Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Consumer Focus Scotland refuse to support petition’s call to repeal ‘anti-consumer’ laws allowing lawyers to investigate complaints against themselves

Consumer Focus Scotland logoConsumer Focus Scotland’s response to Holyrood Petitions Committee gives qualified support for self regulation. IN a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, Consumer Focus Scotland have refused to support a public petition which calls for the scrapping of lawyers powers to investigate themselves.

The consumer body even went so far as to give a ‘qualified support’ to the Law Society of Scotland’s powers of self-regulation over complaints, powers which are backed up by the infamously anti-consumer Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, the Westminster enacted thirty year old legislation which allows Scottish solicitors to investigate & cover up complaints against their own colleagues.

While it is now clear the Law Society of Scotland retains its iron grip over self regulation of complaints with the apparent support from most ‘official quarters’ including the Scottish Government & even some consumer bodies, it is of note solicitors in England & Wales now face a more rigorous independent regulation in the form of the Legal Ombudsman.

Law Society of ScotlandLaw Society of Scotland’s interests conflict with public. While supporting the retention of self regulation of complaints against solicitors, Consumer Focus Scotland said in their letter to msps there were ‘tensions within the Law Society’s dual role of representing the public & the legal profession, stating that “while often the interests of the profession and the public may be the same, there will be times when they conflict”, the consumer body (which has been scheduled for closure by the Westminster coalition Government) told msps it does not support the aims of a public petition, Petition PE1388, which calls for repeal of the anti-consumer Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 and even went onto say, staggeringly, it felt “self-regulation brings a number of benefits to consumers”, despite most evidence pointing to the contrary.

Consumer Focus Scotland’s submission to the Petitions Committee in response to Petition PE1388 falls broadly into line with two earlier submissions to the Petitions Committee, one from the Law Society of Scotland, which I featured here : Law Society ‘warns’ Scottish Parliament : Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 ‘should not be repealed’ by msps or Scottish Government, and a statement from the Scottish Government who refuse to become involved in the aims of the petition, here : Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 : Scottish Government refuse to repeal Law Society’s self regulating powers of lawyers investigating themselves

The petition, Petition PE1388, originally filed as an e-petition at the Scottish Parliament by a Mr William Burns calls “on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to repeal the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, end self-regulation, and remove the independence of the legal profession, bringing it onside with true democracy”.

I reported on events surrounding the petition in an earlier article, here : Law Society’s legislative powerbase 'is anti-consumer' as Holyrood to hear petition calling for repeal of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980

Consumer Focus Scotland’s full response to the Petitions Committee concerning Petition PE1388, can be downloaded from the Scottish Parliament’s website, HERE (pdf) and is reprinted in full, below :

Consumer Focus Scotland welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence on this petition. Both Consumer Focus Scotland and the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC), one of our predecessor bodies, have had significant involvement over many years in the issue of the regulation of the legal profession. Following the passing of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010, we are no longer actively working on this issue, however we are happy to provide evidence given our history of work in this area.

Self Regulation of the Legal Profession

Consumers who use solicitors do so at important and often stressful and difficult times in their lives. They place important transactions in the hands of their solicitors, and if things go wrong with that relationship it can have a devastating effect on client confidence. Where dissatisfaction does arise, consumers need to have no doubt about the impartiality of the regulatory system under which solicitors operate.

Complaints

Scotsman 8 January 1999 Independent watchdog for lawyers proposedThe Scottish Consumer Council proposed an independent watchdog for solicitors in 1999. 2011 and still no sign of any independence in legal complaints regulation. In 1999, the SCC published research into the experiences of those who had complained to the Law Society of Scotland (‘the Society’) about a solicitor. Half of those who responded believed that their complaint had not been handled fairly. The detailed responses revealed a clear perception that the Society was not impartial in its handling of complaints, appearing to take the side of the solicitor. Following the publication of the research, the SCC campaigned for a number of years for the establishment of an independent body to deal with complaints against solicitors, to ensure that the public has confidence in the legal system. It welcomed the establishment of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (‘the Commission’) by the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007.

While the Society retains its role in investigating conduct complaints, some of its previous practices which created the impression that the complaints process was weighted in favour of solicitors and as such had given SCC serious concern, have been changed and significantly improved. Nevertheless, our preference would be for the Commission to have responsibility for investigating all complaints against solicitors, not just service complaints. The distinction between the various types of complaint is not always clear, even to solicitors, and members of the public cannot be expected to distinguish between them. We have expressed concerns that unless all complaints are dealt with by the Commission, there will continue to be a lack of public confidence in the complaints system.

Other Regulatory Matters

Regulation of the legal profession does, of course, go beyond complaints handling and covers a wide range of work to promote and maintain high standards for solicitors and their clients such as the setting of standards of qualification, education and training. The petition suggests that self-regulation, and particularly the conflict between the Society protecting its members and acting in the public interest, is detrimental to the public interest. While it is clear there is the potential for conflict between the representative and regulatory functions of the Society, we believe that self-regulation brings a number of benefits to consumers. These include:

• The regulatory system will be tailor made for the needs and problems of that particular sector, and will reflect inside knowledge about the realities of that sector

• The benchmarking of best practice over and above the basic minimum requirements

• Self-regulation is quicker and less costly to put in place (and adapt to changing needs) than legislation.

However, our support of self-regulation by the legal profession (other than for investigation of complaints) is qualified. The SCC produced a good practice guide on effective self-regulation, which made clear that one of the key principles of a credible self-regulatory scheme is independent representation on its governing body.

We have regularly expressed concerns about the current levels of independent representation on the Society’s Council, believing these arrangements to reflect the interests of a membership body, rather than a regulator in the public interest. Our position throughout the passage of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (‘the 2010 Act’) was that if the legal profession is to remain self-regulating (or co-regulating), a change of governance structure (of both the Society and the Faculty of Advocates ) is required to instil public confidence in the regulatory functions of these bodies.

We therefore fully supported the establishment within the 2010 Act of a regulatory committee of the Law Society of Scotland, with at least 50 per cent non-solicitor membership and a non-solicitor convenor. We believe creating a regulatory committee with significant non-solicitor involvement gives the Society the opportunity to demonstrate clearly that it is acting in the public interest in carrying out its regulatory functions. We would also note that the 2010 Act requires the Society, so far as practicable when exercising its regulatory functions, to act in a way which is compatible with the regulatory objectives outlined in the Act. These include protecting and promoting the interests of consumers and the public interest generally and promoting access to justice.

The independence of the regulatory committee will be an important tool in ensuring public confidence in its regulatory functions and we were pleased that provisions were inserted into the 2010 Act to ensure that the Society’s Council must not interfere unduly in the regulatory committee’s business.

The provisions of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 (as amended), which set out the Society’s role in the regulation of solicitors, provide an important consumer protection. It is critical that there is a robust regulatory framework in place to protect consumers should things go wrong. While we have been critical in the past of the Society’s regulatory regime, we believe the changes being introduced by the 2010 Act should lead to increased public confidence, transparency and effectiveness in the regulatory process. This Act is not yet in force, however, and we believe it is important that an opportunity be given to demonstrate whether these changes do lead to such improvements.

For this reason we do not support the petition’s suggestion that the Scottish Government should repeal the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 to end self-regulation of the legal profession. Should this restructuring of the Society’s governance arrangements and the application of the regulatory objectives not act to improve public confidence in its regulatory functions, however, we believe the dual regulatory and representative roles of the Society should be reviewed.

Tensions in the Law Society’s Dual Roles

We do, however, have some sympathies with the issues raised by the petition, particularly in relation to the tensions that may result from the Society’s duties in relation to the profession and the public. As detailed within the petition, by virtue of section 1(2)(b) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, the Society has a duty to promote the interests of the solicitors’ profession in Scotland, and to promote the interests of the public in relation to that profession. While often the interests of the profession and the public may be the same, there will be times when they conflict.

While the changes to the membership of the regulatory committee outlined above will enable the Society to more clearly demonstrate it is acting in the public interest, we believe there also requires to be significant non-solicitor involvement in the Society’s representative functions. In a press release issued by the Society in March 2010, it outlined examples of its ‘representative’ functions, including several which have a clear consumer or wider public interest.

Master Policy Report Suicides revealedLaw Society of Scotland’s Master Policy was revealed in an independent report to have caused consumers to have committed suicide. One such example is tendering and securing the Master Policy for professional indemnity insurance. The Master Policy provides clients with protection from losses caused by their solicitor’s negligence and therefore is of clear consumer interest. We would also see the representative functions of preparing best practice guidelines and the ‘Find a Solicitor’ tool as key means of the Society fulfilling its statutory duty to promote the public interest in relation to the profession.

We therefore think it is entirely appropriate that the representative functions of the Society be undertaken by a Council which contains non-solicitor membership. We have for a long time maintained that it is a considerable drawback for a professional organisation with a statutory responsibility to promote the public interest that its decision making body has no non-solicitors among its membership.

While section 132 of the 2010 requires the Society to make provision for the appointment of non-solicitor members to the Council, sections of the original Bill which would have given Scottish Ministers the ability to make regulations specifying the number of non-solicitor members on the Society’s Council were removed at Stage 2, following concerns that this could be perceived as compromising the independence of the profession. While we expressed some concern about removing these provisions, we acknowledged that the Society has publicly committed to appointing 20% of its Council membership as non-solicitors.

Although we would prefer this figure to be 50%, in keeping with the provisions relating to the Society’s regulatory committee, this represents a significant improvement on the current position. We believe these are important and necessary changes in order for the public to have confidence in the Society’s role of promoting the public interest. It is our understanding, however, that any proposed changes to the Society’s constitution are subject to approval by the profession at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in March 2011. Should the profession not accept a minimum of 20 per cent non-solicitor membership on the Society’s Council, we believe there would be merit in the Scottish Parliament revisiting this issue.

Readers can find out more about the Law Society of Scotland’s Master Policy and the havoc it has caused for consumers, to the point some have committed suicide, in an earlier article here : Suicides, illness, broken families and ruined clients reveal true cost of Law Society's Master Policy which 'allows solicitors to sleep at night'

An excerpt of the earlier article reported :

Page 8 - Consumer Focus Scotland refused cooperation from Law SocietySuicides, illness, family breakdown, loss of homes, loss of livelihood were all identified by interviewees as being directly associated with members of the public’s dealings with the Law Society & Master Policy. During the research team's investigation of claims against the Master Policy, team members were told of suicides which had occurred due to the way in which clients of crooked lawyers had been treated by the Law Society of Scotland and the insurers who operate the Master Policy protection scheme for solicitors against negligence claims. Quoting the report : "Several claimants said that they had been diagnosed with depression; that they had high blood pressure; and several had their marriages fail due to their claim. Some had lost a lot of money, their homes, and we were told that one party litigant had committed suicide."

Further excerpts from the Manchester University report into the Law Society's Master Policy & Guarantee Fund show the intolerable strain clients who attempt to claim against their 'crooked' solicitor have to endure : Claimants "described being intimidated, being forced to settle rather than try to run a hearing without legal support, and all felt that their claims’ outcomes were not fair. Some claimants felt that they should have received more support, and that this lack was further evidence of actors within the legal system being “against” Master Policy claimants. Judges were described as being “former solicitors”, members of the Law Society – and thus, against claimants. Some described judges and other judicial officers as being very hostile to party litigants." yet it appears msps do not care, as long as they are able to sleep as easily at night as their Law Society sponsors.

A campaigner speaking to Diary of Injustice this morning said he felt Consumer Focus Scotland could have said more with regard to the way many people have been treated at the hands of the Law Society of Scotland’s complaints system, but he accepted there was little appetite among msps on the Petitions Committee to do anything for victims of the legal profession.

He said : “MSPs are just not interested in doing anything positive for consumers of legal services in Scotland on the complaints & regulation front. They either fear or are already bought off by the Law Society of Scotland’s lobbying powers and the many other arms of the legal profession which they prefer to keep as friends rather than actually do something for us ordinary folks.”

A Holyrood insider speaking to Diary of Injustice this afternoon indicated there was little prospect of the Petitions Committee or the Scottish Parliament ever considering a repeal of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980.

He said : “Petitions which concern the Law Society of Scotland and the legal profession’s handling of complaints are effectively binned before they are even opened by the PPC for consideration.”

Citizens Advice Scotland are yet to send in their requested response to the Petitions Committee.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh well its good its being scrapped in that case.

Out of interest did their English end (Consumer Focus) support the Legal Ombudsman ?

If so why are Consumer Focus Scotland supporting the Law Society ?

Anonymous said...

Self regulation brings benefits ?
Tell that to the family of Ian Tomlinson murdered by Police http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECMVdl-9SQ

How many personal consumer hardships with self regulation of legal/justice/Police matters have any of these people at "consumer focus" experienced ?

Anonymous said...

Consumer Focus Scotland’s response to Holyrood Petitions Committee gives qualified support for self regulation. IN a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, Consumer Focus Scotland have refused to support a public petition which calls for the scrapping of lawyers powers to investigate themselves.

It should be scrapped. A lot of money must be changing hands here.

Anonymous said...

“Petitions which concern the Law Society of Scotland and the legal profession’s handling of complaints are effectively binned before they are even opened by the PPC for consideration.”

I think we guessed that already.Anyway thanks for a dose of the truth.Clearly other methods of bringing change to the justice system must be examined.

Anonymous said...

“MSPs are just not interested in doing anything positive for consumers of legal services in Scotland on the complaints & regulation front. They either fear or are already bought off by the Law Society of Scotland’s lobbying powers and the many other arms of the legal profession which they prefer to keep as friends rather than actually do something for us ordinary folks.”


This is what the political theorist John Rawls was concerned about, injustice as a consequence of cash influencing the policy process. I will not vote any more for these MsP bastards, scum that is what they are.

Anonymous said...

Well since its being scrapped they are no longer relevant and are probably thinking about new jobs (I'm guessing half of them might be lawyers anyway) so not good to tread on the toes of the Law Society any more.

Also did you notice how they say :Both Consumer Focus Scotland and the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC), one of our predecessor bodies, have had significant involvement over many years in the issue of the regulation of the legal profession. Following the passing of the Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010, we are no longer actively working on this issue"

Well if this isnt throwing in the towel I dont know what is.Maybe they should just pack up and go home now

Anonymous said...

Consumer Focus Scotland’s response to Holyrood Petitions Committee gives qualified support for self regulation.


I hope they put a notice on their website stating we support lawyers not the public. Shut it down Cameron, I hope they all lose their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I would rather be killed instantly than have to trust another lawyer. The Law Society must be the most powerful union in Scotland.

Consumer Focus are supporting legal oppression. How can lawyers be trusted when they have Parliament and Consumer group support. I have no faith in anything now. A rotten corrupt lot.

Anonymous said...

How many personal consumer hardships with self regulation of legal/justice/Police matters have any of these people at "consumer focus" experienced ?


They do not care because it does not affect them. this is the reason the world is in a mess.

Anonymous said...

A bit of a cop-out.I think they just feel its all over and nothing can be done about it.

btw nice comment from your Holyrood insider.Its nice to know the PPC is about as honest as the Law Society !

Anonymous said...

Consumer Focus Scotland shows its true colours with this miserably complacent and selfish letter.

But perhaps those responsible feel that, with the CFS due for imminent closure, there may be a cosy job on a quango for those who don't rock the boat.

JamesT said...

Interesting story from the Scotsman in 1999 and I see you were involved in it too.

Anyway with Consumer Focus Scotland now saying it sort of supports self regulation isnt this a bit contradictory to them asking for independent regulation all those years ago ?

A bit of a stab in the back if you ask me..

Anonymous said...

http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/scotland/publications/cfs-response-to-petiton-pe1388-repeal-of-solicitors-sc-act-1980

Its also on their own website.

Do you have any link to this 1999 report they did on complaints about lawyers ?

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a solicitor this is something of a shock!
Doubtless the LSoS will hang it up as a recommendation!

Anonymous said...

12 years on they turn around and say they support self regulation!

You couldnt make it up!

Anonymous said...

Disgusting.I cant imagine Citizens Advice Scotland saying anything other than what the Law Society,Scottish Government & Consumer Focus Scotland have already said.Probably the Law Society wrote them all anyway.

Anonymous said...

That'll teach you to write about saving their consumer necks.
Don't bother asking anyone to put in a good word about them now Peter.We know whose side they are really on.

Anonymous said...

This is no surprise to me and no matter how angry your readers may be about it there is nothing that can be done at Holyrood against the Law Society.

As someone said earlier you will have to find other methods of achieving your aims just make sure those methods are legal otherwise the Law Society and their cronies will end up being portrayed as the victims by some of the more malicious elements of the media already under the thumb of No.26 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh.

This will also serve as a lesson not to be too trusting of so-called consumer organisations such as Consumer Focus who more often than not will have their own agenda rather than care too much about the public's wishes.

Anonymous said...

What can you expect ?

The petition was badly worded and did not propose any alternatives.The Parliament were never going to take it further and you could see that much in the way the committee went through the motions of asking for responses in that video you posted earlier.

Having said all that its a bit of a kick in the teeth for Consumer Focus Scotland to exit the argument supporting the Law Society.

You'll have to come up with some better ideas..

Anonymous said...

Nice one from this consumer crowd.To me they now sound worse than the Law Society itself

The thing I learn from this is the Scottish are good at stabbing each other in the back.Not to be trusted or turn your back on

Its been the same in history just look at William Wallace's own men betrayed him to the English yet the SNP use his name as a cry for independence and piss all over everyone when it matters like when it comes to the law or justice

I wouldnt blame anyone who gets fed up with being treated like shit by these goons

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a solicitor this is something of a shock!
Doubtless the LSoS will hang it up as a recommendation!

Speaking as a victim of the Law Society and one of its membership it is a pity I could not trust you because perhaps you are a decent solicitor? How can we know?

Anonymous said...

Another letdown ? What a surprise (not)
Dont focus too much on this one Peter there are plenty of other justice/injustice issues needing a bit of coverage!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter

How about doing a feature on on the SPCB Motion to reappoint Jim Martin as the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on Thursday ?

You did a good one on the petitions against him earlier on so I hope you stick with the story !

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your comments & emails on this article so far.

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 22:41

The reappointment of Jim Martin as SPSO is "a done deal", according to colleagues in the media. However, I will cover it later in the week.

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 15:32

I'm not sure whether Consumer Focus (England) supported completely independent regulation of solicitors in England & Wales, however I do know the Legal Ombudsman is streets ahead of the SLCC, which is anything but independent ...

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 15:46

Good point .. and no action taken there either ...

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 17:22

Yes .. another good point which I completely agree with.

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 17:42

Here is a link to the Scottish Consumer Council's 1999 report "Complaints Against Solicitors", which can be downloaded as a pdf from Google Documents, here : Complaints Against Solicitors 1999 SCC report pdf

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 21:58

So noted ...

# Anonymous @ 8 February 2011 20:16

Yes ... I agree ...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm it seems everything at this bloody parliament is a done deal before its even heard like the petition you were writing about.

Anything about the law seems to have no chance of succeeding.

Anonymous said...

Next time someone laughs when I say lawyers run the country I'll just refer them to this and hope it happens to them!

Anonymous said...

It is time to hit the streets in order to be heard.

Who can blame us, Hollyrood has been taking the piss for a long time now.

Anonymous said...

Interesting report you posted there Mr Cherbi.
Considering what they said in 1999 its a bit rich of Consumer Focus to claim self regulation brings benefits to consumers (I dont think anyone really believes this).

Anonymous said...

Not surprised by this at all.

The SCC have talked about complaints against lawyers for years and I see managed to scoop some headlines albeit with your help.

Now they turn round and say the opposite what a hopeless lot

Anonymous said...

The Law Society will want Cameron to save Lawyer Focus Scotland now.

Consumer protection depends not on consumers in general but on how the definition of consumers change depending on the services they are consuming. Clearly consumers of legal services are not consumers in Consumer Focus Scotlands opinion.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine said you will not be able to get a lawyer now you signed the petition. I said to him, lucky me.

Anonymous said...

Scotland's top prosecutor has warned of a loss of identity for Scots law under UK Supreme Court powers to make decisions on Scots human rights cases.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini suggested the court should only consider newer legislation or decisions with major constitutional consequences.

Her comments came after the Supreme Court's ruling on the Cadder case.

It meant Scottish police could no longer question suspects without allowing them access to a lawyer.

In civil cases Elish no one can sue a lawyer. Typical rough justice, you see only what you want to see Elish.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Nice one from this consumer crowd.To me they now sound worse than the Law Society itself

The thing I learn from this is the Scottish are good at stabbing each other in the back.Not to be trusted or turn your back on

Its been the same in history just look at William Wallace's own men betrayed him to the English yet the SNP use his name as a cry for independence and piss all over everyone when it matters like when it comes to the law or justice

I wouldnt blame anyone who gets fed up with being treated like shit by these goons

8 February 2011 21:38

In defence of Scots we dont all stab each other in the back.Its just those who like to think of themselves as the 'professional classes' you have to watch out for such as lawyers accountants judges bankers politicians even some doctors who will use any means to stab you in the back to cover up whatever dirty deeds they did.

If you avoid that lot you will do yourself a good service!

Anonymous said...

The SNP are selective on Independence. They want to split up the UK (I do not) and want to leave the Scottish Judiciary above the law so thay can destroy people living in Scotland, not just Scots, but anyone who comes under Scots law.

Scottish justice means your lawyer can ruin you and you have no redress. This what MSP's stand for.

They can make take all of your hard earned possessions in monetary terms and the mandarins at the Law Society will cover it up. Not all people in Scotland are prosecuted for their crimes because self regulation kills complaints about lawyers. Do you want to trust one with the value in your home?

Anonymous said...

The Law Society of Scotland retains its iron grip over self regulation of complaints with the apparent support from most ‘official quarters’ including the Scottish Government & even some consumer bodies.

The NHS is the same Peter, those in positions of power do not want public scrutiny or power weilded over them. That is why the petition failed. How can a system dedicated to justice deliver injustice with impunity?

Anonymous said...

So what happens now?
Will the Parliament throw out the petition or what?

Anonymous said...

A disgraced GP who admitted to hastening the deaths of dozens of his patients will not face new murder charges, it has been revealed.

Dr Howard Martin, who was cleared six years ago of killing three of his elderly patients, was being investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service following claims he had helped patients to die.

CPS officials decided there was insufficient grounds for a new prosecution after studying files provided by Durham Police. Investigators broke the news to relatives of those affected that Dr Martin's admissions fell short of justifying his re-arrest on suspicion of murder.

The 76-year-old, who qualified in 1958, was struck off by the General Medical Council last year. He then spoke in a newspaper interview about having helped hasten the deaths of two patients by giving them fatal doses of painkillers.

SELF REGULATORS ALWAYS SEEM TO AVOID PROSECUTION, I SEE IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

http://news.aol.co.uk/uk-news/story/gp-wont-face-new-murder-charges/1576886

A disgraced GP who admitted to hastening the deaths of dozens of his patients will not face new murder charges, it has been revealed.

Dr Howard Martin, who was cleared six years ago of killing three of his elderly patients, was being investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service following claims he had helped patients to die.

CPS officials decided there was insufficient grounds for a new prosecution after studying files provided by Durham Police. Investigators broke the news to relatives of those affected that Dr Martin's admissions fell short of justifying his re-arrest on suspicion of murder.
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The 76-year-old, who qualified in 1958, was struck off by the General Medical Council last year. He then spoke in a newspaper interview about having helped hasten the deaths of two patients by giving them fatal doses of painkillers.

HOW MANY TIMES DO SELF REGULATORS AVOID THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS. SOME CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE, THE PATTERN IS ALWAYS THE SAME "NEVER ENOUGH EVIDENCE".

Anonymous said...

In defence of Scots we dont all stab each other in the back. Its just those who like to think of themselves as the 'professional classes' you have to watch out for such as lawyers accountants judges bankers politicians even some doctors who will use any means to stab you in the back to cover up whatever dirty deeds they did.

EXACTLY ALL DIRTY BASTARDS WHO ARE 99.99% ABOVE THE LAW.

Anonymous said...

Consumer Focus sucks!

Exactly what does it take to get a fair hearing against a crooked attorney in Scotland?

Anonymous said...

From an earlier posting by Peter.

SOLICITORS could be unfairly penalised for the failings of the legal profession south of the Border should the Scottish Executive replicate the Clementi White Paper proposals, the Law Society of Scotland has warned. Douglas Mill, the society's chief executive, raised concerns that the Executive may follow the English example of raising the compensation limit for inadequate professional service (IPS) to £20,000.

Mill told The Scotsman that if the new independent complaints handling body - the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (YOU HAD NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT DOUGLAS ONE COMPLAINT UPHELD OUT OF 1400, AND WE DO NOT KNOW THE LAWYERS NAME) - is empowered to impose such a penalty on solicitors it would be "nothing less than naked lawyer-bashing."

MR MILL, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALL OF YOUR INHERITANCE WAS STOLEN BY A LAWYER AND YOU WERE A JOINER. IT WOULD NOT BE LAWYER BASHING, LAWYER MURDER MORE LIKE. I BELIEVE YOU ARE NOT REACHABLE, ANY CRIME COMMITTED BY A LAWYER MUST BE EXCUSED BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL PALS, CONSUMER FOCUS AGREE WITH YOU AND THE PARLIAMENT YOU ALL CONTROL.

SELF REGULATION CREATES A CRIMINAL MINDSET WHICH RESULTS IN IDEAS LIKE "YOU CANNOT TOUCH ME, I AM ABOVE THE LAW". YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW, OH DRINK AND DRIVE THEN YOU WOULD GET PROSECUTED BECAUSE YOU MAY KILL A LAWYERS CHILD, BUT STEAL A CLIENTS MONEY, WELL LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID TO PETER PHONING YOUR CRONIES TO STOP HIS LEGAL AID AND WARNING LAW FIRMS NOT TO REPRESENT HIM. YOU ARE A PARTY TO COVERING UP LEGAL THEFT. I WOULD BE TOO FRIGHTENED TO DO WHAT YOU LAWYERS DO TO PEOPLE, BECAUSE I AM NOT A THIEF AND I AM BALANCED.

Anonymous said...

Ian Tomlinson, Blair Peach murdered by state actors.

It never shocks me how many people, especially doctors, lawyers, police the Crown Prosecution Service state "insufficient evidence to prosecute". Lets face it those who gather evidence can fiddle it, who will stop them?

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission uphold one complaint out of 1400 since October 2008. Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Former Labour MP Jim Devine has been found guilty of fiddling his expenses.

Devine, 57, who held the Livingston seat, submitted false invoices for cleaning and printing work totalling £8,385.

He was found guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of two charges of false accounting. He was cleared of one other count relating £360 for cleaning work.

The former backbencher, of West Main Street, Bathgate, West Lothian, was the first MP to stand trial in the wake of the expenses scandal.

The jury of six men and six women took two hours and 45 minutes to agree with the prosecution that on the two counts Devine showed a "woeful inadequacy" in abiding by the core principles expected of MPs.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said the case against Devine was "very straightforward".

The former MP made the fraudulent claims "with a view to gain for himself, or with an intent to cause loss to another - the public purse".

The prosecutor said a guide known as the Green Book was readily available to MPs and clearly set out the rules and regulations on submitting expenses that must relate to parliamentary duties. It lists the fundamental principles MPs should adhere to when making expenses claims, Mr Wright told the court.

"These are based on concepts of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership," he said. "We say these are qualities of which Mr Devine demonstrated a woeful inadequacy."

Devine was granted unconditional bail by Mr Justice Saunders, the trial judge, and he will be sentenced in due course.

WHEN DO WE GET PUBLIC TRIALS OF CROOKED LAWYERS? DEVINE TRIED TO HIDE BEHIND PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILIDGE.

Anonymous said...

The day is coming when the public will see lawyers for the scum they are. Poor legal service and corruption is what Consumer Focus Scotland and MSP's agree with. They do not fear the Law Society, they must be benefiting financially or they would not have watered down the
LPLA Act.

Anonymous said...

The Civil Justice Advisory Group was first established in 2004 by the Scottish Consumer Council, one of Consumer Focus Scotland’s predecessor organisations. It published its report Civil Justice in Scotland: A Case for Review? in November 2005, and four of the six recommendations of this report were incorporated in the remit of the Scottish civil courts review. The Civil Justice Advisory Group was re-established in January 2010 to consider some of the key proposals of the Scottish civil courts review.

NO CIVIL JUSTICE AGAINST A LAWYER, SOME CONSUMER PROTECTION.

suedenimon said...

Cannot see an e.mail to drop this to you on but it may be of interest to yourself and readers
http://nominedeus.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/more-court-shenanigins-and-freemen/