Friday, August 14, 2009

McKenzie Friends for Scotland gain support from ‘original McKenzie Friend’ while Scottish Government hint at delays to civil justice reforms

Debating chamberScottish Parliament receives submission from ‘the original McKenzie Friend’ promoting McKenzie Friends for Scotland. IAN HANGER QC, the Australian barrister who participated in the 1970 McKenzie v McKenzie court case in London which led to the existence of the now widely used McKenzie Friend facility by thousands of unrepresented litigants in courts all around the world, has given a submission to the Scottish Parliament's Petitions Committee in support of Petition 1247 asking that Holyrood permit the use of McKenzie Friends in Scotland’s courts.

Ian Hanger QC submission to Scottish Parliament McKenzie Friend petition 1247Ian Hanger QC urges Holyrood to permit the appearance of a McKenzie Friend. In his submission to the Parliament's Petitions Committee, Ian Hanger QC writes of the historical nature of the court case which began the existence of the 'McKenzie Friend : "I did not know when a humble clerk working for Jeffrey Gordon in 1969 and 1970, that when he asked me to look after Mr McKenzie I would be catapulted into history. For me it was just another day at the office. Quite frankly, I did not think that Mr McKenzie had a lot going for him but he was entitled to have his case put in the best possible fashion. I tried to help him do that. I am quite sure that had I been able to remain in court and quietly assist him, the case would not have gone on for half the time that it, in fact, did. I am sure that I could have curtailed the hearing to a few days."

The submission goes on to detail how McKenzie Friends operate in the Australian courts : "As you know, a lot of common law has developed around the doctrine of McKenzie Friend and certainly some of it is confused. In Australia, most of our courts have the power to permit a non-qualified person to, in effect, represent a litigant. Such a provision is specifically contained in the Acts or Rules of Court. But such a person is not a McKenzie Friend."

"A McKenzie Friend does not have a right to address the court. That right is confined to quietly assisting the unrepresented litigant. The Australian experience has been that it has worked successfully. I don't know of the Scottish experience, but certainly in Australia the courts are now greatly troubled by unrepresented litigants and, as the Chief Judge of our District Court has informed me - any help is appreciated."

"Of course, some McKenzie Friends step out of line. The Australian courts have had no hesitation in controlling such people. Obviously the McKenzie Friend should not be entitled to charge any fee for services. To do so, in Australia, would be breaching our Legal Services Acts. I cannot see that the floodgates would be opened by permitting, in appropriate cases, the presence of the McKenzie Friend to help the unrepresented litigant. In some cases you will get a brilliant law student who will provide enormous assistance to the Court."

Ian Hanger concludes his letter to the Scottish Parliament, stating : "I would urge the Parliament to permit the appearance of the McKenzie Friend."

Clearly the support of Ian Hanger QC, being the original McKenzie Friend is of considerable value to the effort to bring McKenzie Friends to Scotland, some FORTY YEARS after their first use in England & Wales. Thank you Ian !

A spokesman for a Scottish consumer organisation said last night : "I am delighted to read of the tremendous support given by Ian Hanger to the McKenzie Friend petition at the Scottish Parliament."

He went on : "As you know our organisation together with several other consumer groups have been supporting the petition at Holyrood, and I can only say that having the support of the original McKenzie Friend is a great bonus, which proves our efforts are justified in ensuring that consumers in Scotland have the same access to justice entitlements as those in England & Wales and all the other jurisdictions were McKenzie Friends have operated successfully for many years."

Several officials from other consumer groups joined in praise of the contribution from Ian Hanger, one senior official calling Mr Hanger’s submission "so invaluable to the McKenzie Friend debate in Scotland that it must lead to change in the Scottish courts so that the growing number of unrepresented litigants can avail themselves of a facility which has helped many people over the years in the sometimes intimidating court environment."

However, while the petition has received considerable support from consumer organisations, law reformers, campaigners, politicians, and the anticipated support of Scotland's Lord Justice Clerk Lord Gill, who is rumoured to be recommending the implementation of the McKenzie Friend facility in his forthcoming civil courts review, there are still apparently some obstacles to overcome.

As I reported on Wednesday of this week, the Law Society of Scotland have predictably opposed the moves to allow McKenzie Friends in Scotland's courts, claiming it should be for judges to decide on a case by case basis whether unrepresented litigants can have someone quietly assist them represent their own case.

The claims by the Law Society of Scotland against the implementation of McKenzie Friends, were however, quickly dismissed as "rubbish" and "pure nonsense" by several senior legal figures who are of the clear opinion the Law Society simply wants to keep out McKenzie Friends from Scotland's courts on worries of financial worries, fearing law firms & solicitors will lose business due to clients deciding to take on a McKenzie Friend instead of paying out tens of thousands of pounds on costly and poor quality legal representation.

A retired solicitor commented last night : "The Law Society can protest all they like about not introducing McKenzie Friends to Scotland, but we all know their arguments hold no water. The fact is the Society feels itself being threatened by the introduction people to the court whom it does not control nor who will bring in money to the legal profession."

He continued : "McKenzie Friends should be allowed in the court, and I think we are all in no doubt there will have to be some kind of legislation to guarantee that litigants can choose to have a McKenzie Friend, rather than allow this ridiculous idea of judges being given the responsibility of considering case by case requests from litigants for the use of a McKenzie Friend, which in my view could lead to repeated miscarriages of justice."

MacAskill tight lippedJustice Secretary MacAskill finally submitted his ambiguous three page reply to the Scottish Parliament. Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has now submitted his response to the McKenzie Friend petition, stating : "... some important elements of the McKenzie friend facility are already available in the Scottish Courts, but the Scottish Government currently has no plans to further replicate the facility before consideration of the report and recommendations of the Civil Courts Review under the Lord Justice Clerk and (ii) the consultation on the eighth programme of law reform”.

Scottish Govt submission on McKenzie Friends Petition 1247Justice Secretary MacAskill’s submission gave limited examples of the rights of unrepresented litigants in Scotland’s courts. Mr MacAskill's submission described the use of McKenzie Friends in England & Wales, then went on to detail how the issue had [not] been handled in Scotland : “In Scotland differing views have been expressed by Outer House judges as to the competency of permitting a person assisting a party litigant to address the Court on the party litigant’s behalf. Many party litigants are assisted in conducting their litigation before the Court of Session by friends and acquaintances, who sit behind them in court."

"In Kinneil v Kinneil the Lord Ordinary, in granting an application for a wife to represent her husband who was otherwise unrepresented at the hearing, found that the Court of Session has a discretion to allow a lay person to speak for a party litigant. He emphasised, however, that this discretion should only be exercised in favour of allowing such representation in exceptional cases. Each case will depend on its own facts. In another case the Lord Ordinary, in the absence of any authority supporting that approach, found it to be incompetent, although he did acknowledge that such an arrangement might in certain circumstances prove to be of practical assistance."

Mr MacAskill ended his submission by stating : "The Scottish Government awaits the Review’s full consideration of responses received to these and other questions, and will similarly formulate preferred reforms to Scottish civil justice systems only in a coherent whole. In the interim, in advance of receiving the Review’s report and recommendations, the Scottish Government has no plans to introduce prematurely to the Scottish courts any further or additional elements of the McKenzie friend facility."

On an analysis of the Justice Secretary’s submission to the Petitions Committee on the McKenzie Friend issue, there is an overwhelming sense of the usual 'delay & do nothing' approach from the Scottish Government, which seems to typify this administration's lack of coherent & consumer friendly policies on justice issues in Scotland.

A legal insider last night branded the Scottish Government’s submission “a no brainer” saying “If anyone is in any doubt why Scots have so little rights in court and why reforms to the justice system are so slow, they just need to read through the three pages reply the Justice Department sent into Holyrood about McKenzie Friends.”

He continued : “A good good comparison would be where the Scottish Law Commission have been recommending much needed civil law reforms for years. However most of the SLC's recommendations have been ignored by successive administrations including the current Scottish Executive. I fear from the tone of the Executive’s response to Parliament on the McKenzie Friend petition, we are going go encounter more unnecessary delays to civil law reform in Scotland.”

While the Scottish Government continues to dither over the impending publication of Lord Gill’s civil courts review, the Scottish Court Service confirmed yesterday they would be replying to the Petitions Committee on the issue of McKenzie friends although a spokesman for the SCS when pressed for reaction on the Law Society of Scotland’s resistance on the issue, said : “We have no comment on the position being taken by the Law Society of Scotland.”

Clearly, with the groundswell of support from consumer organisations, court users, campaign groups, and even the occasional judge, and of course, the original McKenzie Friend himself, the Scottish Parliament must act and bring about clear decisive legislation to give Scots the entitlement the rest of the UK has had for forty years previous, to have a McKenzie Friend assist them in court, if so required.

You can read my earlier articles on the campaign to bring McKenzie Friends to Scotland HERE

Please support the ending of 40 years of discrimination for Scots access to justice, and help bring McKenzie Friends to Scotland’s courts.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could just tell MacAskill wouldnt want to do it.When he gets chucked out his job and has to go back to lawyering he wont want the competition!

Anonymous said...

Well done Ian Hanger QC !

We need more of you in Scotland !

"Kenny Do Nothing For Anyone except Lawyers MacAskill" said...

More delays from Kenny MacAskill !

The man should be called "Kenny Do Nothing For Anyone except Lawyers MacAskill" !

Anonymous said...

Good to see some people take our best interests to heart isn't it.
I hope McKenzie Friends come to Scotland as they should have been long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Clearly all the major political parties are in the back pocket of the Law Society when it comes to anything approaching reform of our risible justice system.

Possibly only a public gesture from someone such as Lord Gill, if and when confronted by the continuing stubborn obstruction to reform, will move matters forward.

But would he resign in protest?

Anonymous said...

SG's effort is rather uninspiring.I agree it smacks of delay.

Lets hope Margo comes back in for another round.She did well for petition in the first hearing !

Anonymous said...

The Law Society claimed it should be for judges to decide on a case by case basis whether unrepresented litigants can have someone quietly assist them when they represent their own case.

I disagree with the Law Society because the judges pay into the same insurance arrangements as all other lawyers in Scotland, and judges are lawyers. It is beyond the bounds of natural justice that many other countries allow McKenzie Friends in their courts, and the Law Society are opposed to this. Hostility towards the Scottish people is the reason for this blatant descrimination.

I am delighted Mr Hanger has backed the intoduction of McKenzie Friends in Scotland. If I can present my case in court with a McKenzie Friend supporting me, surely this is also to the benefit of everyone, cases should be resolved quicker. Litigants will have no need to complain to the Law Society and suffer the coverup's the organisation is infamous for.

The Law Society of Scotland and Mr MacAskill are intimidated by the threat to the legal profession, and see McKenzie Friends as the thin end of the wedge to crushing the lawyers monoploy on legal services provision. Having been the victim of a crooked lawyer myself, I urge non victims to join in because these people can and do, do enormous damage to individuals and families. A party litigant will fight for himself, in a way no lawyer will. Lawyers get paid irrespective of the outcome of the case. It is high time to end this abuse of layperson's human rights, by allowing people to go to court in Scotland with a McKenzie Friend. The Law Societies days for controlling access to the courts are numbered, and they know it.

The SNP shout about being independent from the rest of the UK, as a Scot I reject independence and hope my fellow Scots do too. I support the move to implement the McKenzie Friends in Scotlands courts. Alex Salmond is selective when he addresses an audience. He is a supporter of the Law Society, the First Minister for Scotland's lawyers.

It is time to give people legal choice, and end the Law Societies crushing abuse, which protects their members no matter how they conduct themselves.

Anonymous said...

A retired solicitor commented last night : "The Law Society can protest all they like about not introducing McKenzie Friends to Scotland, but we all know their arguments hold no water. (i TOTALLY AGREE).The fact is the Society feels itself being threatened by the introduction people to the court whom it does not control nor who will bring in money to the legal profession."

He continued : "McKenzie Friends should be allowed in the court, and I think we are all in no doubt there will have to be some kind of legislation (MR MACASKILL YOU ARE FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE) to guarantee that litigants can choose to have a McKenzie Friend, rather than allow this ridiculous idea of judges being given the responsibility of considering case by case requests from litigants for the use of a McKenzie Friend, which in my view could lead to repeated miscarriages of justice."

(TOTALLY AGREE, JUDGES ARE LAWYERS TOO, AS MEMBERS OF THE LAW SOCIETY THEY COULD BE ACCUSED OF BIAS, WHICH IS NOT IN THEIR INTERESTS EITHER).

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 12:41pm

Yes ... I suspect there will be an element of that in Mr MacAskill's go slow approach.

It seems the rights of Scots to have access to justice comes second to lawyers perceived rights to rip the public off and choose who gets into court and who does not.

# Anonymous @ 12:47pm

I agree !

#"Kenny do nothing..." @ 12:52pm

If the shoe fits ...

# Anonymous @ 1:39pm

I agree .. and would encourage others to contact the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee to voice their support for McKenzie Friends for Scotland.

# Anonymous @ 1:58pm

Yes ... I think it may well be down to Lord Gill to force the issue .. although he will be fighting resistance his own colleagues in the judiciary, some of whom have expressed certain condescending opinions against party litigants.

With the introduction of McKenzie Friends to Scotland's courts, the mindset of the judiciary must also be changed to accommodate and understand the public's right of access to justice in courts which are supposed to serve the public and justice, not simply the profit motives of the legal profession.

# Anonymous @ 2:42pm

I would welcome further input from Margo MacDonald although she has already contributed significantly to the progress of the petition and the debate on McKenzie Friends for Scotland.

# Anonymous @ 2:43pm

I completely agree with your comment.

The Law Society of Scotland needs to be taken out of the 'access to justice' equation in Scotland, simply because the Law Society is only interested in serving itself and the needs of the profession, not the needs of the public or the needs of justice.

# Anonymous @ 3:01pm

Keep supporting the issue of McKenzie Friends for Scotland and I believe Lord Gill will have to say more on the matter ...

Anonymous said...

It is the conduct of Mr Douglas Mill, Phillip Yelland, Kenneth Pritchard to name a few who are responsible for ruining all lawyers reputations in Scotland. By covering up corruption in the legal profession you have done more to ruin clients, by letting crooked lawyers off the hook.

The reality these three men are a disgrace to the profession, and have stained all lawyers. Lorna Jack beware, you are in charge of an organisation well known for corruption. It is time to end your legal stranglehold, on who can and cannot have access to the courts. McKenzie Friends will happen in Scotland, because natural justice and human rights are in direct conflict with the power lawyers presently hold. People are barred from justice by lawyers who wanted as Mill stated use the ECHR to keep lawyers looking after lawyers interests. The man lost the plot, human rights and justice for the layperson, that is true justice, not covering up what criminals do to protect money and reputations.

Anonymous said...

Mr MacAskill you are in a difficult position. You are Justice Minister, elected by your constituents, appointed by Salmond. You should do yourself a favour and resign, because you cannot serve two masters.
Do the honourable thing, go to the Law Society where you belong, because you are fighting a losing battle.

Anonymous said...

Mr Hanger QC, thank you for your support on this most important issue.

Peter I wrote to Margo MacDonald telling her I was delighted with her views on McKenzie Friends. I believe she will fight for the introduction of McKenzie Friends, and the more MSP's join her the better.

I agree with you, the Law Society must not be allowed to keep locking the doors to justice, because it is not in their members interests.

Victory to the campainers.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Lord Gill,

I went to many law firms for legal help because a member of my family, had a lawyer who was not on her side. Their revulsion was palpable. The Law Society would not help us either. This has happened to countless people in Scotland who have no legal or human rights.

I urge you to support us by opening up the access to civil justice for all. Douglas Mill talked about using the ECHR to keep self regulation. What about the human rights Lord Gill, of the countless victims of the Law Society of Scotland and it's members.

The Law Society see only what they want to see. Justice for all is a fundamental right, not something to be decided upon by legal professionals looking after their colleagues or their bank accounts. I look forward to learning the outcome of your civil justice review.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The Law Society claimed it should be for judges to decide on a case by case basis whether unrepresented litigants can have someone quietly assist them when they represent their own case.

-------------------------------------
Peter, again we see the Law Society wanting a MEMBER OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION to decide on a case by case basis whether unrepresented litigants can have someone quietly assist them when they represent their own case.

We do not want members of the legal profession deciding this, this should be a right given by legislation through the Scottish Parliament, correct Mr MacAskill.

Anonymous said...

Great support to get from the barrister who started the whole McKenzie Friend thing.
Hopefully Lord Gill will come through with some strong comments on this very soon and start the ball rolling over McAskill's delaying tactics.

rules but not for the rulers said...

2.43pm

Obviously MacAskill and Salmond will look like sh*ts if they keep out McKenzie Friends to please their bung happy friends at the Law Society.

Just who is doing the legal work on all those ministerial mortgages and house sales again ??

Anonymous said...

Hey wait a minute u lot !

SNP have only been in power since May 2007 so Liebour and the Tories had plenty to do with not bringing in Mckenzie friend too !

Anonymous said...

40 years too late for McKenzie Friends there has to be answers why we in Scotland never had it before now.
DISGUSTING TREATMENT AGAIN FOR SCOTS EVEN FROM OUR OWN POLITICIANS !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well compared to Ian Hanger's excellent letter, Mr MacAskill's lackey at the justice dept sounds like a blithering idiot !

Do you think Mr Hanger could be brought here to save us from the ravages of lawyer loving Kenny ?

Anyway its good to know you are on the case Peter.I hope McKenzie Friends are allowed in Scotland too and I'm sure many people will have you to thank for it.

Keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8201188.stm

Lockerbie bomber withdraws appeal

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has applied to abandon his second appeal against his conviction, his lawyers have said.

The news comes after the BBC reported that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi looked set to be freed on compassionate grounds next week.

ANOTHER DISGRACE TO SCOTLANDS JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT NEEDS EXPLANATION

Anonymous said...

A Megrahi cover up was predictable, too many powerful institutions such as the Police, Lawyers, Judiciary and certain American services would all have been shown to have acted improperly, if not with criminal intent.

Best swept under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

4.16pm

So 2 years isn't enough to accept the 40 year disgrace of not having someone to help the unrepresented represent themselves ?

How long does Alex & Kenny want the delay to go on ? Just long enough to take some bungs for the dear party ?

Anonymous said...

I think Ian Hanger needs to come here and do some law teaching because most of our current profs are too far in bed with the Law Society and will probably discourage any students from being McKenzie Friends.

Anonymous said...

Dont really see a problem with giving us Mckenzie Friends in Scotland.If England has had it so long why not us ?

Get the newspapers to feature this MORE !

Anonymous said...

Dont see why there is a problem giving Mckenzie Friends to Scotland when the English have had it so long.I'd like to know why that happened and who stopped it up here.

Get the newspapers to feature this MORE !

Me and my hedge clippers said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8201533.stm

Plans to snip back 'hedge rage'

Height limits could be placed on garden hedges as part of the Scottish Government's response to a growing number of neighbour disputes.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said he is seeking views on how to prevent so-called "hedge rage" cases spiralling out of control.

Thats all the snp are good for snipping round the bloody hedges so you can forget any justice in Scotland thats for sure.

Anonymous said...

An insider from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission said

"Members of the public have no idea what is going on behind closed doors. The SLCC is being led like a dog on a lead and it now looks like the Government have given up on us doing anything positive for clients as the Law Society is calling all the shots".

"The SNP and MacAskill have made a total mess of the commission and there is a culture of fear that if anyone speaks out, they will face intimidation and the sack for rocking the boat".

So with this information it is not surprising that MacAskill wants to protect the Law Society. The need for McKenzie Friends is all the more important when the commission has no teeth to deal with complaints against lawyers. People like Eileen Masterman, and Lady Smith's husband will defend their colleagues to their dying day. This closed shop system must be bypassed and party litigants can use McKenzie friends and spare themselves the torture of complaining to a lawyer protection system. It would be like complaining to Josef Stalin about communism, a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I have seen lawyers, doctors, NHS complaints managers become hostile when presented with bulletproof evidence a so called professional is corrupt.

The system of self regulation is the problem, it is corrupt and those protected by it, only see what they want to see.

Anonymous said...

Great development Peter.I read Ian Hanger's letter.If the Parliament don't do something positive now they look just as crooked as the Law Society.

Anonymous said...

Please support the ending of 40 years of discrimination for Scots access to justice, and help bring McKenzie Friends to Scotland’s courts.

If you try to stop this or apply any conditions favouring your Law Society, you will fail the people of Scotland Mr MacAskill. That would not surprise me, because your favouritism is there for all to see.

MSP's do the right thing and implement McKenzie friends into Scots Law, giving the Scottish people an alternative in court. If you fail us you descriminate against us. Politicians are there to serve those who elected them.

Anonymous said...

AN INTRODUCTION TO NAME AND SHAME SCOTLAND, MY COMMENTS IN CAPITALS.

Name and Shame Scotland is a website set up to try and improve the services of professional bodies in Scotland.

If you have encountered a rogue Doctor, Politician etcetera, you will no doubt know there is practically nothing you can do to expose these people. (THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW, THAT IS FACT).

Being able to list these people on this website should eventually lead to higher standards. Any professional person failing to do their job properly can now be exposed.

Until now, there has been little incentive for professional people to maintain standards. (COVER UP IS THE NORM). The current complaint procedures are difficult to follow and rarely lead to any real investigation or disciplinary action. (BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE COMPLAINTS ARE BIASED). How many people have stated after an investigation, it was more like a cover up operation.

THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND.

NHS PRIMARY CARE ARE CORRUPT.

Anonymous said...

The Scottish Government's hints at delays on this issue remind me of the Law Society, who know their members are crooks but spin things out to demotivate the client.

This is typical of a system where those responsible for that system, want to maintain it because it is in their financial interests to do so. The culture is protect the very people responsible for the intense client suffering and injustice over the years.

The Law Society, many politicians, and insurers of the Scottish Government/Law Society are stakeholders in a system that excludes outsiders from any justice if there is any corruption. The press are enthusiastic about reporting on issues such as MP's & MSP's expenses, but not suicides of clients caused by the Master Policy. I have no doubt this silence from the free press on suicides is down to Royal and Sun Alliance insuring the press (they are employers too) the same insurance company that underwrite the Law Societies corrupt Master Policy.

Shame on you journalists, clearly the insurers have great influence, so you are getting financial incentives for keeping the lid on this scandal.

Anonymous said...

I prefer Ian Hanger's support to MacAskill's long list of excuses to do nothing.
He should be sacked as justice minister.

Anonymous said...

BBC NEWS

'Easier' health complaints system.

Proposals to simplify the process for NHS patients in Wales to make complaints are to be unveiled.

Health Minister Edwina Hart will outline the NHS Redress Measure, which it is claimed will also give NHS patients fairer access to compensation.

It will be the first measure proposed by the assembly government to be scrutinised by AMs under the Government of Wales Act.

Patient groups welcomed the legislation which could be in place in 2009.

It is hoped the measure will enable lower-value clinical negligence claims to be handled without the need for timely and costly legal action in the courts. (GOOD IDEA CUT THE LAWYERS OUT OF THE PROCESS, TO SAVE MONEY).

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Hanger for your support. It is greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

To the Law Society employees soon the join the 2.4 million. Tant pis, as my French friend will say which translates, too bad.

I have as much compassion for you as I have for my crooked lawyer.

The Law Societies top brass the chiefs will keep their jobs. As part of your redundancy you will have to sign a secrecy clause.

The economy is part of the reason you are going. McKenzie friends is the other part, because our legal dictatorship cannot say no to this when everyone else has it. They know this so you are surplus to requirements.

Anonymous said...

EX CHIEF OF LAW SOCIETY WAS MR DOUGALS MILL, NEW ONE IS LORNA JACK. ARE THEY THE SAME?

Negligent or crooked lawyers in Scotland can be thankful for at least two weapons in their defence against complaints when a client realises they were ripped off.

The first weapon in a dishonest lawyers arsenal against such a complaint, would be the Law Society of Scotland, the legal profession's well known self regulator of complaints against solicitors, who act only as a control point to ensure their members are unaffected by even the largest client frauds, poorest levels of service, and in some cases, criminal charges. (PROFESSIONAL LOYALTY).


The second, perhaps more sinister weapon a crooked lawyer can always seem to rely upon, no matter how crooked they are, is, Douglas Mill, the Law Society's very own Chief Executive of now more than ten years. (NOT NOW, HE HAD TO RESIGN BECAUSE HE WAS EXPOSED PROTECTING HIS CROOKED LAWYERS IN THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT. APART FROM PROFESSIONAL LOYALTY WHY WOULD MILL DO THIS?

WELL AS DOUGIE KNOWS, THE LAW SOCIETIES MASTER POLICY WHICH PURPORTS TO COMPENSATE THE VICTIMS OF CROOKED LAWYERS DOES NOT. THIS IS BECAUSE LAWYERS CURRENTLY PAY THE UNDERWRITERS ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE £650.00 FOR THEIR PRACTICING CERTIFICATES.

NOW MOTORISTS DON'T WANT TO UPSET THEIR INSURERS OR THEIR NO CLAIMS BONUS IS AT RISK. JUST LIKE DOUGIE, AND LORNA JACK, THEY DO NOT WANT THE MASTER POLICY TO COMPENSATE CLIENTS BECAUSE THEY WOULD UPSET THEIR INSURERS. SO THEY RUN THIS FACADE, A BULLETPROOF COMPENSATION SCHEME WHERE A CLIENT WILL NEED A LAWYER WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE LAW SOCIETY TO TAKE THE CLIENTS CROOKED LAWYER TO COURT. IT NEVER HAPPENS, THE INSURERS DO NOT HAVE TO PAY COMPENSATION, THE LAWYER IS A CROOK BUT IS IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION. A CLIENT CANNOT WIN AGAINST THIS CRIMINAL NETWORK. THAT IS WHY WE NEED MCKENZIE FRIENDS AS A FIRST POINT TO BYPASS THE INFAMOUSLY CORRUPT LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND AND THEIR CRIMINAL PARTNERS, THE BROKERS MARSH UK, ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE. IT IS MORE OF A CRIMINAL ALLIANCE.

IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD TO COMPLAIN TO THE LAW SOCIETY YOU ARE FORTUNATE, BUT ANYONE IS POTENTIALLY A VICTIM IF ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC EVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH A LAWYER. JUST REMEMBER THIS WARNING, WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO LEARN THE HARD WAY.

LORNA JACK HAS NOT BEEN CAUGHT COVERING UP WHAT CROOKED LAWYERS ARE DOING TO CLIENTS AS FAR AS I KNOW. BUT SHE IS THE SAME AS MR MILL. YOU CAN BE SURE SHE WILL NOT RISK A LAWYERS REPUTATION OR THE MASTER POLICY, BECAUSE HER POSITION AT THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND DEPENDS ON LOYALTY TO LAWYERS, AND MARSH UK, ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE.

IT IS NOT ONLY LAWYERS WHO ARE ALL CROOKS, THEIR PROFESSIONAL BODY AND THEIR INSURERS ARE BIGGER CROOKS. THE FACTS OUTLINED ABOVE ARE PROOF OF THIS STATEMENT.

Anonymous said...

CRITICAL ILNESS COVER/ HOLIDAY INSURANCE, WARNING.

READ THE SMALL PRINT, INSURANCE IS DESIGNED TO HOODWINK YOU INTO BELIEVING YOU ARE COVERED, SOMETHING GOES WRONG, YOU MAKE A CLAIM, THERE IS A CLAUSE IN THE SMALL PRINT TO PROTECT YOUR INSURER, NO PAYOUT, THINK ABOUT IT.

THIS NOTE MAY SAVE YOU GRIEF.

Anonymous said...

If I want to buy a car I have a broad range of manufacturers, and dealerships. Plenty of consumer choice, plenty of competition.

If I want to take legal action I need a lawyer, who must be a paid up member of the Law Society of Scotland. No consumer choice, no competition.

What we have in Scotland is legal dictatorship and I advise readers that the comment left at 12:57 AM is a serious message on how the Law Society of Scotland operates.

They,

Control all of Scotland's law firms.

Protect their insurers by telling law firms not to represent clients who have been the victim of one of the Societies crooked lawyers.

They have a Persures Panel, who are meant to help victims of crooked lawyers obtain justice. Please do not believe this, it is a front for the Law Society to convince the public it is cleaning up it's act.

The new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is also a front for protecting crooked lawyers. You cannot win against this criminal cartel, use a McKenzie Friend and save yourself from going through hell. I know I have been there.

Anonymous said...

Very well written Peter.Thanks to Ian Hanger also and I hope this change in the law for McKenzie Friends in Scotland comes very soon.We could all do with a break from having to fork out millions on lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Legal Dictatorship or Justice for All?

Mr MacAskill this question is addressed to you.

Anonymous said...

Put simply laws are rules. Written rules have been drafted and made law by people. What gives these people the right to create laws which are applicable to the masses but not the few.

The answer to this question is simple. Lawyers investigate complaints about the conduct of other lawyers. This closed shop complaints system ensures that clients suffer more injustice, and lawyers who should be in prison, keep working. It is a system which rewards corruption by protecting the guilty and crushing the victim.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Law Society of Scotland, Scotland's Legal Dictatorship founded on the corrupt bedrock of Self Regulation. They have their agents in the Scottish Parliament, just go on their website any see the many lawyers there.

Anonymous said...

Mr Douglas Mill (Glasgow University)

Position Director of Professional Legal Practice.

He was caught fiddling complaints against crooked lawyers at the Law Society of Scotland, and had to resign. Funny, his colleague Mr Kenneth Pritchard (now a Sheriff) is on record as saying the Law Society Master Policy is the "Ultimate in consumer protection".

He is wrong, It is the Ultimate in Lawyer Protection, as Douglas would tell us if he was honest.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments on the Scottish Government letter.Its pure drivel compared with the support from the first Mckenzie Friend Mr Hanger.Thank goodness you got his support Peter !

Anonymous said...

The comment left at 12:57 AM

What you say is shocking, no wonder all lawyers are crooks. They know they can get away with anything.

Anonymous said...

THE SUN

Published: 19 Feb 2009

A MODEL student was sent to a detention centre by corrupt judges - for building a spoof MySpace page.

Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge in 2007 for building the webpage mocking her headteacher.

Incredibly the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention centre on a charge of harassment.

But today the judge, Mark A Ciavarella Jr and his colleague, Michael T Conahan, pleaded guilty to taking more than $2.6million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centres.

Prosecutors said that Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for the two centres to house juvenile offenders.

Then Judge Ciavarella, 58, carried out the sentencing to keep the centres filled.

Hillary, 17, said: "I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare.

"All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing."

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE JUDGES, CRIMINALS IN HIGH PLACES.

Anonymous said...

I've spent today reading your blog Mr Cherbi and I now realise why the law in Scotland is just a joke.If your secretary for justice can meet with terrorists but refuse to give his own people justice you should rise up and throw them all out

Anonymous said...

Where the Law Society is concerned, we have a Criminal Support System.
If no lawyer will help the victim of a lawyer, accountant, or doctor that victim has NO LEGAL RIGHTS which is a breach of that person's HUMAN RIGHTS.

My own experience was of a GP from Hamilton who was accused of medical corruption and did not take legal action because he was guilty, and my lawyer working in concert to stop my disability benefit during a litigation case.

I had no money for five months, my family helped me. I have never been able to get a lawyer to help me so these people are still working with clients and patients. They can do what they want because not one member of the legal profession will do anything about it.

Why are they so loyal to my ex employer, the GP, lawyer, and employer were all insured by Royal & SunAlliance, the insurers who would have had to pay my damages. My injuries were covered up by medical consultants also insured by Royal & SunAlliance. If you ever try to sue your employer, this may happen to you. There is nothing in place to stop them doing this again.

Doctors and lawyers are above the law. Self regulation means no matter the corruption they are involved in, the General Medical Council, SLCC, Law Society, will cover it up to protect their colleagues. Five months with no money to live on, that is the power these people have and they will do this again. They expected me to terminate my employment contract, and the litigation would have collapsed. If this has happened to you please make it public on Peter's website. I still have all of the written evidence.

Doctors. lawyers accountants are criminals who are all protected by their own professions. If they can stop an individuals money to starve them into submission they can do anything.

Finally, the GP who would not give me a medical certificate, was lying to the court, so if my case had got to court I would have found out about this in court. He had to stop me getting to court. He is a criminal who belongs in prison, not a GP practice, but NHS Primary Care Motherwell are very loyal to their crooked doctors.

Anonymous said...

This would be great if passed into law but as you said before someone has to answer just why its been kept out of Scotland for 40 years !!!!

Anonymous said...

In a democracy juries sitting in a court of law should have the right to know if the lawyers, including the Sheriff of judge have crooked pasts.

It is an affront to justice having the Judiciary protected to the hilt when crooked lawyers/sheriffs/judges oversee proceedings in court when they are not fit to do so.

The man who will chair the Rosepark fire tradgedy, told the Justice 2 committee not to do anything that would threaten the integrity of the judiciary. What does he have to hide?

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no problem with McKenzie Friends coming to Scotland Peter.If anything it will enhance the courts not detract from them.

The only obstacle I see as some people have mentioned is probably the mindset of those on the bench which needs a sea change to handle party litigants.

keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

HI PETER

DID YOU SEE THIS IN THE SCOTSMAN TODAY :
http://business.scotsman.com/legalissues/Law-Society-chief-My-73k.5558595.jp

Law Society chief: My £73k role isn't real job

Published Date: 17 August 2009
By Chris Mackie

THE president of the Law Society of Scotland is under attack from solicitors after he wrote in a magazine column that his £73,000 role was not a real job.

HAHA THE STUPID LAWYERS ARE PAYING LOADSAMONEY 73K FOR SMART TO MESS AROUND AT THE LAW SOCIETY HAHA

LAWYERS = ROBBERS

Anonymous said...

THE SCOTSMAN

Published Date: 17 August 2009
By Chris Mackie

THE president of the Law Society of Scotland is under attack from solicitors after he wrote in a magazine column that his £73,000 role was not a real job.

As the society prepares to shed jobs following a £1 million drop in its income, and firms across Scotland lay off lawyers, senior legal figures have questioned Ian Smart's judgment over comments made in an article outlining his work since he was ele
cted to office in May.

In the latest edition of the Law Society Journal, Mr Smart lists his society engagements before stating: "And then there was the real job: a four-day divorce proof at Glasgow Sheriff Court; four ordinary courts at Airdrie; coping with the unexpected absence, through ill-health, of two of my five own, long-suffering, staff; (THEY WILL NOT SUFFER AS MUCH AS VICTIMS OF YOU AND YOUR CROOKED COLLEAGUES) the day-to-day legitimate demands of clients demanding to know the whereabouts of their lawyer; and the constant hassles incumbent on those of us trying to make a living from legal aid work."

Mr Smart, a Cumbernauld-based litigation lawyer, added: "Don't get me wrong, I sought election to this job. If it gets too much, I have the consolation of knowing I could walk away." (THAT IS THE SMARTEST THING YOU HAVE WRITTEN, CLEARLY YOU DO NOT LIVE UP TO YOUR SURNAME).

The comments angered some members of the Law Society, an organisation already under fire from some solicitors over allegations of wastefulness and bureaucracy. (AND CLIENTS WHO ARE RUINED BECAUSE OF CROOKED LAWYERS).

Mike Dailly, of Dailly & Co Solicitors and principal of the Govan Law Centre, said: "At a time when there is a public outcry about MPs having five jobs, and all the perks, and the public saying 'you are being paid enough to do one job', Ian is being paid more than an MP. YES MIKE YOU ARE RIGHT, NOT OFTEN I AGREE WITH A LAWYER.

MR SMART AND I HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON, WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT JOB LOSSES AT THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND. HE IS A LAWYER, I AM THE VICTIM OF A LAWYER.

NO DOUBT YOUR LITIGATION CLIENTS CASES ALL STOPPED ONCE YOU AND THE DOCTORS MILKED THE LEGAL AID, AND THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE PROTECTED THE CLIENTS EMPLOYER. ROYAL SUN ALLIANCE THE CAUSAL LINK WHICH BINDS THE LAWYERS AND DOCTORS TOGETHER AND COVERS UP INJURIES BLOCKING THE INJURED FROM JUSTICE. THE LAW OF DELICT DOES NOT MENTION THAT IAN SMART.

PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND MR SMART AND ALL LITIGATION LAWYERS, DOCTORS, EMPLOYERS ARE INSURED BY THE SAME COMPANY. THAT MEANS IF YOU TRY TO SUE YOUR EMPLOYER AND YOU NEED MEDICAL EVIDENCE, THE DOCTORS AND LAWYERS WILL SAY YOU HAVE NOT BEEN INJURED EVEN IF YOU HAVE. SMART'S INSURERS AND ALL LITIGATION LAWYERS LIKEWISE WOULD BE PAYING YOUR DAMAGES. HE WOULD NOT WANT HIS LAW FIRMS INSURANCE PREMIUMS RISING. YOUR GP AND MEDICAL CONSULTANTS DO NOT WANT THEIR INSURANCE PREMIUMS RISING. IS IT A LITIGATION SCAM TO MAKE DOCTORS AND LAWYERS MONEY, YOU THE CLIENT WILL NEVER WIN, THERE ARE MANY OF US IN SCOTLAND, CORRECT MR SMART.

Anonymous said...

I was advised to read you r blog today Mr Cherbi.
I made a complaint tot he Law Society about my lawyer after I found out he forged my signature on my business current account
I would like to get my story to the newspaper as the Law society are just trying to dump the complaint and let him off the hook
How do I get to the newspapers with this ?

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your continued comments & emails on this issue.

I understand Ian Hanger's submission to the Parliament will be published on their website sometime this week ...

Thanks also for the links to some news reports in the Scotsman regarding Ian Smart.

I saw Mr Smart's comments in the Journal .. the Scotsman article reports the matter quite well ... and since he doesn't seem to regard the job as being real, perhaps the 73k would be better handed back to clients ripped off by his colleagues in the legal profession ...

# Anonymous @ 6.23pm

Can you post an additional comment with more details or contact me via my profile and I can try and point you in the right direction ...

Anonymous said...

Would I be asking too much for the Scotsman to run a story of the clients suicides due to the Master Policy?

Anonymous said...

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC YOU CANNOT SUE A LAWYER OR IN SCOTLAND, AS MR CHERBI POINTS OUT IN THE COMMENT BELOW

If you try and sue a lawyer, you will find your lawyers are insured by Marsh & Royal Sun Alliance, your crooked lawyer and their lawyers will be insured both by Marsh & Royal Sun Alliance, the Sheriff or Judge in your case is a subscribing member of the Law Society of Scotland (THIS PROTECTS CORRUPT LAWYERS) and this is also insured by Marsh & Royal Sun Alliance, and several of the Scottish Courts Service staff, as well as the Auditor of the Court, have similar insurance arrangements.

PLEASE NOTE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT APPLIES TO ACCOUNTANTS, DOCTORS, THE PROFESSIONS THAT ARE ABOVE THE LAW, SIT ON EACH OTHERS COMMITTEES TO DENY THEIR VICTIMS JUSTICE.

IT IS LEGAL DICTATORSHIP WHERE SO CALLED PROFESSIONALS ARE IN BED WITH THE INSURERS, AND REMEMBER

JUDGES

QC's

ADVOCATES,

SHERIFFS ARE ALL LAWYERS AND ARE ALL PART OF THE CORRUPT CARTEL ABOVE. JURIES MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW HOW HONEST THESE CROOKS ARE WHEN THEY ARE IN COURT.

DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. THAT IS WHY THE LEGAL DICTATORSHIP MUST END.

Anonymous said...

The comment at 4:36PM,

This is correct do not trust any litigation lawyer, because your case is going to fail before you sign the legal aid forms.

Mr Cherbi,

Great article. It is wonderful having the support of the man who started it all. Thank you Mr Hanger.

I urge all Scots to write to the Parliament about McKenzie friends, you may not need help now but you may in the future. I wrote to Margo MacDonald, thanks for your support Margo. Better to go to court with a McKenzie friend than one of Mr Smart's colleagues from the totally corrupt Law Society of Scotland. Self regulation = Cover up. The Law Society are control freaks, who want to control the legal system so they can rob the people of Scotland and get away with it. This will end, their days are numbered, dictators always destroy themselves because they look after themselves, and leave a trail of destruction and victims prepared to fight. This is a fight the Scottish people will win.

Anonymous said...

laughable to see Ian Smart embroilled in that row over his pay when last week he was being lauded as a new ideas man

the law society might be financially better off with a free mckenzie friend in the position !

Anonymous said...

Fascinating report as always Peter.This should be all over the newspapers & tv so why the big silence from the bought off media ?

Anonymous said...

McKenzie Friend
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A McKenzie friend assists a litigant in person in a common law court.

This person does not need to be legally qualified. The crucial point is that litigants in person are entitled to have assistance, lay or professional, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Their role was set out most clearly in the eponymous 1970 case McKenzie v. McKenzie. Although this role applies in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, it is regarded as having its origins in common law and hence has been adopted in practice in other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. The role should be distinguished from that of an amicus curiae, a "friend of the court" who provides information for the benefit of the court.
-----------------------------------
Look at the countries where McKenzie friends are now. Why not Scotland Mr MacAskill? Are you a Justice Minister of the Scottish people or a mandarin for the Law Society of Scotland, who want to hold the keys to our courts.

Anonymous said...

I've had enough of my own lawyer messing me about for 2 years over a simple case HE made complicated and expensive.
If I could obtain a McKenzie Friend I could sort all this out in a few weeks at most so I support your campaign Mr Cherbi for McKenzie Friends coming to Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is very good but I must conclude there is no justice in Scotland under snp or any government.

Your countrys justice system is rotten and corrupt. There is no good in it and never will be no matter if reforms followed or refused

The case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is good enugh example.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I was advised to read your blog today Mr Cherbi.
I made a complaint to the Law Society about my lawyer after I found out he forged my signature on my business current account.

Go public, the law society staff would steal from their mothers, fathers, grannies, aunties, uncles, anyone. All law society staff hate clients, and want to exploit them.

Anonymous said...

I hear Mr Smart is upset at his role at the Law Society. Well Mr Smart as the saying goes "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen".

If you do get out, do not go to the SLCC, I hear the Law Society surplus to requirements brigade are heading for the SLCC. This is not necessary, the public know the Law Society have a firm grip on the SLCC now. Both organisations are dedicated to protecting lawyers.

A client has as much chance of justice with the current complaints system, as a black man being in a court of the Klu Klux Klan. A kangaroo complaints system, a legal dictatorship, and a banana republic.

Just like the SSDT, a closed shop system that is kind to it's members. Harold Shipman would never have been in court with a jury of doctors for obvious reasons. Police officers on trial would not have a police jury. But lawyers, in the SSDT well they have a special place in our banana republic, they tell witnesses "you are under oath" and the majority of them are not fit to administer justice. We have a Mugabe justice system, rules for the ruled but not the rulers.

Why has a man who was stopping client complaints, and protecting crooked lawyers not been charged by the police.

Mr Douglas Mill is above the law, because our courts are run by people of the same corrupt mindset. Charges against Douglas Mill for protecting crooked lawyers, he will be friends with Edinburgh's decision makers Judges, Procurator Fiscals. If a client did the same to a lawyer, he would face the full wrath of the law. Imagine a client and his friends distorting evidence in a court of law to get a member of the legal profession prosecuted. They would be in prison for a long time. This is Scotland's Justice System in action, self regulating criminals supported by Mr Kenny MacAskill, some justice system.

Anonymous said...

But today the judge, Mark A Ciavarella Jr and his colleague, Michael T Conahan, pleaded guilty to taking more than $2.6million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centres. THEY SHOULD BE JAILED FOR TWENTY YEARS EACH.

Prosecutors said that Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for the two centres to house juvenile offenders.

Then Judge Ciavarella, 58, carried out the sentencing to keep the centres filled. (LAWYER JUSTICE IS TO FILL THEIR POCKETS AT THE INNOCENT'S EXPENSE).

THESE PEOPLE ARE MEANT TO BE PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY. IF ANY LAWYER WAS HONEST I WOULD BE SHOCKED, THAT IS THE CONCLUSION I HAVE REACHED, THE MOST HATED PROFESSION IN THE WORLD TODAY.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for your continued comments and emails on the McKenzie Friend issue.

There have been further submissions lodged by the Scottish Court Service & Faculty of Advocates, with the Faculty generally coming down against the introduction of McKenzie Friends in Scotland's courts ... predictable to say the least.

Thanks also for a comment naming a particular law firm in Hamilton which has not served the interests of their clients .. I will be looking into that one shortly ...

Anonymous said...

Funny how it always takes people from outside Scotland to bring reform.

Too cliquey by half this little isle of yours and the nats are just making it worse.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posting Peter,and with all the work you have done on this they should call it "McCherbi Friend" in Scotland!