Monday, August 10, 2009

27 year wait for class actions in Scotland ‘to be considered’ by Justice Secretary after publication of Lord Gill's civil justice review

ScottishGovernmentThe Scottish Government ‘may’ support the introduction of class action litigation in Scotland if Lord Gill's review recommends it. CLASS ACTIONS may finally be introduced to Scotland, on condition the issue is recommended for action by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, in his long awaited Civil Courts Review, due to be published in the next few weeks.

MacAskill tight lippedJustice Secretary MacAskill 'will consider' Class Action proposals as part of Lord Gill's recommendations. In a letter to the Scottish Parliament's Petitions Committee, who were considering a public petition to introduce Class Actions to Scotland, a Justice Department official replying on behalf of the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said : "The Review is looking at significant possible reforms to the civil courts system in Scotland. Several of these wider reforms have a direct bearing on whether the introduction of class action procedure is desirable and how it would work. Lord Gill’s recommendations on multi-party actions must be considered within this wider framework and the funding implications of the Review’s proposals. These issues include judicial resources, judicial case management, improving the operation of court procedures, how litigation should be funded, public funding, and use of alternative dispute resolution procedures."

"In the interim, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has confirmed that he is prepared to consider class action procedure as part of Lord Gill’s wider recommendations. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Minister for Justice have also discussed the some of the options for class action procedure with the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates who has called for introduction of the procedure to enable claims to be raised against financial institutions amongst others."

A legal insider today who has been studying Scotland's exclusion of Class Action litigation in Scotland said today : "Given the Scottish Executive’s lack of progress on legal reforms, and the protectionist nature of the Justice Secretary towards reforms which he or the legal profession perceives as threatening business, or even threatening the profession itself, I am not all that confident that class actions will be introduced in Scotland to the degree this type of litigation exists in other countries. There will, I fear be unwarranted restrictions on who can mount class actions and who will be able to represent groups of litigants in court."

He continued : "While it is a fact the Dean of Faculty himself earlier this year called for class actions to be introduced in Scotland, Mr Keen was more interested in taking on the banks rather than anyone else at the time. Since the dean's words on this issue in January, a lot has happened to the banking sector, and I wonder whether he is now so keen himself six months on to pursue his rather 'limited' call for the introduction of class action legislation just to take on a few banks when in fact he should have called for the unfettered implementation of class action procedure at the time."

An consumer affairs insider this afternoon said he also feared that while class actions may be allowed in Scotland, there might be restrictions on how those types of actions could be raised, along with restrictions on who could represent class action litigants, and even perhaps restrictions on who exactly class actions could be raised against.

He said : “Our organisation is, as you know, fully supportive of Lord Gill’s civil courts review and we hope he will recommend that class action procedures be introduced. However, we would not like to see restrictions on who could represent groups of litigants involved in class actions. We feel that such reforms must be looked at and acted upon while also freeing up Scotland’s legal services market to open competition.”

He continued : “While it may be the preference of some within the legal profession to have class action cases handled by a select few advocates & legal firms, that is not what we would think of as a genuine reform. Great care must be taken to avoid introducing reforms such as class actions, or McKenzie Friends, and then bowing to the wishes of Scotland’s current closed shop legal services business model, by introducing restrictions on how those reforms would be implemented and utilised by court users and the public at large. We would not want to see a situation, where for instance some public bodies and institutions in Scotland gained an immunity from class actions being raised against them.”

Lord GillThe hopes of radical reform to Scotland's "Victorian justice system", including the implementation of class action procedures, rest with Lord Gill's civil court review. The two year civil courts review, conducted by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, aims to reform Scotland's antiquated civil justice system, described by Lord Gill himself as being stuck in Victorian times. Lord Gill in his speech to the Law Society’s annual conference said : "The civil justice system in Scotland is a Victorian model that had survived by means of periodic piecemeal reforms. But in substance its structure and procedures are those of a century and a half ago."

"It is failing the litigant and it is failing society. It is essential that we should have a system that has disputes resolved at a judicial level that is appropriate to their degree of importance and that disputes should be dealt with expeditiously and efficiently and without unnecessary or unreasonable cost. That means that the judicial structure should be based on a proper hierarchy of courts and that the procedures should be appropriate to the nature and the importance of the case, in terms of time and cost."

Lord Gill, branded Scotland’s civil justice system a failure, concluding : “Scottish civil justice fails on all of these counts. Its delays are notorious. It costs deter litigants whose claims may be well-founded. Its procedures cause frustration and obstruct rather than facilitate the achievement of justice. Unless there is major reform and soon, individual litigants will be prevented from securing their rights, commercial litigants will continue to look elsewhere for a forum for their claims, public confidence in the judicial system will be further eroded, Scotland’s economic development will be hindered, and Scots law will atrophy as an independent legal system. The conclusions of our Review are as stark as that."

I am, of course, also supportive of Lord Gill’s civil courts review, and such important issues as the introduction of class action procedures, and also important access to justice issues such as the introduction of McKenzie Friends to Scotland’s courts. However as with all things legal in Scotland, there will no doubt be stubborn resistance from the legal establishment, who will lobby for the usual conditions and strings to be attached by the Scottish Government to such reforms, as my colleague in the consumer affairs arena indicates.

Law Society of ScotlandThe Law Society of Scotland would certainly not want to fall victim to class actions from victims of crooked lawyers. I foresee that, for instance, bodies such as the Law Society of Scotland, and those connected with regulating the legal services market may seek to impede the implementation of class action procedures, upon condition they gain some kind of immunity, which would of course, be an unrealistic proposal for any impartial & honest person to accept … The trouble with that is though .. we don’t have too many impartial & honest politicians at the moment who might stand up to the lobbying efforts of public bodies and agencies seeking such immunities from the law.

Just imagine that local health trusts, or specific agencies of the Scottish Government, local government, and even industries might seek to lobby against the implementation of class actions in Scotland. How would the Scots public feel about that ?

The fact is that calls for the implementation of Class Action procedures in Scots Law have been made since 1982, with a recommendation along these lines being made by the Scottish Law Commission some thirteen years ago in 1996 who also presented draft court rules at the time.. However, in 2000, the Court of Session Rules Council decided that existing procedures were adequate enough, and the Scottish Law Commission’s recommendations were thus not implemented.

Now, here we are in 2009, over twenty seven years since class actions were called for in Scotland, yet class actions are still not allowed in our courts, demonstrating to me that even if Lord Gill does go the full hog and recommend their introduction, legislation will be needed to ensure class action litigants obtain a fair hearing, and are allowed access to legal representation of their own choice, rather than such legal representation being forced on them by the legal profession itself.

You can read more about Petition 1234, to introduce Class Actions to Scotland, here : Scottish class action procedure raised by Peter Brown on 12 January 2009 with written submissions on the petition appearing HERE

Petition 1234 calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to instigate a class action procedure or similar in Scots Law to correspond with the legal systems of many other countries including England and the United States. The background to the Petition can be read here : Background to Class Action Petition

So, this leaves us in the hands of Lord Gill, the Lord Justice Clerk, and the civil courts review once more. I hope the review will live up to the expectations of many, but I suspect a degree of political meddling will leave Scotland’s public coming up short again in terms of our access to justice compared to the rest of the UK …

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if MacAskill is bought off from allowing class actions to happen.If they did happen I'd expect the Law Society to want to control who did what and for who as you point out.

keep up the pressure !

Anonymous said...

whats to consider after 27 years ?
If they didn't do it then they arent going to do it now or at least not the way everyone expects

Anonymous said...

spot on Peter
I cant see vested interests allowing this to happen
Lets bet anyone who donates to the SNP gets an immunity from class actions !

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, and the usual 'escape from jail' provisos from MacAskill, Salmond and the Scot Nats - despite the fact that such urgently needed reform will clearly aid the productive and efficient use of 'judicial resources, judicial case management, the operation of court procedures, and public funding'.

The introduction of Class Actions covering all professions and industries is long overdue, and to be meaningful this must be available to all members of the Scottish Public without hinderance.

Any repeat of earlier 'piecemeal reform' - such as the absurd 5 year 'bedding in' process of sections 25-29 of the Law Reform Act, an extension of rights of audience applying to a ridiculously small area of law at that - will only confirm what is already widely believed, namely, that the Law Society control the political process in Scotland where all matters of Law reform are concerned.....ably aided by former solicitor MacAskill.

I have written to several MSPs urging them to support the petition and would urge others to do the same now.

Anonymous said...

Honestly Peter I agree with you on the Lord Gill thing.
I think people are getting their hopes up over what will happen as a result of his recommendation because as you so eloquently point out the Scottish Law Commission have been at this for years,their recommendations mostly being ignored by whoever was the government of the day.

I think something will be recommended on class actions but I doubt any action on it will come before the next election in Scotland.

Good luck in your campaigns and at least in my book your award wining writing.

Anonymous said...

Freeing up Scotland’s legal services market to open competition.” YES QUALITY WILL IMPROVE, LAWYERS MUST NOT RETAIN THEIR MONOPOLY, COMPETITION WILL FORCE THEM TO PULL THEIR SOCKS UP OR BECOME BUSINESS FAILURES.

Anonymous said...

Law Society will be dead against class actions if you think about it Peter.there will be 1000s of people willing to sue them to death and choose one of their own to take it into court ! YOu maybe !

rules but not for the rulers said...

You raise a very important point about immunity and class actions.
If it is going to be introduced then there should be no exclusions.If there are it will be fairly obvious to all who has the most to hide by lobbying for such an immunity.

Anonymous said...

7.31pm

Yes we have to be thankful that Peter lets us know what is really going on in the legal world because some of these newspapers seem to forget the only bloody reason that lawyers exist is because they have fee paying clients (us) and our views should be listened to even more.

I can safely say after regularly tuning into Peter's blog that all lawyers are leeches and never to be trusted EVER!

Anonymous said...

meanwhile in 2003 (nothing happened) :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3130338.stm

Tuesday, 23 September, 2003

Class action call for Scotland

People pursuing similar legal claims should be allowed to band together when seeking redress through Scotland's courts, according to a new report.

The Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) said US-style class actions would make it easier for "the Davids of this world to take on the Goliaths".

The council believes that the law is weighted in favour of traders.

Chairman Graeme Millar said that a change to bring Scotland into line with England and Wales was "long overdue".

Civil procedure rules south of the border now provide a mechanism for dealing with litigation involving a large number of claimants.

'Unfair protection'

Mr Millar said: "Our legal system gives consumers rights to seek legal redress for harm they have suffered but denies them the means to do so in cases where the only effective remedy is through a class action.

"It is unacceptable that consumers or others should be given rights that they cannot effectively enjoy.

"The present situation puts a price on justice that ordinary citizens are unlikely to be able to pay. It offers unfair protection to big business and it needs to change.


It is unacceptable that consumers or others should be given rights that they cannot effectively enjoy
Graeme Millar
Scottish Consumer Council
"We have set out the case for change and will be lobbying to bring that about."

The SCC first proposed that Scotland adopt the class action system in 1982.

Since then a report from the Scottish Law Commission on multi-party actions has also backed the move.

The legal profession in Scotland has developed systems to pursue joint action on behalf of claimants who were involved in disasters such as Lockerbie or Piper Alpha.

Solicitors' groups have been formed to co-ordinate the work in formulating claims but the SCC believes a formal class action system needs to be introduced to make it easier for consumers to seek redress.

Small claims

The council's report said: "Class action enables litigation to be conducted more efficiently and makes a remedy a practical possibility, particularly where large numbers of people have each lost small amounts which it would not be economic to litigate about individually."

It also highlights a case in the early 1990s when the electrical company Hoover failed to honour a marketing promotion to provide free flights.

The report said many thousands of consumers were disappointed but few resorted to the small claims court because the amounts involved were not large and it may not have been worthwhile to do so.

The council believes that if a class action had been available at the time, consumers would have had another means of seeking redress.

Anonymous said...

So, this leaves us in the hands of Lord Gill, the Lord Justice Clerk, and the civil courts review once more. I hope the review will live up to the expectations of many, but I suspect a degree of political meddling will leave Scotland’s public coming up short again in terms of our access to justice compared to the rest of the UK …

Well Peter, the political meddling will be seen for what it is, politicians fiddling things their own way because they are hell bent on "prostituting themselves" to those who can benefit them financially etc.

If a fair society everyone must be equal in law, the prejudice from politicians and self regulators must end, and hopefully Lord Gill will back his comments about the 19th century legal system with action. It is time for Lord Gill in his review to make justice available to all, and also provide much more legal protection for members of the public, than the sham that currently exists.

This mess that is our so called legal system, is an afront to justice, and the lawyers have created this situation themselves. The old saying "give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves" applies here. Lawyers have acted in concert to protect each other so much, that public trust is being erroded daily.

Finally, did any newspapers report on the suicides, and ruined families in your earlier article about the True Cost of the Law Societies Master Policy Peter? If not do the Law Society control the press? I think they do in Hamilton, shame on you journalists for keeping quiet about this.

Anonymous said...

I read Richard Keen's piece in the Firm but I didn't believe it nor did I believe what he said to the newspapers about his wishes for class actions.

If you look at what was going on at the time you will see the Faculty was fighting the banks while the Law Society was fighting the building societies.

Simply smoke & mirrors for both organisations to get their way as they did with continued bank sponsorship of their events and no doubt more lucrative finance deals.

Anonymous said...

I am, of course, also supportive of Lord Gill’s civil courts review, and such important issues as the introduction of class action procedures, and also important access to justice issues such as the introduction of McKenzie Friends to Scotland’s courts. However as with all things legal in Scotland, there will no doubt be stubborn resistance from the legal establishment, (YES PETER LAWYERS LOOKING AFTER THEIR BANK BALANCES AGAIN) who will lobby for the usual conditions and strings to be attached by the Scottish Government to such reforms, as my colleague in the consumer affairs arena indicates.

BUT WE ARE GETTING TO THEM, AND THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING. CHANGE WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE THE PUBLIC HAVE NO TRUST IN LAWYERS, PEOPLE ARE BETTER SPLITTING THINGS AMICABLY THAN TRUST A LAWYER.

THE PRESSURE GROUPS ARE A NIGHTMARE FOR THE PROFESSION BUT LAWYERS SHOULD REMEMBER THIS. THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND HAS DONE MORE TO DAMAGE THE REPUTATIONS OF THEIR MEMBERS THAN ANYTHING ELSE. THEY PROTECT WHEN THEY SHOULD RIUN CROOKED LAWYERS, DOUGLAS MILL TAKE NOTE, CROOKS PROTECT CROOKS YOU HAVE UNDERMINED LAWYERS, AS WELL AS THEM BEING CROOKS ALSO. WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO COVER UP LAWYER CRIMINALITY AT THE EXPENSE OF MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC? A VICTORIAN LEGAL SYSTEM IS THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. THE DAY IS COMING WHEN EVERY SCOT WILL SEE A FILTHY SELF PROTECTIVE PARASITE WHEN THEY LOOK AT A LAWYER. IT IS A CRAZY SYSTEM THAT BESTOWS OMNIPOTENT POWER ON INDIVIDUALS BECAUSE THEY READ LAW AT UNIVERSITY.

IF LORD GILL IS SERIOUS ABOUT PROTECTING THE PUBLIC HIS REVIEW SHOULD INCLUDE THE OUTLAWING OF SELF REGULATION. THIS BIASED SYSTEM IS CRIMINAL IN ITSELF.

Anonymous said...

I laugh when I hear my fellow Scots talking about the SNP. This party are friends of the Law Society, as are other parties. Independence would make things worse for the public in Scotland, and Salmond is too cosy with the legal establishment for the public interest.

Anonymous said...

THE SCOTSMAN

Published Date: 10 August 2009
By Chris Mackie.

ANY joy that critics of the Law Society may have gained from the news that the cost of professional membership was set to fall by a sixth may have been tempered by the accompanying announcement concerning likely job losses. (SACK THEM ALL) Even those harshest on the society's supposed wastefulness could not have failed to be dismayed by yet more redundancies (LOVELY JUBBLY)in a sector growing wearily accustomed to such depressing downsizing. (POETIC JUSTICE, I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE,

MORTGAGES.

CREDIT CARDS TAKEN TO THE LIMIT.

EXPENSIVE CARS ON FINANCE.

PLENTY OF CREDIT YOU WILL STRUGGLE TO PAY BACK.

HOPE YOU BECOME HOMELESS.

DO NOT WORRY BECAUSE

I AM GOING TO SET UP A SOUP KITCHEN FOR LAW SOCIETY EMPLOYEES WHO GET THEIR UB40. LORNA SMART OR YELLAND WILL NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF YOU, AND THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE GOING. LORNA, PHILLIP, DONATIONS FOR THE SOUP PLEASE.

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 3.07pm

Its a possibility ...

@ Anonymous @ 3.43pm

Yes ... donations just under the declarable limit will be up I'm sure ... although the same would probably happen to any party who was currently in power ...

@ Anonymous @ 3.52pm

I agree with your comment .. and your suggestion that readers write to their MSPs to enlist their support for this issue.

@ Anonymous @ 7.31pm

More political horse trading and double dealing will kill off many of Lord Gill's recommendations ... and I agree with you about the 'getting our hopes up too much' thing ... because the more I hear Justice Department officials from the Scottish Government saying "wait and see what the civil courts review says" .. I know its going to be a fiddle ...

# Anonymous @ 7.33pm

Given the way many members of the Law Society act .. they should certainly be forced out of business !

# Anonymous @ 8.27pm

No ... I think someone more capable than I in the courtroom must take such a case on .. although I'd be willing to go along in support or to act as a McKenzie Friend to the litigants ...

# Rules but not for the rulers @ 9.23pm

I doubt the issue of class actions will be implemented in a clear cut way ... there are bound to be organisations seeking immunity to hide all their dirty tricks, like for example, the Law Society of Scotland.

# Anonymous @ 9.41pm

Good points ...

# Anonymous @ 9.50pm

Thanks for that link.

# Anonymous @ 9.54pm

I am about to write a further, more powerful article on the Master Policy and lives it has cost to maintain it ... and yes, so far newspapers have not reported the matter in any great detail .. I wonder why ...

I'd like to ask a question of Kenny MacAskill - How many lives should it cost to allow your colleagues in the legal profession to sleep at night ?

Can you, Mr Justice Secretary, justify suicides to keep the Master Policy in place - which you yourself paid into while a solicitor ?

# Anonymous @ 10.36pm

I agree .. and yes I thought the same about Mr Keen's article ...

# Anonymous @ 10.43pm

I think more public awareness is needed on just how much control the legal profession itself exerts over an individual's access to justice in Scotland.

We have a situation at the moment where in effect, the legal profession decides whether we as citizens have access to justice or not ... but that cannot be allowed to go on.

I agree with what you say about Lord Gill .. he must stand by his words, and protect the public from a legal system which has become dictatorial on justice, rather than serving the best interests of justice.

# Anonymous @ 10.46pm

Yes .. well they are getting the reputation of that ... after all .. just who in their right mind actually defends lawyers right to rip people off ?

# Anonymous @ 11.01pm

Good idea .. make sure there are plenty old boots and cardboard in the soup then !

Anonymous said...

After what I've read here this lot at the Law Society deserve NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

I'm as sure as you are Peter about these immunities being sought against class actions.You only need to look what has happened over in the US with some of the drug manufacturers seeking and gaining immunities from legal action for untested
'medication' and the same is already happening here.

Anonymous said...

It is to be hoped that Lord Gill's report will include positive proposals which, given the longstanding and lamentable state of Scotland's present Civil Justice system, can only improve it.

Unfortunately, while there is of course no shame in being a slow learner, past experience strongly suggests that any such recommendations will find their way into the laps of those who have spent the last 28 years protecting the status quo and ensuring that words are not translated into deeds.

Needless to say, I would be delighted to proved wrong.

Anonymous said...

I am about to write a further, more powerful article on the Master Policy and lives it has cost to maintain it ... and yes, so far newspapers have not reported the matter in any great detail .. I wonder why ...

Well Peter, the press are either afraid of the Law Society, or they have lawyers working for them. Lawyers as you know also advertise their services in the newspapers, so there are many factors. Clearly the press are more concerned with protecting the Law Society, than freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It really makes one wonder who is running the show.

The Scottish Parliament, is a front for the law society, rights for the public providing the latter do now want rights against the self regulators.

A MESSAGE FOR SCOTLAND'S JOURNALISTS, SHAME ON YOU ALL, YOU ARE AN AFFRONT TO FREE SPEECH AND EXPRESSION. STAND BY SCOTLAND'S NAZI'S WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Anonymous said...

The Richard Keen who was shouting about class actions is the same man who is trying to stop asbestos sufferers getting any compensation!
He is representing the insurers trying to sue the Parliament and the Scottish Government to prevent anyone getting comp for their injuries!
http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2494114.0.insurance_giants_to_challenge_new_asbestos_legislation.php

So is class action good for insurance firms but not for the rest of us Mr Keen ?

Anonymous said...

Lord Gill is perfectly correct to state that the Civil Justice system in Scotland is failing society, and if I had to present a single instance which demonstrates the gulf which has arisen between the legal profession, the proper application of the law, and the denial of the Scottish public's access to it, then it would be the following example.

A party litigant who, through no fault of their own found themselves unrepresented at a hearing in the Court of Session submitted a perfectly reasonable and politely termed request to the Court for clarification on a point of information. This was met in my hearing and that of others with the curt reply from Lady Smith "I am not here to answer your questions, you are here to answer mine".

Doubtless in these circumstances frustrations arise on both sides of the bench, but this was unfortunately just one of several similar outbursts, which together with the experiences of others have gained Lady Smith an unenviable reputation as being combative and obstructive when in the company of party litigants.

Such conduct demonstrates only too clearly that persons who should know better have long since forgotten their proper place, which is at all times beneath the subject they are presently privileged to represent.

Anonymous said...

MacAskill would allow them if he got all the business

Anonymous said...

I find that most public bodies and companies are so corrupt in Scotland they would probably all end up in court if class actions were allowed.AND ABOUT TIME TOO!

Anonymous said...

Did you see Douglas Mill's new website :
http://www.douglasmillconsulting.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

"may consider" is not good enough from MacAskill for any issue
We should let the Parliament bring forward legislation on this now otherwise waiting on the snp we will be here for years

Anonymous said...

12.29pm

Yes the same.
I don't think he will be too keen on that being pointed out now though !

Anonymous said...

People need a fair hearing, and need to be allowed access to legal representation of their own choice, rather than such legal representation being forced on them by the legal profession itself.
-----------------------------------
These lawyers are extremists, who barr anyone from justice who threatens the reputation of a lawyer. It is shocking that a profession with this lever of power have a monopoly on legal services. If this was Walmart/Asda, the Competition Commission would be doing something about it.

Scotland is governed by lawyer dictators, who have agents in Parliament to suppress any oposition to this dictatorship. What do the so called free press do, cower like frightened rabbits with a pack of greyhounds watching them. Are journalists frightened or rewarded?

Winston Churchill was Britain's wartime leader, the electorate got rid of him after 1945. He said there is and will always be two tier justice. It is criminal that this situation prevails in 2009 in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Lord Gill's comments place the conduct of apologists for the Scottish Legal Profession - yes Mr Aitken and Mr MacAskill, this means YOU - in their proper perspective.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your continuing comments and thoughts on this issue.

Good points have been raised about the Dean of the Faculty of Advocate's call earlier this year for class actions .. if only against the banks & financial institutions.

From my own experience in dealing with the legal profession, and cases brought to my attention by readers & victims of 'crooked lawyers' .. I seriously doubt class actions will work properly in Scotland until at least the legal services market is fully opened up to competition, simply because pursuers & defenders legal teams will inevitably be in bed together at some stage, and also of course with the insurers of the defenders who will probably end up paying out after any class action is settled.

Scotland's courts are a far cry from those in the United States, where class actions do help those who find it hard to raise a solitary case against a defender causing financial loss, harm, or injustice ... but of course, we could so easily resolve those differences by cleaning up the Scottish legal system, to an even greater degree than Lord Gill will suggest in his forthcoming review.

Lastly, one point to note please for those making comments ... a number of you have expressed strong sentiments with regards to a particular judge who does not view party litigants very highly.

While such sentiments are agreeable in some cases, I would ask those expressing such comments to give thought to what they submit as a comment, and omit words which may disallow their publication .. for the sake of all concerned, and the furtherance of good debate !

Anonymous said...

"I seriously doubt class actions will work properly in Scotland until at least the legal services market is fully opened up to competition, simply because pursuers & defenders legal teams will inevitably be in bed together at some stage, and also of course with the insurers of the defenders who will probably end up paying out after any class action is settled."

Yes I agree with you Peter.With the Law Society holding onto power class actions dont have much chance of success.Probably anyone trying to take a class action will face the same insurers of the people they are trying to pursue who also insure both sides of the legal teams !

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8196949.stm

Shadow Commons leader Alan Duncan has apologised "unreservedly" after he was secretly filmed complaining about MPs' pay and expenses.

The Tory MP was heard to say MPs were being treated badly after the expenses scandal and "have to live on rations".

Rations ? Give this **** a ration book from the 1940s and see how long he lasts before he starts claiming off his expenses for everything !

Rations what a bloody disgraceful thing to say coming from an mp this proves they are out of touch with us and just cosy up to criminal industries like lawyers and their allies

Scots Justice is a joke as long as MacAskill is Joke Justice Minister said...

Everything in Scotland is a wait isn't it Peter.I'm surprised there is anyone left up there!