Decidedly feeble

Four years after the Law Society applies for rights of audience for employed solicitors, the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct reaches a decision. The eagerly awaited answer – it can't decide.

The Lord Chancellor now has two dissenting views from his so-called advisory committee on what exactly they are meant to be advising on. Little wonder the Law Society president Charles Elly describes the committee's treatment of its application as "little short of a scandal".

There is no denying the subject is a difficult one. After the raft of miscarriages of justice the system has thrown up over the years, the independence of prosecutors is an issue which must not be treated lightly. However, it is not much to ask that the committee can at least decide from the outset on the boundaries within which it is operating.