Tuesday, February 17, 2009

'Culture of fear' grips Scottish Legal Complaints Commission as Justice Department witch-hunt threatens whistleblower staff over leaks to media

SLCC squareWhile the culture of secrecy continues to breed at the beleaguered Scottish Legal Complaints Commission with the blanking out of FOI responses to inquiries from the media, allegations have now emerged that staff have been threatened with spying, possible prosecution and job losses over recent leaks of information which has heavily compromised the quango whose function is to investigate complaints against Scotland's crooked lawyers.

SLCC Staff Governance meeting 17 October 2008 - Justice Dept & Risk ManagementLeaked SLCC document ‘serious concerns on leaks’. Stunningly, in documents from the SLCC seen by this reporter, the Scottish Government’s Justice Department intervened yet again with the ‘independent’ commission, raising it’s ‘serious concerns’ over leaks made to the media which resulted in stories such as Law Society target ‘outsider staff’ for exit at Complaints Commission as lawyers undermine attempts at independent regulation being reported. Strong demands were made by representatives from the SNP controlled Scottish Government to “end the leaks or else there would be trouble", claimed an informed source yesterday.

MacAskill tight lippedMacAskill demanded leaks be plugged "or else". After the spectacular intervention from the Justice Department on behalf of Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, members of the commission's staff were allegedly given a 'friendly word in their ear', where the implication was that if anyone told the outside world, including the media, and me, what was really going on inside the SLCC, they would be sacked and possibly face prosecution for their whistle blowing.

ScottishGovernmentScottish Govt may use RIPSA surveillance ?. A source within the Government claimed “it was the determined intention of the Justice Department to plug any leaks at the SLCC, and if need be, RIPSA legislation would be used to discover the culprits and deal with them accordingly.” Although personally, I imagine it may well be more of a HBOS-FSA style cover up to silence the whistleblower, than a very public scandal which could ultimately damage the Government.

RIPSA, for those of you who do not know, is the anti-terrorist styled Regulation of investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act, which can authorise surveillance and spying on individuals where it is felt those who are the target of surveillance orders are breaking the law in some way as to threaten the fabric of society, or as it appears here, the fabric of crooked lawyers … You can find out more about the Scottish Government's approach to RIPSA here : Scottish Govt Covert Surveillance : Code of Practice

One insider to the Commission, on being asked about the witch-hunt broke down in tears, giving a full account of recent goings on, claiming "the whole thing was being orchestrated by the Law Society to get rid of those members of staff who transferred over from the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman."

The insider went on : "The Law Society want full control over the Commission and it staffed by their own people and the Government seem to be quite happy to let them get their way".

I have to say, I fully support the ex members of staff of the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman’s Office. I see those few people as a balance to the Law Society’s infiltration of the organisation, and a hope, sadly now perhaps lost, that the public could have had a fairer hearing in complaints against solicitors.

However, as a ‘seasoned observer’ of all things legal, it does seem to me there is an organised attempt to undermine the work & credibility of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, both by the Law Society of Scotland, and the Scottish Government itself.

Cash Link to Law Chief Stabbing Scotland on Sunday 29 January 2006MacAskill 'more determined to hunt whistleblowers than attackers of Law Chief’. A former Council Member of the Law Society, condemned the apparent witch hunt against SLCC staff & media journalists investigating crooked lawyers, claiming the Government seemed to be spending more time on protecting the Law Soceity’s position on regulation than pursuing the attackers of the Law Society’s former Chief Accountant, Leslie Cumming, who was injured in a mafia style ‘hit’ in early 2006.

He commented : "It looks like the Scottish Government are more determined to conceal the truth at the SLCC and protect rogue lawyers than discover who tried to kill the Law Society Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming and they still haven't got anyone for that".

I agree wholeheartedly of course, given the fact that three years on, despite the then Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill attempting to blame the Cumming attack on all & sundry, no one has yet been brought to justice for that vicious incident, which has amazingly gone unexplained for all this time.

The ex Law Society Council member went on : “This kind of conduct by the SLCC and the Government is not doing the profession or the public any good and what was to be an independent commission to raise the standards of regulation and public confidence in the legal profession is not happening.”

So, exactly how did we get to this point that the SNP Government are allegedly threatening to spy on, prosecute and sack whistleblowers of an 'independent' authority, just to protect the secrets of crooked lawyers and the legal profession ?

Is it really the case that RIPSA is actually being used by the Scottish Government or the SLCC, against SLCC staff members, journalists and law bloggers to discover the source of leaks at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission ?

Well, at least to ascertain the intentions of Government, we don't need to look any further than the actions & words of the Justice Secretary, Mr MacAskill, who himself told us very clearly what side he is on in the debate on regulation of crooked lawyers :

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will protect crooked lawyers from those who misrepresent them ?


John SwinneyJohn Swinney – didn’t do ‘a MacAskill’. Contrast Kenny MacAskill's actions, with those of John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, and a key member of the Scottish Government who enjoys a lot of cross party respect & public popularity for his work, as he took on the worst elements of the Law Society of Scotland, and exposed a key part of the Law Society's policy of protection for crooked lawyers by taking former Law Society boss Douglas Mill to task over the content of secret memos which stalled complaints & claims against several firms of crooked lawyers which, even after Mill's tirade against Mr Swinney still remain to be resolved !

John Swinney battles with ex-Law Society Chief Douglas Mill - Mr MacAskill would never have done such a thing as we now know ..


A Government spokesman could not be contacted today for comment, although allegedly an explanation will be forthcoming, which I will bring you in a further report on the matter.

Denials all round as usual perhaps ? ... but we all know what "denials" means these days as just like in the Banking crisis which has brought our coveted financial institutions to their knees, denials no longer work on people now suspicious of most of the professions & politicians motives when their interests coincide … and that realm of suspicion also includes the current Scottish Government.

Oh one last thing, for anyone interested whether the SLCC have improved their culture of secrecy towards Freedom of Information requests in response to my previous article here : FOI disclosures censored to law journalists as MacAskill’s legal complaints commission prefers secrecy to public accountability.

Well, the answer is ….. they have not, as you can see from some of the SLCC’s latest releases, this time on the mega top secret subject of … “mediation” :

It seems “Mediation” is also a taboo word at the SLCC as more blacked out FOIs reveal …

SLCC Mediation Advisory Forum 23 May 2008 - Too many secrets

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

phew you are a Swinney fan I see ! well thats okay with me mister ! we need that clown Macaskill oot !

Anonymous said...

This what you are looking for ? Its probably being used against you right now !

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/03/16695/19538

COVERT SURVEILLANCE
CHAPTER 6: AUTHORISATION PROCEDURES FOR INTRUSIVE SURVEILLANCE

6.1 Intrusive surveillance is defined in section 1(3) of the RIP(S) Act as covert surveillance that:

a .is carried out in relation to anything taking place on any residential premises or in any private vehicle; and
b. involves the presence of an individual on the premises or in the vehicle or is carried out by means of a surveillance device.

6.2 Covert surveillance is defined in section 1(8)(a) of the RIP(S) Act as any surveillance which is carried out in a manner calculated to ensure that the persons subject to the surveillance are unaware that it is or may be taking place.

6.3 Where surveillance is carried out in relation to anything taking place on any residential premises or in any private vehicle by means of a device, without that device being present on the premises, or in the vehicle, it is not intrusive unless the device consistently provides information of the same quality and detail as might be expected to be obtained from a device actually present on the premises or in the vehicle. Thus, an observation post outside premises, which provides a limited view and no sound of what is happening inside the premises would not be considered as intrusive surveillance.

6.4 Residential premises are defined in section 31(1) of the RIP(S) Act. The definition includes hotel rooms, bedrooms in barracks, and police and prison cells but not any common area to which a person is allowed access in connection with his occupation of such accommodation e.g. a hotel lounge.

6.5 A private vehicle is defined in section 31(1) of the RIP(S) Act as any vehicle which is used primarily for the private purposes of the person who owns it or of a person otherwise having the right to use it. A person does not have a right to use a motor vehicle if his right to use it derives only from his having paid, or undertaken to pay, for the use of the vehicle and its driver for a particular journey.

6.6 In many cases, a surveillance operation may involve both intrusive surveillance and entry on or interference with property or with wireless telegraphy. In such cases, both activities need authorisation. This can be done as a combined authorisation (see paragraph 3.11).

6.7 An authorisation for intrusive surveillance may be issued by a Chief Constable. All authorisations require the personal authority of the Chief Constable and, under section 10(2) of the RIP(S) Act a Chief Constable may not authorise intrusive surveillance unless that Chief Constable is satisfied that:

a. the authorisation is necessary for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime; and
b. the surveillance is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by carrying it out.

6.8 A factor which must be taken into account in deciding whether an authorisation is necessary and proportionate is whether the information which it is thought necessary to obtain by means of the intrusive surveillance could reasonably be obtained by other less intrusive means.

Authorisation procedures

6.9 The Chief Constable should generally give authorisations in writing. However, in urgent cases, they may be given orally. In an urgent oral case, a statement that the Chief Constable has expressly authorised the conduct should be recorded in writing by the applicant as soon as is reasonably practicable.

6.10 If the Chief Constable is absent then as provided for in section 5(4) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967, an authorisation can be given in writing or, in urgent cases, orally by the designated deputy.

6.11 In an urgent case, where it is not reasonably practicable having regard to the urgency of the case for the designated deputy to consider the application, a written authorisation may be granted by an Assistant Chief Constable entitled to act under section 12(4) of the RIP(S) Act.

6.12 A case is not normally to be regarded as urgent unless the time that would elapse before the Chief Constable was available to grant the authorisation would, in the judgement of the person giving the authorisation, be likely to endanger life or jeopardise the investigation or operation for which the authorisation was being given. An authorisation is not to be regarded as urgent where the need for an authorisation has been neglected or the urgency is of the authorising officer's own making.

6.13 The consideration of an authorisation by the Chief Constable is only to be regarded as not reasonably practicable (within the meaning of section 12(2) of the RIP(S) Act) if the Chief Constable is on annual leave, is absent from the office and home, or is for some reason not able within a reasonable time to obtain access to a secure telephone or fax machine. Pressure of work is not normally to be regarded as rendering it impracticable for a Chief Constable to consider an application. Where a designated deputy gives an authorisation this should be made clear and the reason for the absence of the Chief Constable given.

6.14 Applications to the Chief Constable for authorisation must be made in writing by a member of that officer's own force or by a constable seconded to the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency (or a successor organisation as specified in section 9 of the RIP(S) Act). Where the surveillance is carried out in relation to any residential premises, the authorisation cannot be granted unless the residential premises are within the area of operation of that police force.

Information to be provided in applications for authorisation

6.15 Applications should be in writing and describe the conduct to be authorised and the purpose of the investigation or operation. The application should specify:

* the reasons why the authorisation is necessary in the particular case and on the grounds (e.g. for the purposes of preventing or detecting serious crime) listed in section 10(2) of the RIP(S) Act;
* the reasons why the surveillance is considered proportionate to what it seeks to achieve;
* the nature of the surveillance;
* the residential premises or private vehicle in relation to which the surveillance will take place;
* the identities, where known, of those to be the subject of the surveillance;
* an explanation of the information which it is desired to obtain as a result of the surveillance;
* details of any potential collateral intrusion and why the intrusion is justified;
* details of any confidential material that is likely to be obtained as a result of the surveillance; and
* a subsequent record should be made of whether authority was given or refused, by whom and the time and date.

6.16 Additionally, in urgent cases, the authorisation should record (as the case may be):

* the reasons why the Chief Constable or designated deputy considered the case so urgent that an oral instead of a written authorisation was given; and/or
* the reasons why it was not reasonably practicable for the application to be considered by the Chief Constable or the designated deputy.

6.17 Where the application is oral, the detail referred to above should be recorded in writing as soon as reasonably practicable.

Approval of Surveillance Commissioners

6.18 Except in urgent cases, an authorisation granted for intrusive surveillance will not take effect until it has been approved by a Surveillance Commissioner and written notice of the Commissioner's decision has been given to the person who granted the authorisation (see section 14(1) of the RIP(S) Act). This means that the approval will not take effect until the notice has been received in the office of the person who granted the authorisation within the relevant force.

6.19 When the authorisation is urgent, it will take effect from the time it is granted provided notice is given to the Surveillance Commissioner in accordance with section 13(4)(b) (see section 14(2) of the RIP(S) Act).

6.20 There may be cases that become urgent after approval has been sought but before a response has been received from a Surveillance Commissioner. In such a case, the authorising officer should notify the Surveillance Commissioner that the case is now urgent (pointing out that it has become urgent since the notification). In these cases, the authorisation will take effect immediately.

Notifications to Surveillance Commissioners

6.21 Where a person grants, renews or cancels an authorisation, that person must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, give notice of it in writing to a Surveillance Commissioner, in accordance with whatever arrangements have been made by the Chief Surveillance Commissioner.

6.22 In urgent cases, the notification must specify the grounds on which the case is believed to be one of urgency. The urgency provisions should not be used routinely. If the Surveillance Commissioner is satisfied that there were no grounds for believing the case to be one of urgency, he has the power to quash the authorisation.

6.23 The information to be included in the notification to the Surveillance Commissioner is set out in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Notification of Authorisations etc.) (Scotland) Order 2000; SSI No. 340 .

Duration of authorisations

6.24 A written authorisation granted by a Chief Constable or a designated deputy will cease to have effect (unless renewed) at the end of a period of three months, beginning with the day on which it took effect.

6.25 Oral authorisations given in urgent cases by Chief Constables or their designated deputies will cease to have effect (unless renewed) at the end of the period of seventy-two hours beginning with the time when they took effect.

Renewals

6.26 If at any time before an authorisation expires the Chief Constable or, in his/her absence, the designated deputy considers the authorisation should continue to have effect for the purpose for which it was issued, he/she may renew it in writing for a further period of three months.

6.27 As with the initial authorisation, the Chief Constable must (unless it is a case to which the urgency procedure applies) seek the approval of a Surveillance Commissioner. This means that the renewal will not take effect until the notice of it has been received in the office of the person who granted the authorisation (but not before the day on which the authorisation would have otherwise ceased to have effect). In urgent cases, a renewal can take effect immediately (provided this is not before the day on which the authorisation would have otherwise ceased to have effect). See sections 13 and 14 of the RIP(S) Act and The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Notification of Authorisations etc.) (Scotland) Order 2000 SSI No: 340).

6.28 All applications for a renewal of an authorisation should record:

* whether this is the first renewal or every occasion on which the authorisation has been renewed previously;
* any significant changes to the information listed in paragraph 6.15 ;
* the reasons why it is necessary to continue with the intrusive surveillance;
* the content and value to the investigation or operation of the product so far obtained by the surveillance; and
* the results of regular reviews of the investigation or operation.

Reviews

6.29 Regular reviews of authorisations should be undertaken to assess the need for the surveillance to continue. The results of a review should be recorded on the central record of authorisation record (see paragraphs 3.14-3.15 ). Particular attention is drawn to the need to review authorisations frequently where the intrusive surveillance provides access to confidential material or involves collateral intrusion.

6.30 The senior authorising officer should determine how often a review should take place. This should be as frequently as is considered necessary and practicable.

Cancellations

6.31 The senior authorising officer who granted or last renewed the authorisation must cancel it if that officer is satisfied that the surveillance no longer meets the criteria upon which it was authorised. Where the senior authorising officer is no longer available, this duty will fall on the person who has taken over the role of senior authorising officer (see the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Cancellation of Authorisations) (Scotland) Regulations 2002; SSI No. 207).

6.32 Surveillance Commissioners must be notified where authorisations are cancelled (see The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Notification of Authorisations etc.) (Scotland) Order 2000; SSI No. 340) .

Ceasing of surveillance activity

6.33 As soon as the decision is taken that the intrusive surveillance should be discontinued, instructions must be given to those involved to stop all surveillance of the subject(s). The date and time when such an instruction was given should be recorded in the central record of authorisation (see paragraphs 3.14-3.15) and the notification of cancellation where relevant.

6.34 In cases where an authorisation is quashed or cancelled by a Surveillance Commissioner, the senior authorising officer must immediately instruct those carrying out the surveillance to stop monitoring, observing, listening or recording the activities of the subject of the authorisation. The date and time when such an instruction was given should be recorded on the central record or authorisation (see paragraphs 3.14-3.15).

Anonymous said...

Good show Kenny.When are you going to force kids to rat out their parents and neighbours to video each other if someone mentions bent lawyers?

spriggan said...

'friendly word in their ear'

they were waterboarded,right?

great system you guys have in scotland ! I think I will keep away !

Anonymous said...

MacAskill Running scared - with no place left to hide.

Excellent article and revelations of wrongdoing and vested interests operating at every level - the principal players being the Law Society and tame politicians, both effectively telling everyone else to 'take a hike'.

Dynamite, but I doubt if any investigation will appear in a Scottish Broadsheet.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess you were being spied on too Mr Cherbi but if its of any comfort I know that Faculty Services are dealing with complaints from Advocates who claim their conversations with clients have also been bugged.

Good luck and bring down that miserable git MacAskill !

Anonymous said...

damning stuff but look at this ! Douglas Mill y our old pal is now going to contribute to creating more Douglas Mill types at Glasgow University !

http://www.thefirmmagazine.com/news/1311/Exclusive:_Mill_takes_on_Glasgow_University_development_role.html


NEWS
06 Feb 2009
Exclusive: Mill takes on Glasgow University development role

Former Chief Executive of the Law Society Douglas Mill has been appointed as the Director of Professional Legal Practice at Glasgow University.

The role has been newly created with Mill, who has moved into business consultancy after 11 years at the helm of the Law Society, as its first incumbent. Part of his brief will be to develop a full "cradle to grave" full service law Faculty at the university.

“It is a great personal opportunity for me. I have always been very involved in Legal education and I really do enjoy contact with the students," Mill told the Firm.

"I had no idea of Glasgow's plans. They see the Universty as getting better, and with the 300th anniversary of the University coming up in 2013, this is an excellent target to aim for. Glasgow has always been unimpeachably good as a legal university, but it has been ten years since they have been involved in diploma training.

"We are hoping that the Law Society AGM in May sets out a new type of diploma. Glasgow has the oportunity to develop the new srtyle of diploma from day 1, to link into lifetime learning for solicitors in Scotland."

Mill steps into the new role on 1 March, and will continue to operate Douglas Mill Consultancy in parallel to the new post.

"The University have positively encouraged me to keep the consultancy work going," Mill said.

"They want me to keep my coal face involvement with the profession."

Anonymous said...

No doubt now you have revealed the spying operation MacAskill will quickly be seeking to distance himself and the SNP from this.

I really feel for the poor people at this slcc who are effectively piggy in the middle in all of this.

Good work as always.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for the comments everyone and the links, particularly the Douglas Mill story.

I was made aware last week he was being appointed to the role at Glasgow University, although I hadn't realised they created the post just for him.

No doubt he will be able to instruct budding solicitors on how to crucify their clients.

Thanks also for the link to the RIPSA page.

# Anonymous @ 4.56pm

I agree with you entirely and as my sources indicate, the Law Society are probably behind the whole thing.

I would suppose even before RIPSA existed, the Law Society were used to gathering information on people, as at least one firm of Private Investigators in Edinburgh have admitted to carrying out "client spying work" for the Law Society and individual legal firms.

# Anonymous @ 5.40pm

That is of little comfort. What is at issue here is the Scottish Government intervening in a supposedly 'independent' organisation and threatening staff members as well as spying on journalists who are covering the issues which are certainly in the public interest to be reported.

# Anonymous @ 6.50pm

He may well be, but as more documents will be released in time, Mr MacAskill wont escape involvement.

Anonymous said...

Peter this is an incredible scandal you have written about.

If anyone is sacked from the SLCC over this I hope they expose the whole lot in the newspapers and on your blog.

Well done laddie !

Anonymous said...

I think your 'source' at the govt hates MacAskill to come out with something about RIP(S)A but anyway as you say this is pretty poor stuff considering someone has had the decency to speak up against thugs at this commission

Anonymous said...

"It looks like the Scottish Government are more determined to conceal the truth at the SLCC and protect rogue lawyers than discover who tried to kill the Law Society Chief Accountant Leslie Cumming and they still haven't got anyone for that"

What a quote ! and so true !

Anonymous said...

So what we have here is the Justice dept acting to protect shady dealings at the SLCC while they maintain the SLCC is independnet.A bad idea which obviously from your story has backfired.

MacAskill should be sacked no doubt about it

Anonymous said...

Peter.
I do not believe for one minute that RIPSA could be used by MacAskill. He doesnt need to.All they need to do is get one of the 10 or so former SLSP employees to own up to the leaks or resign.Its as simple as that and I'm sure they will be under a lot more pressure now you have written about it.

At least what you have done is highlight there is a huge problem at the commission.Maybe as you say we all need a fresh start for a second time.

Kenny MacAskill will be listening to all our telephones soon ! said...

and why am I not surprised to see the SNP have turned Scotland into a Nazi state?

when do the SNP armbands come out in red,white and a black bottle of buckfast in the middle?

Anonymous said...

An impressive post but don't be too quick to praise Swinney.Like MacAskill,Salmond and the rest they only got to power the Bernie Madoff way,selling Scotland an impossible dream.
If anyone has any sense up there you will boot their arses out the first chance of an election.

Anonymous said...

I hope your reporting the matter now brings the witch hunt to an end and well done Peter for standing up to bastards like this who would so such a thing to protect lawyers

Anonymous said...

These people have a union don't they ?

I suggest they trot along and get some support pronto !

Anonymous said...

Why would RIPSA not be used ?
If the SLCC were to spy on its own staff or a journalist they would be able to use it as a public body but is it the case the justice dept are suggeting they should use it or will Macaskill use it to avoid bringing in the Police?
Either way its a huge scandal and would probably bring down the justice secretary.
It also makes me sick to think all this trouble is being undertaken to protect a few rotten apples in the profession.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt this will all be inspired by the Law Society and I hope anyone caught in it will sue the pants off them (if they can get a lawyer to take on the claim of course)

Anonymous said...

After what I heard this morning on your blog from a colleague I agree with what you say Peter.
MacAskill must go.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand MacAskill wont do anything about the SLCC then he comes on and interferes about leaks.

Time for a sacking of MacAskill I say.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is good to hear.Now the SNP can't say they dont spy on people now.
I wonder what Christine Grahame has got to say about this after all her complaints her phones were bugged.HAHAHAHA as if!

Anonymous said...

Well the obvious thing to do would be to have an investigation of the leaks but assuming the leaks are true and I take it these leaks refere to your coverage of the slcc the right thing to do would be to admit mistakes and make sure it does not happen again ?

If that doesn't happen, then we are back to the way the Law Society operates and that wont do.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't fancy a job at this place - it sounds like a real nasty work environment to put it mildly.
Hope the people affected in this story are okay and don't lose their jobs just because some scumbag lawyer wants to keep ripping off their clients.

Anonymous said...

Just for your information Peter I tried to telephone this slcc today and someone told me to F* off when I asked if they used to work for the Law Society !

Anonymous said...

This is a shocking story which should be in the newspapers !

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny authorises some dirty tricks against you Peter and since its Kenny you can bet the tricks will be lower than what comes out the back end of a rat !

Keep up the good work mate.

Anonymous said...

This only tells us the one constant in all these so called reforms is a crooked legal profession bent on protecting itself and surprise the Justice Minister is a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

After reading the document in your post it sounds like the justice dept tried to keep dealing with the leak quiet but then you got hold of the papers and now this.

I wonder what else is being covered up at the slcc ?

Anonymous said...

What a waste of black ink by the slcc !

Who gave McAskill the right to interfere anyway ?

Anonymous said...

you don't know the half of it peter its horrible evil

Anonymous said...

these are evil people truly evil

hello said...

any update on this Peter ?
looks like you have Kenny cornered as usual but Scotland being so bent these days under snouts-in-trough party rule nothing will happen !

Anonymous said...

I never thought for one minute they would catch Cumming's attacker.
The whole thing jusdt sounded so ridiculous and I'm sure the law Society knows or is involved far more than anyone lets on

As for your points about the slcc whistleblowers why dont they just come forward to the tv and tell all ? Too afraid of losing their jobs I bet !

Anonymous said...

I am curious to know what right Kenny MacAskill has to interfere with the SLCC ?

Anonymous said...

I had a talk with someone at work today about this story and we both share your view that MacAskill is responsible for probably bullying the slcc in one way and I wouldn't be surprised if spying is also invovled as you said too.

Absolutely disgraceful the whole thing and you should pursue it to the bitter end.

Anonymous said...

To the person who is curious as to why Mr MacAskill feels he has to intervene with the SLCC - isn't it obvious ?

He is out to protect the Law Society and bent lawyers - thats what !

Too many secrets and one Justice Secretary with just as many secrets I imagime.

Anonymous said...

I share the concerns of some here about the slcc staff who are being victimised by MacAskill.
It seems to me they are caught in the middle with the Law Society,MacAskill on one side and these poor people who are getting ripped off by lawyers on the other.
I take it lawyers will be ripping their clients off even more now theres no money around !

Anonymous said...

New job for you peter ! Editor of the hootsmon !
but if a lawyer gets it their circ will go down to 25 a day hahahaha !

[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7901263.stm]

MacAskill is a lawyer-loving / protecting & corrupt INjustice Secretary ... FACT said...

So, how do we get rid of MacAskill folks? ... especially if Salmond, the man who appointed him and obviously approves of and condones his crooked and corrupt actions, is determined to keep this lawyer-loving / protecting scumbag in post.

Any real and damning dirt on this crooked slimeball anyone?

Anonymous said...

Well done Peter.The whole SLCC should be sacked for this and MacAskill too !

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on this one too Peter.Very well investigated and written.You really are good at what you do !

Anonymous said...

Dont you think you are a tad paranoid?

Its all a bit over the top

I also do not see why Macaskill can be blamed for everything that goes wrong.

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 5.19pm

Kenny MacAskill is the Justice Secretary and is responsible for setting up the SLCC. He is therefore responsible for its failure.

Hiding behind secrecy and witch hunting staff who disagree with the way the Commission is being run, are not the acts of an honest individual or Government.

What is the matter with reporting the issues ?

Are you feeling a little uncomfortable in the spotlight when failure and cover ups are revealed ?

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would I feel uncomfortable?

I am rather amused by your over the top paranoia though.

Do you by any chance wear tin foil on your head ?

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 1.45pm

No .. but I think the SLCC board members will probably need tin foil hats,judging from papers I have yet to publish.

skewered said...

lol @ tin foil hats
thats usually the line lawyers use on the hootsmon forum if they dont like comments haha !

Anonymous said...

Skewered

What do you know about lawyers and how they work and think?
What is the hootsmon?

Anonymous said...

It is good to see John Swinney taking Douglas Mill on. I would not trust Mill as far as I could throw him.
Glasgow University has given Mill a job. Well spread the corrupt culture of the Law Society to Glasgow University law students, they will be well groomed by the time they are ready to go into practice. Every client a solicitor stitches up, is another convert to the anti lawyer community.
All through history despots have held onto power for a limited time. The despotic regime of the Law Society and The SLCC, must be crushed.
The Government using anti terror legislation to spy on whistleblowers from the ombudsman,
shows great bias towards lawyers. The latter must be crossing some ministers hands with silver, or gold.