentary bullshit from Kenny MacAskill?

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed in the present government in Scotland and more particularly in Richard Lochhead the rural affairs minister who has made himself abundantly clear in respect of tenant farmers currently undergoing what can only be described as vexatious litigation and with regard to legal aid, I truly despair for tenants who cannot obtain access to justice and I despair for those who can or have what is scathingly referred to as access to justice,
Keep up the good work Peter. :)

A proud SNP supporter but not proud of Kenny Mac said...

Mr Cherbi - Not everyone in the SNP likes Kenny MacAskill or wants him at Justice.If he is abusing his position or showing favouritism towards ex colleagues you must keep up the pressure and inform people of what is going on.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.41am

I am beginning to think there is no political party capable of reforming or improving Scots Law and addressing the failures of the people who either serve in it or use it as a business model.

#Anonymous @ 9.20am

Yes, I agree. Annabel Goldie resigned her position as Convener of Justice 2 last year on a much lesser situation and Mr Aitken has got himself into. However, Annabel did the decent thing ... do you think Mr Aitken will emulate that ? I doubt it after his words in the Legal Services Debate - and you can thank the SNP for his appointment ...

#Anonymous @ 10.02am

If he does I'll be sure to write about it ...

#Anonymous @ 10.43am

Ask them ? It's a big surprise to me too ...

#Anonymous @ 11.11am

If Richard Lochhead is taking a back seat on issues he is supposed to be in charge of under his Ministerial portfolio - that is plain wrong and needs to be addressed.

If tenant farmers are being subject to vexatious litigation or attempts to hound them out of their properties by lunatic landlords, then it is for the SNP Scottish Government to step in and resolve these problems immediately. They were elected to do something for Scotland, if they aren't doing it, they don't deserve to be in office.

Some publicity on that may help, throwing the spotlight on Mr Lochhead's inaction ...

#A proud SNP supporter but not proud of Kenny M @ 12.03pm

Well if that's the case, why doesn't the party do something about it ? Why leave it to someone else to have to point things out which are staring you in the face ?

Anonymous said...

I think I'd like to take you along with me to my lawyers office and set you loose on him !

Well done Peter Cherbi.Keep up the good work in exposing these crooks and especially those sleekit TORIES WHO DONT DESERVE ANY PLACE IN SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with everyone else.Theres definitely something fishy going on with this Justice committee convener.Would he be praising rapists to get them off the hook too if he had the chance ? Kenny MacAskill seems to agree with all this love for lawyers too and no wonder because HE CLAIMED PLENTY LEGAL AID WHEN HE WAS A LAWYER TOO !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cant trust a politician who protects or compliments lawyers - especially lawyers who lie to the Parliament !

Anonymous said...

#Anonymous @ 11.11am

I guess they SNP don't deserve to be in office,
suffice to write, "we as Scottish Ministers, cannot help in this case"
no further explanation was forthcoming.

2Right said...

Hi Peter

I see the scotsman are being told what to do again and are removing comments.
Below is a comment i posted yesterday but was removed.

Report as unsuitable 10. 2Right, On Location / 4:44am 23 Nov 2007 Hear Hear Peter Cherbi.
Read your comments on the link above and yes i know of a case where the Solicitor Never Interviewed 16 defence witnesses before a criminal High court case resulting in the Guy being wrongly convicted
Could it be the solicitor wasn't paid enough Legal Aid and decided to re-coup it somehow by not interviewing the witnesses.
Is this what John Scott means by Creating Miscarriages Of Justice?

http://williambeck.blogspot.com/2...jim-keegan-solicitor-is-liar.html

Here is another for complaints.

http://lawsocietycomplaints.blogspot.com/

Is the law society controlling the papers too?

Anonymous said...

#Anonymous @ 11.11am

I guess they SNP don't deserve to be in office,
suffice to write, "we as Scottish Ministers, cannot help in this case"
no further explanation was forthcoming.

THE SNP SOUND LIKE THE LAST LOT NOW.TIME TO BE RID NOW OUR OWN HAVE LET US DOWN AGAIN !

10:01 PM

Donald Anderson, Edinburgh said...

I don't see how Aitken can remain Convener of the Justice Committee after reading this.He was out of line in that debate on what he said and he must have known about the lawyers legal threat against the Parliament

AM2.01 said...

2Right - The Law Society have been controlling the press for years so dont be miffed about a deleted comment in the hootsmon !

Anonymous said...

The SNP seem to be in cahoots with the Tories then.Okay, no more voting SNP for me :)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says...

The SNP seem to be in cahoots with the Tories then.Okay, no more voting SNP for me :)

8:56 PM

According to Mr Cherbi's report on Access to Justice it looks like the SNP were in bed with the Tories BEFORE the election.It might have been better to have told the electorate that one because we are now landed with an SNP/Conservative coalition by the looks of it and I for one don't agree with that at all.

Keep up the good reporting Mr Cherbi.Brilliant stuff.

Anonymous said...

I dont think you are a fan of the tories peter
what did they do to you ?

impressed said...

Fantastic report Mr Cherbi and just goes to show these dirty schemes the politicians get up to behind closed doors.You should be writing in the newspapers as well as this blog.

Great work as always and keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Here's some cheer from the Scotland on Sunday debate.AM2 posted these links on what the SNP used to say about the Torags ! Was it big fat brown envelops which has changed their mind ?

http://www.snp.org/press-releases/2005/snp_press_release.2005-04-12.5003863795/

SNP comment on Blair/Brown and Tories
snp - 2005-04-12
Speaking in advance of the flying visit of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Scotland today, SNP Leader Alex Salmond said that the Prime Minister and Chancellor now had something they agree on - "a hidden agenda on Scottish spending".


Mr Salmond said: "They both share the same secret – suppressed papers detailing Labour plans to reform, amend or scrap the Barnett formula.

"Labour have mislead the people of Scotland over war, over tax and over student funding – Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are both culprits. Unless they publish the Barnett papers we have no reason to believe any of their assurances.

"They are hiding the truth and that could mean a billion pound cut in Scottish spending. They should publish or face being damned by voters in Scotland.

TORIES SLAM THE DOOR ON NEW SCOTS

Commenting on the Tory party's theme for the day, SNP Depute Leader, Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:

"The Tories are bringing their particular brand of nasty politics to Scotland today. They want to slam the door on new Scots – people who can contribute an enormous amount to our economy and communities.

"Scotland faces a half million population slump and yet the Tories are peddling a policy that may fit the prejudices of middle England but are bad news for Scotland's economic success.

"The anti-Scottish Tories remain a nasty party. They say Scotland is an unattractive place to live – we say Scotland will be better off as a Tory free zone."

http://www.snp.org/press-releases/2005/snp_press_release.2005-05-19.7830233145/

Salmond reacts to Tory resignation
westminster - 2005-05-19
The Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, appointed last week, has resigned after suggesting that MSPs should be abolished.


Commenting on the resignation of the Shadow Scottish Secretary, SNP Leader Alex Salmond said:

"The Tories have descended from comedy to farce.

"The problem for Michael Howard is that if you scratch beneath the surface, just about every English Tory MP has a raft of anti-Scottish prejudices.

"They either want to cut Scottish spending, abolish the Scottish Parliament or think Scotland is an 'unattractive' place to live.

"You can't have a credible Scottish spokesperson in such an anti-Scottish party."

so the TORAGS are "anti-Scottish" !!! but the SNP are in bed with them anyway.Just goes to show they dont think much of Scotland after all - just themselves like all politicians ! pigs - snouts - trough !

Peter Cherbi said...

#2Right @ 2.50am

I imagine the Law Society called up the Scotsman about that comment.

It's a very good idea to get everyone to publish their complaints against solicitors, particularly in the raw format, name the solicitors, legal firms, and also publish the Law Society's correspondence.

#Donald Anderson @ 5.25pm

I agree. Feel free to draw this to the attention of the Parliament & public ...

#Anonymous @ 3.34am

Yes that seems to be the case - I didn't see anything in the SNP election campaign about it though ... and don't discount the possibility the Tories are simply cuddling up to the SNP to undermine SNP policies .. such as independence and the rest ... they have certainly done a good job of undermining SNP policy on Justice so far, if ever there was a policy on Justice to begin with ...

#Anonymous @ 2.46pm

Yes thanks I saw those links too.Don't spam this blog with SNP Press Releases, however contradictory they now appear to be !

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.02am

I'm not much of a fan of the Tories at all, when it comes to Justice issues particularly, and I will tell you why :

Admittedly, one Tory helped me quite a bit, and was a key player in helping to get the Parliament to investigate problems in the legal profession. That man is Phil Gallie.

However, for Mr Gallie's apparent sin of helping people who have difficulties with the legal system, he was removed buy the Tory party boss, David McLetchie, from the then Justice 1 Committee in 2001 after he began to ask awkward questions of the legal fraternity in the "Regulation of the legal profession" inquiry, chaired by Christine Grahame MSP (SNP). and Lord James Douglas Hamilton was put in to replace him in the Tory Justice position.

That inquiry chaired by Christine Grahame, did little to assist the debate in inproving & reforming regulation of the legal profession, after Mr Gallie had been removed. Actually, I would say Christine Grahame gave yet another breathing space to the Law Society of Scotland and crooked lawyers in general, to go on being crooked.

It took the 2006 Justice 2 Committee, chaired by Annabel Goldie, who then resigned and was replaced by David Davidson, to consider and recommend passing what is now the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, to bring a measure of independent regulation to the legal profession, and create an independent complaints body to investigate lawyers in the form of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

There are many within the Conservative party who are adamantly against any independent regulation of the Scottish legal profession, and some like Bill Aitken who are plainly out to undermine it - that is why I am not at all in favour of an SNP alliance with the Tories, because as we see already, the issues of Law & Order, Justice & Injustice, are not being handled properly by the SNP at all, and will not be improved with the addition of the Tories on board the SNP Scottish Government.

Don't believe all you read in the comments boards either when it comes to some people apparently making 'favourable comments' ont he Tories.

There is a considerable attempt under way to rehabilitate the Tories in Scottish politics, and it seems the SNP are actually playing a part in that.I think that is madness and I'm sure the SNP will rue the day they got involved with them at some stage. Still, it shows a politician is a politician, no matter which party they are from, or how hallowed they claim their motives or values are ...

Anonymous said...

You never give up !

Good thing you are around to inform us of all this.I tried to make a complaint against my lawyer last year and the Law Society secretary who handled it did her worst to hinder me.I think I will take it up again now that I've read your blog and email you the details.Thanks for giving me a kick to do soemthing about it again.

Anonymous said...

Quite interesting what you said about Phil Gallie.Of course he's a different type of Tory - probably why he left the bunch of expenses grabbing Tories still in the Scottish Parliament who do nothing but help themselves.

Oh didn't you know Mr Cherbi? there is another high ranking Tory in the Parliament fiddling their expenses just now.Why don't you find out some more and feed them to the dogs.I'm sure you will get them easily.

Brian Mayer said...

I think this is one of your best reports Mr Cherbi.Very powerful in its content and very well argued.I wish we could see some of this more pro public attitude from the SNP but they have obviously fallen under the spell of the legal establishment for now.

Keep up the good work as everyone says.

Anonymous said...

"There is a considerable attempt under way to rehabilitate the Tories in Scottish politics, and it seems the SNP are actually playing a part in that"

I agree.Now we have Tartan Tories as well as bent Tories.Not what I voted for and not what I will be voting for.Bye Bye Tartan Tory SNP.You were good while you lasted now you are just like the rest.

Anonymous said...

I read what you said in the Herald today.
Very good argument and I happen to agree with you on all counts.
The Law Society itself is now the issue and reform it must have for as you know yourself,there is little democracy from the autocrat at the top (DM).
Keep punting along Peter.You are doing a good service even through all you've been through.

a warning from the past said...

I don't know why anyone should think the SNP would be a party to clean up 'injustice' any more than the rest of them.

Traditionally governing political parties with "national" in their title have not been bothered about a 'justice' system in the slightest.Take the Nazi party for example.They said it was fine to gas their opponents or anyone who did not fit into their mould'.People outside Germany criticised them and what did it change? nothing.The people in Germany who did criticise them were tortured & gassed too.It might be a dramatic comparison but I think that is the stage Scotland is now at with the SNP and it will slide into a very dangerous introverted hate filled country controlled by a few at the top who disguise their motives in "national" values and there will be no justice.Fights like yours with the justice system and many more are a good example of that.Watch they don't gas you in the guise of "national" values too and don't laugh about what I write because the same type of beer-hall louts which moved the Nazis into power in the 1930s now seem to be in control of Scottish political life.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theherald.co.uk/business/news/display.var.1858252.0.0.php
Are these your comments ? Well done and I completely agree with you Mr Cherbi.

? said...

Difficult to tell from the whole thing if Kenny MacAskill or Bill Aitken is the Justice Minister or maybe Aitken is shafting MacAskill from behind ?

Good work on the expose :)

Anonymous said...

Mr Aitken must be getting a big hand or something else from Douglas Mill for those compliments.
Worth a few YBs ??

Anonymous said...

No one [even solicitors] praise Douglas Mill unless there is something in it for themselves or they are being paid to say it.

Which category applies to Bill Aitken and Kenny MacAskill

Anonymous said...

very interesting experience on your blog Mr Cherbi.I don't think I will ever use a lawyer again if I can help it and hope others do the same.I know we end up having to use these bastards at some stage in our lives but lets all limit it to nothing.They can feed off each other instead of us for a change.

Anonymous said...

Mr Aitken's attempt to rehabilitate Douglas Mill will not work.The entire profession knows him for what he is Mr Cherbi and rest assured it is not only clients who wish to see him out of the Law Society for good.

Be thankful you are not a solicitor.If you were,and were writing this blog you would have been sent to the dungeons long ago.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.49pm

Yes that seems to fit in with information from solicitors on the issue.

A solicitor I know who is in favour of opening the legal services market reports to me he has endured "strong words" from the Law Society with a veiled threat over his business & practising certificate if he doesn't shut up or alter his views.

I don't think that would qualify as a democratic order from Drumsheugh Gardens ... but it is certainly consistent with the views of Mr Mill & the Law Society leadership who want no debate on the access to justice issue other than their own.

While we have the likes of Bill Aitken and co in charge of Justice at the Parliament, who are clearly too aligned to the Law Society's own monopolistic views, I doubt there can be a substantive and free debate as should be the case, and that is why I will ask the Presiding Officer (whom I note is also a Conservative MSP) to look into the matter.

I wonder whether the Parliament will manage another whitewash or do the decent thing this time.Whatever they do, it will reflect on the Scottish Government, which was supposed to be a 'new broom' - but which I think has lost its bristles on justice.

Anonymous said...

all a bit complicated but i managed to understand it.

I suppose these things are complicated because the people involved make them that way so the rest of us miss it or dont pick up on whats going on.Not Cherbi.Always on the ball it seems.I think you made Aitken and MacAskill look like lawyer lovers which i agree they are.

keep up the good work mr cherbi.

Bert said...

Peter - I'm sure Holyrood will manage another whitewash !

You should go after MacAskill's job.I think you have a hell of a lot more understanding of justice and injustice than he every will have or wants to have.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You said :A solicitor I know who is in favour of opening the legal services market reports to me he has endured "strong words" from the Law Society with a veiled threat over his business & practising certificate if he doesn't shut up or alter his views.

I know of a few more solicitors who fit this description and have been warned by the Law Society

Anonymous said...

Dear "Leader of the revolt against the Law Society of Scotland",

I spent the better part of this evening reading your blog at the insitence of a colleague.

If you are ever looking for employment in the legal profession there are those who will take you on in an instant Mr Cherbi.

Good luck with your efforts.You will do all of us a favour if you win the day.

Anonymous said...

Ha ! I think Peter would be ill advised to work with any legal firm after we have found out what the bloody legal profession is like !

Is there a single clean firm of lawyers in Scotland? I DONT THINK SO AFTER READING SOME OF THE STUFF ON THIS BLOG.

Peter you don't need to join a legal firm YOU NEED TO START YOUR OWN.

Anonymous said...

Remember Bill Aitken does not speak for the whole parliament when he congratulates Douglas Mill as he did in the debate.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 6.37pm

Well if there are a few solicitors who welcome the opening of the legal services market, but are being leant on by the Law Society to alter their views, they need to get together and do something about it. I am always open to ideas ...

#Anonymous @ 10.02pm

Really ? How interesting ... so who are these legal firms who would be brave enough to take me on ? Answers by email !

#Anonymous @ 4.38am

An interesting idea.However, no one can enter the legal profession without the consent of the Law Society of Scotland and approval from the Lord President, who himself, is a member of the Law Society of Scotland.That is a tough wall to break through, and as you can see from the Legal Services Debate in the Parliament, there are key people who wish to protect the Law Society's monopoly over access to legal services & access to justice.

I'm sure there are better people than me with legal qualifications who have started or tried to start legal firms and had the Law Society kill them off because their face didn't fit with the legal profession or its policy towards legislation, business structure, etc ...

#vAnonymous @ 2.12pm

Yes I know that, but why don't more MSPs speak out on the issue if that is the case ?

Anonymous said...

MSPS dont speak out on bent lawyers because there are plenty MSPS in parliament who were bent lawyers and now getting kickbacks from their esteemed colleagues for protecting their monopoly or making sure they have a monopoly to go back to when their political career goes down the toilet !

Anonymous said...

I think you are too valuable to waste in a legal firm Peter.Head for the newspapers and keep the public informed.

Keep up the good work lad.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't be so hard on the SNP getting in to bed with the Tories, Peter.

SNP are only in government anyway because of spoiled brat Nicol Stephen and the libdems not agreeing a coalition with Labour unless the wee mortgage switcher was made FM.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this today.Excellent account of the goings on in parliament Mr Cherbi.
You are spot on all the way.

Anonymous said...

John Swinney comes out of this very badly.
What about his performance with Mill at the Justice Committee you mentioned and now silence.
Bung received ?