Council expected to ask for redraft before proposals put to the vote

At its August meeting, due just after this edition of the Journal goes to press, the Society’s Council will consider a recommendation from the office bearers that a final version of the Society’s new constitution and standing orders is not brought to the September Special General Meeting, and that the outcome of stage 3 of the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill is awaited before a final version is presented to Council and to the Society’s members.

The move follows the consultation undertaken during June and July on working drafts of the constitution, transitional provisions and standing orders, as promoted through the Journal, Journal Online, the Society’s website, e-bulletin, Council members and meetings with groups of members. This was the culmination of a lengthy and detailed process begun in early 2007 by the Council strategy group, which also involved considerable work by Council in consultation with members. As a result there have already been established the Board, nominations committee, and the three supra-conveners. Council in 2008 also agreed a timetable for constitutional change, which the consultation was intended to follow.

Vice President Cameron Ritchie said: “Part of the agenda has been the need for the Society’s constitution and standing orders to reflect 21st century business practice and to be fit for purpose in relation to the conduct of the Society’s statutory functions. The modernisation process was commenced before the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, which simply added weight to the need for change to be made.”

In the consultation 29 submissions were received, some from leading faculties and organisations in the Society as well as the Office of Fair Trading. “Significant areas of concern were raised by respondents and these need to be considered, discussed with Council and further proposals brought forward with the intention of bringing a final draft to members either later in the year or in 2011”, Ritchie added.

Council will be asked to confirm its position on a number of the concerns raised by members, and further work will be carried out in discussion with the profession before a further draft constitution is brought to Council and ultimately to a general meeting for approval.


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