Mathews slams Irvine over rights of audience

The Law Society has accused the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, of grabbing too much power by giving himself the right to decide who is granted rights of audience in court. President Michael Mathews has joined leading judges in criticising the Lord Chancellor for taking the power previously held by an independent body like the Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct (Aclec) and placing it in the hands of a politician. Mathews was pleased to see the abolition of Aclec, but expressed disquiet that any Lord Chancellor could abuse such power.