Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vested interests take priority as Calman Implementation Group ‘contaminated’ by Law Society of Scotland’s ‘reform blocker’ appointment

Michael ClancyMichael Clancy, the Law Society of Scotland's Director of Law Reform. MICHAEL CLANCY, the Law Society of Scotland’s Director of ‘Law Reform’, famed for frequenting both the Scottish & Westminster Parliaments & liaising with politicians on issues the Law Society of Scotland wants to influence, or block, has been invited to sit on the Calman Implementation Group, which has been formed to look at implementing proposals contained in the Calman Commission review of devolution, which produced its final report (pdf) on the ‘experience’ of Scottish devolution in June 2009.

The Calman Implementation Group, co-chaired by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury, David Gauke, met on Monday, 26 July in Edinburgh, to discuss how the proposals would be taken forward. The BBC News report of that meeting can be viewed here : Calman plans 'empower' Holyrood . You can read more about what the Calman Commission actually recommended, in terms of its review of Scottish devolution, here : Digesting the Calman report

While Mr Clancy’s membership of the Calman Implementation Group was welcomed by the Law Society of Scotland, many in Scots political life know Mr Clancy as being more of a ‘reform blocker’ than a reform promoter, particularly when it comes to bringing the legal profession itself to heel in legislative changes affecting the way it regulates Scotland’s 10,000 plus solicitors. Several MSPs who, over the years have asked pointed questions on subjects relating to the justice system, and in particular, regulation of the legal profession have found themselves ‘called in’ by Mr Clancy to explain the Law Society’s point of view, which coincidentally led to those same MSPs closing off their inquiries into the Law Society of Scotland & the legal profession’s inability to represent client’s best interests …

Petition PE1033 Law Society closure released by Scottish ParliamentMichael Clancy ordered reforms to the SLCC blocked at Holyrood. Among Mr Clancy’s noted interventions against consumer orientated reforms was his action against attempts to reform the ‘independent’ Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, with a Holyrood petition to allow it to re-investigate cases of historical complaints where the Law Society of Scotland had covered up for ‘crooked lawyers’ theft of client funds, in some cases numbering in the millions of pounds. Mr Clancy on that occasion ordered suggested to Holyrood’s Petitions Committee it should cease its study into any ideas of widening the scope of the SLCC’s remit, which you can read more about in a previous report, here : Truth & reconciliation fails as MacAskill follows Law Society orders to Parliament on attempt to heal public confidence in legal profession

After Mr Clancy and the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee killed off Petition PE1033 in September 2007, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission voted to refuse investigation of historical complaints.

To ensure any further attempts to present the ideas of Petition PE1033 to the Scottish Parliament were blocked, a legislative amendment to the LPLA Act, the Legal Services Act 2007 (Transitional, Savings and Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2008 including a section on the SLCC’s investigation of historical complaints, was presented by the Scottish Government to the Justice Committee in September 2008, quietly supported by the SLCC & the Law Society of Scotland and passed by the Scottish Parliament, which ensured no one could ever ask the SLCC again to investigate historical complaints against ‘crooked lawyers’ which the Law Society had deliberately mishandled.

The Law Society of Scotland’s self-congratulatory media release media release on Mr Clancy’s ‘invitation’ to join the Calman Implementation Group, states : “The Law Society of Scotland is delighted that their Director of Law Reform, Michael Clancy, has been invited to sit on the Calman Implementation Group, which will look at implementing proposals contained in the Calman Commission review of devolution.”

James Aitken, member of the Society's tax law and constitutional law sub committees, deputising for Mr Clancy at today's meeting said: "The meeting was very positive and I was particularly pleased to see that a large number of the proposals put forward by the Society have already been taken on board and will be implemented. Smaller technical groups will now be created, and we look forward to a number of our members being involved in more detailed discussions on areas that will be devolved."

“The Society has provided detailed written and oral evidence to the Calman Commission over the last few years, and was pleased to hear commitment from the Government to introducing the proposals in a Scotland Bill this autumn, with full implementation by 2015. The Society was in favour of the Calman review and had substantive comments on a number of areas including the Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5 changes, especially in insolvency (where this should be reserved) and charity law, tax law provisions and changes to Scottish Parliament procedures.”

The Law Society's written evidence, submitted in October 2008 can be found HERE, all of which you can be rest assured, benefits the legal profession over the rest of us.

If the Calman Commission is supposed to be so reforming, and good for Scotland, then why invite those to its ranks whose mission it seems, is to destroy reforms for the good of ordinary Scots, and protect the vested interests of big business & the professions …


Anonymous said...


Why Clancy was posted to this I have no idea although the 'invitation' was probably more along the lines of a gun to their heads otherwise no co-operation from the LSS

Anonymous said...

Clearly a 'fix' from start to finish.

I would like to know who invited Clancy, and the vested interests of the disreputable Law Society of Scotland, a place on the Board?

With Clancy there Swinney and the SNP will dance to the legal profession's tune even more blatantly than usual.

Anonymous said...

If I read this correctly the Law Society,Scottish Government & SLCC rushed through an amendment after your petition was thrown out to prevent the SLCC having to look at past complaints which the Law Society made a mess of.

Is this a correct interpretation Peter?

Anonymous said...

Calman is nothing more than a UNIONIST attempt to prevent Scottish independence

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 16:18

I agree ... from what I've heard, the Calman Implementation Group were "obliged" to invite the Law Society on board ...

# Anonymous @ 16:44

I will look into the matter further for another report ...

# Anonymous @ 17:56

That is exactly what occurred.

I was also warned by a member of the Petitions Committee not to submit a Petition connected to regulation of the legal profession again as the Law Society would see to it any new petition would be killed off ... one of the reasons I will let others file Petitions to the Scottish Parliament after the fall of PE1033.

# Anonymous @ 18:22

Yes, that may well be so, but as you can see this doesn't seem to be preventing the malicious vested interests among us such as the Law Society of Scotland from signing up to bend the recommendations of the Calman Implementation Group their way ...

Having the Law Society on anything is, as one Justice Department insider said to me recently "akin to having the Devil sitting at the table" ...

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand how any member of the public can trust a lawyer. Evil self regulating scum, that about sums them up.

Anonymous said...

You can take heart you must be a big threat to the Law Society from Clancy's letter to the petitions Committee.He went all out to make sure your petition about the slcc was dropped.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the Law Society are out to get what they want from Calman so the rest of us can forget about any real benefits.Its going to be just another project of the professions getting their own way as Peter says.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Calman is nothing more than a UNIONIST attempt to prevent Scottish independence

11 August 2010 18:22

Yes thats why the Tories,Libdems & Liebour signed up to it.They'll all be claiming expenses for attending these implementation group meetings too.What a bunch of wasters.

Anonymous said...

Peter - you should read the following :

Thomas More Institute
for a more informed ethical engagement in public and professional life

Michael Clancy, O.B.E. – 'Give to Caesar what Really Belongs to Caesar'

He concludes by saying :

"In today’s pluralistic society, Christian law-makers are confronted by ways of life, proposals for law and legal change which frequently may be contrary to their own conscience. Christian prudence, the virtue proper to Christian politicians, will make it clear to them how they should act so as not to fall short on the one hand of the demands of the correctly formed conscience and not to fail in their duty as legislators.

The question is, how best can the faithful and their elective representatives bear witness to their faith, and be faithful to their principles in the difficult and every changing situations which mark the world of politics.

Firstly, by recognising that concepts such as natural law have vigour and can be employed in argument.

Secondly, by recognising that the political process is a continuous and evolving one.

Thirdly, by developing lines of thought which clearly define the area which is the proper province of Government upon which to legislate and clearly define the area which is not the province of Government.

This is essentially an issue of personal freedom – sovereignty if you will; the sovereignty of the individual and how that interacts with the competence of government and legislation. In theological terms, this freedom or sovereignty might be the same as ‘conscience’.

That being so, the range of challenges which the twenty-first century presents will focus on the interface between government and conscience.

Issues of the environment affect everyone and their solutions come down to individual life choices.

Moral questions about euthanasia, abortion, fertility and the reading and manipulation of the genome also affect everyone and come down to reactions of individuals to these issues.

The individuals concerned, i.e., the Earth’s population, will only make the necessary decisions if they are given accurate, unbiased information upon which to inform their consciences and with which to apply their reason to the natural law which we have discussed this evening. Then the process of influencing Government can begin.

In that way, we will all be able to give to Caesar what really belongs to him."


Clearly this is a man who knows how to get what he and his colleagues at the Law Society want over and above anything which benefits the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

4th comment is spot on if you read the Telegraph story on the former Cairngorms Press Officer now Chief Sec @ Treasury's remarks :

Danny Alexander says no widespread tax powers for Alex Salmond

By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor
Published: 7:20PM BST 29 Jun 2010

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced the formation of a “high-level” group to oversee the transfer of limited taxation and borrowing powers to Scottish ministers.

Business and civic leaders will join taxation experts on the new body, which will implement the recommendations of an official review of devolution conducted by the Calman Commission.

But these proposals fall far short of Mr Salmond’s call for full fiscal autonomy, his new top priority instead of independence, which would see control over all taxes transferred to Holyrood.

Sources close to Mr Alexander said the group’s formation was “highly significant”, clearly signalling that only the Calman recommendations and nothing more will be implemented.

He made the announcement, which kills off Mr Salmond’s final hope of delivering a major constitutional upheaval, in evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee.

(More on it at the Telegraph's site)

Anonymous said...

sounds about right the Law Society would weasel their way into Calman which as others point out is just another way of preventing Scotland becoming a nation again

Anonymous said...

Michael Clancy is known among my work colleagues as the Law Society's 'Enforcer' at Holyrood so its no surprise to me the tone of his letter which I'm sure was backed up by a few phone calls to committee members.

Clearly he did not want your petition having a second chance by the sounds of it.

Anonymous said...

"...the Earth’s population, will only make the necessary decisions if they are given accurate, unbiased information...."

And Mr Clancy and his cronies in the Law Society of Scotland and in Government have gone to very considerable lengths to ensure that the Scottish Public have been denied these basic rights for decades.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the SLCC

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) receives all complaints about legal practitioners in Scotland. We operate independently of the legal profession and are impartial and accessible.
The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is MacAskill's baby for protecting his beloved legal profession. I look forward to Peter publishing more anti client rants from these people.

Anonymous said...

Clancy has cancelled more than your petition.He is well known at Holyrood for it although I'm sure you know a lot more about it.

Keep exposing these thugs