The ability to revisit a story these days is helped greatly by the use of technology, and as clips of politicians praising, even shielding those who have caused Scotland's public and legal system a great deal of harm filter through to the web, I thought I would take an opportunity to show people what reformers and campaigners are up against when it comes to promoting reforms and reconciliation to Scotland's much ruined legal system.
As many of you are aware from previous articles I have written on the prospect of opening the Scots legal services market, I am very much for such a move, where for once, you, the individual will be in control of who you want to represent your legal interests.
I have covered many articles on opening the Scots legal services market here : Previous articles on access to legal services
As things currently stand, and have stood for decades, the Scots public have never had such a choice, always having to use a member of the Law Society of Scotland to gain access to legal services and the Scottish courts ... and if you have a controversial issue requiring the services of a Scots lawyer, perhaps one which may not be in the interests of the Scots legal profession to pursue, you will have found yourselves cast out along with thousands of others, denied access to a lawyer and access to justice, by the very same legal profession which claims to serve Scotland so well.
Over the past couple of years since the successful campaign to bring the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 into being, many issues have come to light revealing just how focused the Scots legal profession has been on denying individuals access to justice, with even the very highest levels of staff at the Law Society of Scotland being shown to have interdicted ordinary Scots access to justice, preferring to follow their own policy of protecting colleagues within the legal system, many of whom are now widely known to have performed so poorly for multiple clients, they would be better filling a jail cell than earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year from clients who get nowhere in their cases ...
One such individual widely known to have interdicted many Scots access to justice is the current [but resigning] Law Society Chief Executive, Douglas Mill .... who felt so assured of his position of being able to halt peoples lives when it came to access to legal services, he sat before the Scottish Parliament's Justice 2 Committee and simply lied through a questioning by Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney, of events revealed in Mill's own secret memos, which indicated a well practiced policy by Douglas Mill, other members of the Law Society of Scotland, and the insurers of intervention in claims & complaints against fellow solicitors, ensuring the lawyer got off the hook, while the client got nothing.
Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill before the Justice 2 Committee - I swear I prevented people getting access to justice ...
Not too long after the above video was posted on You Tube, Douglas Mill announced his resignation, which you can read more about here : Breaking News : Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill who lied to Parliament, pursued 'personal vendetta' against critics - to resign
However, such people as Douglas Mill who have ruined the lives of many ordinary Scots seeking justice, or even just a simple closure to their case of complaint or legal claim, have their fans, supporters, and those who will shield them from scrutiny or attempts to put matters right.
Here is a recent clip of one of Douglas Mill's fans, none other than the Scottish Conservative Justice spokesman, Bill Aitken MSP, who unwisely praised Douglas Mill, even holding him up as an undeserved 'example of excellence'.
Bill Aitken MSP praises Douglas Mill as an example of excellence but in reality Mill lied to the Scottish Parliament and threatened court action against legislative reforms ...
What on earth could make politicians praise such an individual as Douglas Mill, who in reality has presided over the worst period of history for Scotland's legal profession, where client complaints have reached nearly eight thousand in some years, and solicitors generally are viewed as untrustworthy, even endemically corrupt ?
You can read previous articles I wrote about the legal services debate involving these matters here : Scotland fights political interests for wider access, choice of legal services over protectionism of lawyers monopoly
Well, perhaps what we are seeing in Mr Aitken's words of praise of Douglas Mill, are an example of the underlying support the legal profession and people such as Mill have enjoyed from politicians over the years in Scotland, the very same politicians who have mostly stood back while the Law Society of Scotland merrily ruined the lives of anyone who challenged its authority .. clients and solicitors alike.
Surely time for that one to end then, and those politicians who are fans of those who cause injustice to be replaced ? Well, I thought so myself last May when we had an election in Scotland, but just look at the next movie of the current Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, who seems to be such a fan of his colleagues in the legal profession he has made his case and position very clear on any proposed reforms to the way the Scots legal profession manipulates the legal services market and ordinary Scots access to justice ...
Kenny MacAskill sees it as his mission to protect lawyers from anything ... hardly a justifiable SNP goal ?
Mr MacAskill, not content with his startling outburst against the legal profession's critics & reformers, then went on to justify his actions by claiming Scotland owes a great debt to lawyers and the legal profession ....
Kenny MacAskill : Scotland owes a great debt to lawyers ... but should this so-called 'debt' prejudice the need for change and public interest reforms ?
Well, I have no doubt that Scotland has indeed owed debts to the legal profession, and of course, I very much support elements of the Scots legal profession who have, over the years, come forward and challenged inept or unjust laws, have ensured that clients legal cases and the public in general are heard on legal matters, and particularly those solicitors who have worked hard for and represented their clients honestly, with vigor and succeeded in bringing a measure of justice and access to it to those who need it
In general however, I find from talking to many people, public and solicitor alike, that Scotland and the legal profession are about quits on things these days .. so time to rid ourselves of these claimed 'debts' (which generally turn into political favours or such) and move on to bring reforms in which are both in the interests of the public and the legal profession alike.
One further area which the Justice Secretary should also be looking at, if Mr MacAskill can get past his seemingly distinct prejudice of dealing with anything which criticises the legal profession, is that of bringing truth & reconciliation to the many cases of injustice which the Law Society of Scotland have themselves caused over the years.
What a great thing it would be if someone could heal the deep divisions between the public and the Scots legal profession, bringing closure & justice to the many who have been denied it over the years .. and surely the time to do that is now ...
You can see my idea of bringing truth & reconciliation to clients and the Scots legal profession here : Law Society kills Petition PE1033 amid calls for review of injustice & regulatory sins of the past
As you can see, the Law Society of Scotland were too afraid of my idea to let it live, but surely taking the time now to bring dialogue, reconciliation & settlement to people by cleaning up the mistakes & ruined lives left by the failed regulatory policies of Douglas Mill's Law Society of Scotland is worth the effort, to heal the rifts caused by the policies of a few which should not be allowed to continue to ruin the public's trust in both the legal profession and the justice system ?