Thursday, September 09, 2010

Holyrood considers nine petitions against Scottish Public Services Ombudsman as Housing Minister dubbed ‘out of touch’ over accusations

alex_neilScottish Government Housing & Communities Minister Alex Neil MSP. A WAR OF WORDS has broken out between a Scottish Government Minister & the Public Services Ombudsman over the performance of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, the independent body which investigates complaints made about public services in Scotland after Housing & Communities Minister Alex Neil MSP spoke in support of eight petitions lodged by constituents at Tuesday’s Petitions Committee hearing at the Scottish Parliament calling for the Scottish Government to commission an independent review of the SPSO.

The petitions, Petition PE1342, Petition PE1343, Petition PE1344, Petition PE1345, Petition PE1346, Petition PE1347, Petition PE1348, & Petition PE1349 all “call on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to commission an independent review of the SPSO to make it more accountable for its performance, including the extent to which its investigations are fair and robust, and to widen its remit, so that it can enforce recommendations that it makes following investigations of the actions of public bodies.”

Meanwhile another petition heard before the above, Petition PE1341 filed by a Dr R A Rahman, also “calls on the Scottish Parliament to conduct an annual audit of the public expenditure on the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) and establish public complaint channels to examine the public dissatisfaction at the SPSO in managing complaints raised by members of the public.”

Petition PE1341 filed by Dr R A Rahman calls on the Scottish Parliament to conduct an audit of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (click image below to watch video)

Speaking on Dr Rahman’s petition, Committee Convener Rhona Brankin said : “It is suggested that we contact the SPSO to find out what steps have been taken in relation to expenditure. It is suggested that we also contact the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, the Scottish Government and the Auditor General for Scotland. Is that agreed?”

John Wilson MSP (Central Scotland) replied, stating : “I am not sure whether other members have had the same experience as I have had with the petitioner. I want to put on the record that I have received a number of e-mails from the individual about complaints that he has made against various public bodies and organisations. The petitioner has certainly communicated with me, if not with other members, on the issues.”

“We should at least give the SPSO and the SPCB an opportunity to respond, so that we can find out what is happening and whether we can address the issues. Given the e-mail correspondence, it is clear that the petitioner conducts himself and his campaign against a particular body quite tenaciously. I wanted to make the committee aware of that.”

After a discussion on Dr Rahman’s petition, a transcript of which can be viewed at the Scottish Parliament’s website HERE, and noting the comments expressed regarding Dr Rahman by Committee member John Wilson MSP, the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Scottish Government, and the Auditor General for Scotland seeking responses to points raised in the petition and during the discussion.

Housing & Communities Minister Alex Neil MSP spoke in support of eight petitions against the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (click image below to watch video)

Invited to speak in support of the additional eight petitions regarding the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Alex Neil MSP (Central Scotland) (SNP) said to the Petitions Committee : A substantial number of other people could probably have submitted similar petitions. There is a letter of support for the petitions from Murdo Fraser MSP, which is based on his experience with constituents. I know that Michael Matheson MSP is also supportive. I have spoken informally to others who hold the same view.”

“In some cases, the ombudsman has found in favour of the petitioners. The petitions are not sour grapes—they reflect a more fundamental concern about the performance and powers of the ombudsman's office. I will give one or two examples of how lacking in robustness investigations have been. Unfortunately, they are not isolated examples.”

“It took three and half years for one petitioner's case to be resolved. Even at the end of that period, the final report was so full of factual inaccuracies that, in her view, it was not worth the paper it was written on. In another case, which was a planning matter, the ombudsman refused to investigate the matter because "it is not the job of a local government planning official to check that the papers going to the planning committee are accurate". That is a farcical statement by any standard.”

“When another serious case involving a health matter was investigated with one health board, a number of recommendations were made to prevent the same thing happening again. However, a year later, in the same ward of the same hospital in the same health board area, exactly the same thing happened. The ombudsman's recommendations were not implemented and nothing was done about the lack of implementation, in spite of the fact that that was brought to the ombudsman's attention.”

“I could go on all day with examples that show that, in my view and in the view of other MSPs and the petitioners, the ombudsman's office too often fails in its duty and fails to perform adequately. Given that the Parliament spends just under £3.5 million a year to fund the ombudsman's office, we need a far better return on our money, especially in these days of constraint. To quote one of the petitioners, it is not worth a farthing in terms of the quality of service that petitioners have received.”

“To be fair to the ombudsman, its powers are more limited here than is the case in other countries. That applies both to the circumstances in which it can investigate complaints—which are confined to administrative errors and failure to deliver a service, and do not include injustices that public bodies are alleged to have inflicted on people, as is the case in many other countries—and to the power to implement its recommendations, which is limited. However, the ombudsman is not using effectively the powers that it has. The other big issue is that the ombudsman cannot investigate an incident that did not happen in the previous 12 months, even if the incident happened only 15 or 18 months ago and there was a good reason why it did not to come to the ombudsman earlier.”

Mr Neil concluded his statement to the Petitions Committee saying : “We must bear in mind the fact that the ombudsman is the last resort for people. Most people do not have the money to take public bodies to court, especially if the public body concerned threatens to charge to them its legal expenses, as well as their own, if they lose. People of modest income really rely on the ombudsman to sort out problems that arise. To be frank, the ombudsman is not performing to anything like the required standard. The petitioners, Murdo Fraser, Michael Matheson, other MSPs, many other people who have used the ombudsman and I are strongly of the view that it is time to have a fairly fundamental look at the ombudsman's performance and powers, with a view to getting far greater return on the £3.5 million of taxpayers' money that it uses up every year.”

Several Committee members, all from the Scottish National Party made points on the petition, beginning with John Wilson MSP (Central Scotland), who, in a slightly contrasting comment to his reply on the earlier petition regarding the SPSO, apparently not supported by Housing Minister Alex Neil, said : “When the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman was established, the Parliament or Government did not put in place the powers to ensure that the ombudsman's recommendations were acted on.”

“Mr Neil is right that people genuinely think that the ombudsman can resolve their issues and get answers, if not solutions, to the problems that they have encountered in dealing with public bodies, but they find that, even when the ombudsman's recommendations are quite strong, the recommendations do not need to be implemented. Public bodies can note the recommendations without implementing them in full. Given that issue with the ombudsman's powers, I welcome today's debate as allowing us to take that issue forward to ensure that people can get some satisfaction from public bodies that are supposed to represent and protect them by taking decisive action against public bodies or individuals.”

Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow) said : “The petitioners have done a great public service in lodging the petitions. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman should be a people's champion. Someone who came to my office told me that they would go to "The Judge" column in the Sunday Mail before they would go back to the ombudsman. It would be in everyone's interest, including that of the ombudsman's office, to review the work and remit of the ombudsman so that we can give people confidence in what the ombudsman does.”

Nigel Don MSP said : “The original idea was that the ombudsman would investigate something and, if he pointed out malpractice, people would say, "Yeah—sorry. Got it wrong. Let's put it right." At the end of that, enforcement powers would not be needed. If we ask for enforcement powers, we must recognise—if my memory is right—that we will change the nature of the beast. That worries me, because it will mean in effect building another layer of a kind of court of appeal. In any legal or semi-legal system, we should try to avoid that, because it just means that the persistent litigant has somewhere else to go and that it all gets lost in the churn. I am concerned that we should not lose sight of the concept and try to turn it into something else.”

“It is clear that there is much dissatisfaction with what has gone on—we are all aware of that. Something needs to change, but I am not sure whether that necessarily applies to the enforcement powers. Perhaps the width of the investigative powers or simply the way in which the job is done by people—although I do not want to be personal—needs to change.”

After hearing all the points, the Petitions Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Scottish Government, and the Auditor General for Scotland seeking responses to points raised in these petitions and during the discussion.

Well .. not a bad days work for all concerned.

However, if I could recommend another target for some Scottish Minister to attend the Petitions Committee and call for a review, that would be obviously the Law Society of Scotland, who the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission revealed last year in a report on the Master Insurance Policy, have caused clients to commit suicide. The Law Society of Scotland covered up the deaths, and the SLCC has done nothing about the deaths or the problems which led to the suicides one year after their report was produced. If the Scottish Parliament doesn't stand on its feet and do something about that, well then … your thoughts would be most appreciated ….

You can read more about the Law Society’s policy on client suicides and the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s do nothing approach after discovering it, here : Suicides, illness, broken families and ruined clients reveal true cost of Law Society's Master Policy which 'allows solicitors to sleep at night'.

Oddly enough, one year on from the SLCC’s report, not one single MSP out of the 129 serving Scotland has muttered one word on the subject. Life in Scotland is, therefore, very cheap when it comes to dealing with the Master Policy & the Law Society of Scotland …

Jim Martin SPSOJim Martin, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman said Mr Neil was “out of touch”. In response to the events of Tuesday’s Holyrood hearing and the criticisms of Alex Neil, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Jim Martin issued the following statement : “Mr Neil is clearly out of touch. A full review and overhaul of all of our investigative procedures was carried out and implemented in 2010. There is no longer a backlog of cases; indeed other Ombudsman offices from devolved administrations have visited us to try to learn from our revised working practices.”

“The SPSO he is describing is the SPSO of 18 months ago. I am disappointed that he has not taken the time to bring himself up to date with our current performance. My annual report will be published later this month and should answer the concerns he has raised. “

“We have seen nothing to suggest that our investigations are anything less than robust. It is inevitable that some complainants will disagree with our findings. But that doesn’t make our conclusions or our investigative methods wrong. Inevitably, with each complaint I consider, either the complainant or the body are going to be disappointed.”

“I am not surprised that Mr Neil has taken it upon himself to criticise the SPSO in this manner. He is one of the MSPs that has sought to place undue pressure on this office and is the chief reason I established a protocol for our engagement with MSPs soon after I came to office. I recognise that it is the role of MSPs to champion their constituents’ grievances. However, the desire to sound tough in the eyes of the public must not tempt MSPs to stray into challenging the independence, and indeed, now, the purpose of, this office.”

“We were set up, by the Parliament, as the final stage for complainants. We operate within the laws that the Parliament laid down. There are complaints that, by law, we cannot consider and there are outcomes that, by law, we cannot enforce. Last year saw a Committee review the role and remit of our office, along with all of the offices created by the Parliament. In my view, that Committee review was an appropriate forum in which Mr Neil could voice his views.”

“For our part, we have sought and we continue to seek a closer relationship with the Parliament. We will continue to do that, despite this unwelcome distraction from our work.”

Now if only some other elements of Scottish legal society could gain such attention from the Petitions Committee, instead of having the situation where the Law Society of Scotland come in and order the Petitions Committee to close petitions which may affect its policy of protecting the truly guilty among us ….

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do politicians do anything ?
Answer = For attention

Anonymous said...

The same points raised by Neil could also apply to any ombudsman and even the Law Society.Why not have a full review of all these regulators because as we all know they are a shower of cover up quangos put in place to protect whoever it is they are supposed to be investigating.

Anonymous said...

As you correctly point out, the same criticisms made by Mr Alex Neil and others apply equally to the travesity that is the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

Predictably Uriah Heep - sorry, Nigel Don - argues in favour of maintaining the staus quo, effectively ringfencing access to justice so that it remains within the control ofthe wholly discredited legal profession and the Law Society of Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile all concerned claimed their expenses and then some extra !

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11249712

MSP allowances and expenses hit record high

MSPs claimed a record amount of expenses last year, with payments totalling almost £11.7m, Scottish Parliament figures have revealed.

Expenses and allowances for 2009-10 reached £11,662,598, an increase of £706,394 from the previous year.

Holyrood bosses stressed changes to the allowances system partly accounted for the increase.

Alasdair Allan, MSP for the far-flung Western Isles seat, claimed the most at almost £46,000.

Lothians MSP George Foulkes claimed the least, at less than £3,000.

The total MSP allowances bill takes accout of an increase in salary costs for politician's staff, following the recommendations of an independent review.

However, the amount claimed by MSPs for other expenses, such as accommodation and travel, was down by £300,000.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman, said: "Staff salary costs aside, the wider picture shows costs remain steady."

Liberal Democrat Tavish Scott, who represents Shetland, one of the most remote constituencies, claimed the most of the four party leaders, receiving £35,983.

Labour leader and East Lothian MSP Iain Gray, who received £6,271 in relation to his party position, was paid a total of £23,661, while his Tory opposite number, Annabel Goldie - a West of Scotland MSP, received £9,924.

'Significant change'

SNP leader and first minister, Alex Salmond, was paid £19,943 for expenses in relation to his role as MSP for Gordon.

A spokesman for the first minister said "significant change" had been ushered in in Holyrood's expenses system under previous presiding officer George Reid, which saw all elements of MSPs expenses published online.

He stated: "Ministers have consistently said that we viewed the Holyrood expenses system as the gold standard to which Westminster should aspire.

"You have seen the effect of that in terms of decreased expenses since the Holyrood expenses has become totally transparent."

He added that the Holyrood system had been improved before the "excesses and abuses" of the Westminster system came to light.

http://www.scottishombudsmanwatch.org/ said...

Alex Neil is spot on - the SPSO are a waste of money considering whats been going on with people's complaints.

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE http://www.scottishombudsmanwatch.org/

Anonymous said...

Funny how its always "not guilty" when some Ombudsman or regulator does an investigation

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Watchdogs-clear-trustees-of-15m.6523889.jp

Watchdogs clear trustees of £15m Sick Kids charity

Published Date: 10 September 2010
By SHÂN ROSS

THE charity behind a campaign to raise £15 million for the new Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children has been cleared of any misconduct.

An investigation was launched in February into the management of the New Pyjamas campaign, set up to equip the new hospital at Little France, after it emerged it had raised only £60,000 but spent about £500,000.

Elaine McGonigle, the campaign's £70,000-a-year director, was suspended and later made redundant last year, and its chairman, Graeme Millar, resigned.

The high-profile campaign, launched in September 2008, had enjoyed backing from supporters such as former first minister Jack McConnell and George Foulkes. It was closed down in March 2008 and its ten staff members made redundant.

Yesterday the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) said it had found no evidence that the trustees of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation had failed in their responsibilities.

However, Scotland's charity watchdog recommended that the trustees should review the constitution to provide clarity regarding authority and decision making saying "robust and clear lines of authority" should be put in place with regard to the fundraising campaign "so that all trustees and staff understand these from the outset".

The report stated: "In February 2010, OSCR became aware of intense media coverage about the New Pyjamas campaign. Reports suggested that charitable funds in the region of £500,000 had been expended with a return of only £60,000. OSCR received a complaint making several allegations about the campaign and the charity, and a claim that the charity's trustees had been made aware of concerns and had failed to take action.

"OSCR has found no evidence of misconduct on the part of the charity's trustees, who satisfied their responsibilities under charity law.

"However, the inquiry did highlight areas where the charity's governance could be strengthened. Several recommendations have already been addressed or are under consideration by the charity's trustees, who have co-operated openly throughout the inquiry."

Laura Anderson, OSCR's head of inquiry and investigations, said: "We recognise there has been considerable interest in this case.

"We have conducted a full and thorough inquiry. It is therefore encouraging to see that steps are already being taken by the trustees to implement our recommendations."

Last night Mr Millar's wife said he did not want to comment on the outcome of the investigation.

Lothians MSP and former GP Dr Ian McKee said: "I'm very relieved about OSCR's findings.

Anonymous said...

The only one "out of touch" here is Jim Martin and all those other bloody ombudsmen

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Jim Martin who was formerly Secretary of the EIS, left to join an insurance company, with reps appearing (purely coincidentally) very soon after in Colleges throughout Scotland attempting - and in some instances persuading - lecturers to give up their public employee pension in favour of a private version?

If so, boy did they lose out!

Anonymous said...

As someone who has complained to the SPSO and found the Council did nothing at the end of it I fully support calls for an investigation into its work.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Mr Cameron Fyfe why he takes on litigation cases against employers who are insured by the same company as he and all lawyers are through the Law Society Master Policy?

My employer was insured by Royal Sun Alliance and Mr Cameron Fyfe and his doctors could not find evidence against my employer but that is because they were also insured by Royal Sun Alliance. Your insurers Cameron would have been paying my damages.

Do not believe any litigation solicitor who wants to help you if you are injured at work. You will be trying to sue your solicitors professional indemnity insurers.

YOU WILL NEVER RECEIVE COMPENSATION.

Anonymous said...

"Oddly enough, one year on from the SLCC’s report, not one single MSP out of the 129 serving Scotland has muttered one word on the subject. Life in Scotland is, therefore, very cheap when it comes to dealing with the Master Policy & the Law Society of Scotland"

Well you see Peter the problem is the Law Society buys up msps as easy as wink so thats why all 129 msps sat on their fat paid for by taxpayers bums and did nothing.The SPSO wont be able to buy off any msps because it probably ends up investigating matters very close to Holyrood's home so thats why its out of favour and an easy target for Mr Neil & co.

Anonymous said...

http://www.solicitorsfromhell.co.uk

THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND ARE MEANT TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC. READ ON.

Law Society of Scotland’s weak touch self-regulation allows ‘crooked lawyers’ to continue working for unsuspecting clients.

THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND’S self serving, self protecting system of lawyers regulating each other has once again demonstrated the Scottish legal profession is thoroughly unfit to regulate its 10,000 solicitors and protect the client’s best interests at the same time, as the Sunday Mail newspaper revealed this weekend yet another ‘disgraced lawyer’ solicitor Steven Anderson, has returned to work after the Scottish Legal Aid Board found him guilt of making ‘unjustified claims’, while the Law Society has taken NO ACTION to protect the public.

The Sunday Mail’s investigation into Steven Anderson came after Scottish Legal Aid Board issued an earlier Press Release stating an investigation had found non-compliance with SLAB’s Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance.

The SLAB Press Release identified solicitor Steven Anderson, stating “this non‐compliance included: holding unnecessary meetings with clients, and making inappropriate, multiple and repetitive grants of advice and assistance”.

Curiously however, the Press Release from the Scottish Legal Aid Board contained no figures of how much money in terms of claims to the Legal Aid Board Mr Anderson had received, now revealed by the Sunday Mail to stand at a staggering £560,330.

Post your complaints on Solicitors from Hell & Peter's blog. The Law Society have contempt for the Scottish Public.

THE ABOVE LAWYER IS STILL WORKING BUT CANNOT DO LEGAL AID WORK.

WHY HAVE THE LAW SOCIETY TAKEN NO ACTION? WHY DO THEY ALLOW THIS MAN TO WORK?

SELF REGULATION WILL NEVER IN 1000 YEARS PROTECT THE CLIENT SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY.

Anonymous said...

On the first petition about the SPSO by Dr Raham I would like to know why John Wilson said "it is clear that the petitioner conducts himself and his campaign against a particular body quite tenaciously I wanted to make the committee aware of that."

Any thoughts ?

Anonymous said...

The structures above rotten foundations always collapse.
You are exposing the rotten foundations of the legal profession Peter.

I do not know how many people are in your team (if that is the correct word) but this profession are geting a pasting through your work.

Lawyers belong in the sewers, a filth than needs cleaned up, not eradicated. The end of self regulation is the only way to do this.

Anonymous said...

I was also wondering what relevance John Wilson's comments had, if any. Perhaps he also knows the colour of Dr Raham's eyes, his weight etc.

It would seem that Mr Wilson MSP views valid concerns raised by a member of the public with suspicion and distrust - just another troublemaker ?

Anonymous said...

Jim Martin's statement is too long for innocence.

If the SPSO had done nothing wrong it would have been 2 lines and a sod off!

Anonymous said...

If this is such a big deal why hasn't Alex Neil raised this in Cabinet meetings and if he has what was said and why didn't we know about it until now ?

Anonymous said...

Doubtless Dr. Raham and his co-petitioners are what the SLCC would term 'frequent flyers'.

Peter Cherbi said...

This article has been updated after several requests were received to highlight the video footage of the first petition involving the SPSO, lodged by Dr R.A. Raham.

# Anonymous @ 12 September 2010 20:06

Good point .. perhaps an FOI can shake loose any points raised in Cabinet by the Housing Minister ...

# Anonymous @ 11 September 2010 10:38

I tend to agree ... and the footage does show a measure of, well ... an air of unexpected comments on Dr Raham's petition, to put it mildly ...

# Anonymous @ 11 September 2010 00:33

Thanks ... its a team effort, involving all & any victim of injustice who is willing to publicise their case in the hope of attaining a measure of justice while preventing the same happening to others ...

# Anonymous @ 10 September 2010 16:13

Thanks for the tip .. I will look into that ...

# Anonymous @ 10 September 2010 12:50

Yes .. expenses first, public service second ... especially if you rock the boat too much ...

# Anonymous @ 10 September 2010 18:33

"Money & profit" .. he's certainly not doing it for charity ....

# http://www.scottishombudsmanwatch.org/ @ 10 September 2010 12:57

Thanks for the link ... very interesting ...

# Anonymous @ 10 September 2010 15:39

When a charity spends £500K to bring in £60K and an investigation finds no wrongdoing ... who would believe such a conclusion ...

# Anonymous @ 10 September 2010 18:52

A very accurate comment, considering my own investigations into what goes on at the Scottish Parliament ...

M.Craig said...

That's the SNP's Anne McLaughlin chuckling away in the background while John Wilson puts his comments on the record re Dr Raham's tenacity in campaigning.

I for one am delighted to know there are tenacious campaigners in Scotland willing to raise subjects these msps apparently forget about unless brought up by members of the public.

Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind believes any ombudsman after they do an investigation ?
Its all just about covering up for someone else anyway just look what the slcc is doing for the Law Society !

Anonymous said...

I doubt if there are many MSPs who 'forget' about these matters, not least the travesty that is the Law Society of Scotland.

The sad fact is that every major political party has known of the latter abuse of due process for decades, and are pleased to allow it to continue.

Their first line of defense is to question, some might say slander, the motives of any individual or group who dares to complain, thereby personalizing an issue and distracting attention from the merits of objective evidence.

Anonymous said...

I agree their body language & comments are not quite right on the first petition you write about.Note the change when their own Alex Neil begins speaking.
Can we draw from this there is a culture of selective effort among msps at Holyrood ?
A culture I know very well as I used to work there until last year !

Anonymous said...

Compliments on your writing Peter.

You have what I think is the finest law based blog I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11 September 2010 00:33

Thanks ... its a team effort, involving all & any victim of injustice who is willing to publicise their case in the hope of attaining a measure of justice while preventing the same happening to others ...

Hi Peter,

I think Stuart Usher of www.sacl/info is right when he said the public will see lawyers for the scourge that they are.
They are ruining too many people now.

GP practices are the same, if you damage the reputation of a doctor the rest are against you, quite an evil profession in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to a man in the street about a corrupt doctor, and that I could not get a lawyer to represent me. The man said paedophiles and murderers can get legal representation. I told him that the above do not ruin lawyers or doctors reputations.

This is the key, the upholding of corrupt professionals reputations is why people are left rightless, devoid of full citizenship because they are denied legal rights. It must end at all costs.

I know doctors would like to give me a fatal injection, I know what they are.

Anonymous said...

Hannah Arendt the political theorist wrote about group actions where no one was to blame for what is being done.

This is happening with our MSP's and their Law Society in that they cannot be held to account for their actions. Nothing democratic about Scottish Politics. Change the MSP's the Law Society will remain in control, an injustice organisation. a legal dictatorship.

People being mentally tortured by the authorities, denied of legal rights for MSP's personal gain, it is called Scottish Justice.

Anonymous said...

The Scottish Parliament, a £450 million protection racket for lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I will never vote SNP, that rattlesnake Salmond appointed MacAskill as Justice Minister, the lawyers must be good to you Alex.

Independence Alex, for what so you can oppress the Scottish People more with your self regulating criminals at the Law Society.

Scotland's first minister is a traitor to the electorate, a lawyer sympathiser who should be rejected by his constituents.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Peter,

I wonder what Mr MacAskill our Justice Minister thinks of a legal system where the insurance arrangements protect his colleagues. Justice Mr MacAskill in terms of the courts is about fairness, transparency and honesty. So here goes, Mr MacAskill thinks this system is fair because he is doing nothing to intervene.

If you try and sue a lawyer, you will find your lawyers are insured by Marsh & RSA, your crooked lawyer and their lawyers will be insured both by Marsh & RSA, the Sheriff or Judge in your case is a subscribing member of the Law Society of Scotland and this is also be insured by Marsh & RSA, and several of the Scottish Courts Service staff, as well as the Auditor of the Court, have similar insurance arrangements. (Your comments would be appreciated Mr MacAskill)?

I think anyone would agree there is a problem in that - a client is fighting a system where everyone except the client, pays into the same insurance arrangement the client is trying to claim against. Please note the Justice Minister is aware the Scottish Government has the same insurance arrangements with Marsh UK RSA.

There is certainly a conflict of interest, which time & again, prevents negligence claims against crooked lawyers from ever getting a fair hearing. (Well Mr MacAskill has sworn to protect the Legal Profession).

How can a member of the public go into court when everyone except themselves is insured by the same insurers and ALL except themselves will benefit if their claim & case are dismissed !!

Most people would call that a fit-up. But the lawyers do not tell you this because they are making a lot of Legal Aid money.

Lawyers will take cases on because they make money from Legal Aid but you will NEVER GET TO COURT.

Try complaining to the Law Society, a waste of time.

I know I have been there.

This is not a Justice system. It is a system which protects the criminals who run it like Mr MacAskill who when practicing had the same corrupt insurance arrangements which prevented his clients taking legal action against him if he was corrupt.

Justice for the public, no, business for lawyers, yes with the infamous Law Society of Scotland calling the shots, and protecting the criminals they are meant to regulate.

One day lawyers will be held in the same contempt as paedophiles, a scourge to be exposed and prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11098421

More than 70 teachers in Scotland have been struck off in the past six years, according to figures obtained by BBC Scotland.

Nearly two-thirds of the 74 teachers removed from the teaching register since 2004-05 were struck off following criminal convictions.

Misconduct accounted for 26 of the cases, with two teachers being removed for incompetence.

The figures were released by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The council, which regulates the teaching profession in Scotland, revealed that 43 teachers were removed following criminal convictions after disciplinary hearings, while three others were struck off under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.
==================================
Clearly the General Teaching Council for Scotland have higher standards than the Law Society of Scotland.

Anonymous said...

This is what we pay our msps to do ?
One word "WASTE"

Anonymous said...

SO YOU WANT TO SUE A SO CALLED PROFESSIONAL? THINK AGAIN THESE CRIMINALS ARE ABOVE THE LAW.

Although the same applies if you go up against many other professionals, doctors, accountants etc - who are insured by the same insurers, Marsh, Royal Sun Alliance, let us say you want to sue your lawyer.

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

I think anyone would agree there is a problem in that - a client is fighting a system where everyone except the client, pays into the same insurance arrangement the client is trying to claim against.

There is certainly a conflict of interest, which time & again, prevents negligence claims against crooked lawyers from ever getting a fair hearing.

How can a member of the public go into court when everyone except themselves is insured by the same insurers and ALL except themselves will benefit if their claim & case are dismissed !!

Most people would call that a fit-up.

Lawyers will take cases on because they make money from Legal Aid but you will NEVER GET TO COURT.

Try complaining to the Law Society, a waste of time. Mr Douglas Mill had to resign from the Law Society for protecting lawyers who were the subject of complaints. His colleagues are no different.

If I claimed my car insurance premium would increase. So would law firms insurance premiums increase if you could sue yopur lawyer. This insurance arrangement proves that so called professionals are criminals.

Try this go into any lawyers office. You will have a chance of legal representation until they find out you want them to sue another law firm.

Think of lawyers etc as directors of Royal Sun Alliance, they may as well be because NO ONE CAN SUE A LAWYER. THEY ARE SIMPLY ABOVE THE LAW.

I know I have been there.

Anonymous said...

One giant step forward would be if Lord Gill's recommendation to allow Class Actions was made law. Then the self regulating Law Society would have a problem on its hands. At the moment dealing with abused clients is like shooting fish in a barrel.

The 'banana republic' lives on.

Anonymous said...

Self regulation under Canon law applies to the vatican too ref

http://www.newstatesman.com/print/201009080123

"It is the Vatican's obsessive attachment to its right to deal with clerical sex abuse of children under the secrecy of canon law procedures, without permitting (let alone requiring) any reporting of the crime or the criminal to law-enforcement agencies, that has been central to its present crisis.

The Catholic Church is the only religion that is permitted - under international law as interpreted by the Foreign Office, and at the United Nations - to claim the privileges of sovereignty and statehood. These are consid­erable: both the Vatican and its leader have immunity from civil or criminal actions for the damage that they do to others - whether by trafficking paedophile priests or by condoning fraud at the Vatican Bank (suspects can avoid European arrest warrants by staying within the "inviolable" walls of the Holy City).

It is now clear that tens of thousands - perhaps even approaching 100,000 - children, mainly boys, were sexually molested by priests over a period (1981-2005) coinciding with Cardinal Ratzinger's responsibility as head "prefect" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the CDF, the Vatican body that oversees canon law proceedings against them). Judicial inquiries have described sexual abuse as "endemic" in Catholic boys' homes in Ireland. The report of the understated John Jay College inquiry, published in 2004, found 10,667 victims in the US, where over $1.6bn is believed to have been paid in damages so far".

Fucking shocking, and this guy is meant to be God's representative on Earth, Self Regulation has caught up with you Ratzinger.
I do not know how he can show his face in public.

Robert McCulloch said...

I was charged £39.67 per hour by East Renfrewshire Council to paint a close, which they said took almost 2 weeks or 75 hours. Knowing that painters get between £7.50 and £9.50 per hour this was the Council trying to justify the high costs. They told me to write to the SPSO if I was not happy.
I wrote to the SPSO an they said:
''The terms of the Act restrict us from looking at commercial and contractual matters. We are unable to take your complaint forward for investigation.''

It is a disgrace that 3.5 million is spent on this pathetic useless service. I will need to fight this in court. I hope the judge has common sense.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Robert Mcculloch

I fully agree i also had a large bill after i had moved out of a property. My local Council decided to charge me for damage they had caused.

The Spso took 10 months to investigate and made a few recommendations to the council after the spso upheld my complaint.

All of which were ignored by my local Council but the Spso Reviewer was only to happy to close the case.

So after 10 months i feel this has been a complete waste of time and a slap in the face as the spso will not enforce anything.