Scots society tackles host of reforms

THE LAW Society of Scotland starts the new year with a full agenda of law reform and professional practice issues.

THE LAW Society of Scotland starts the new year with a full agenda of law reform and professional practice issues.

Talks also continue between the society and Faculty of Advocates on the troubled issue of “mixed doubles”, where Scottish barristers are prevented from acting alongside solicitor advocates by a practice rule introduced last year.

The society's law reform committee is preparing amendments to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill to propose to Scottish MPs. The society hopes to get the amendments heard in Parliament this month.

The committee will also respond to the Scottish Office consultation exercise into how to handle alleged miscarriages of justice.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Office has set up its own committee of lawyers and civil servants to consider

the need for changes to the existing criteria of the Scottish Appeal Court for considering appeals, and to existing procedures.

Members include Professor Ross Harper of Ross Harper & Murphy and Harper Mcleod, Derek Emslie QC and Sheriff Gerald Gordon QC.

Another 12 solicitor advocates (seven criminal, five civil) have just been admitted, bringing the total number to 73 (48 criminal, 23 civil and two jointly qualified).