August 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including new proposals to introduce a no-blame redress scheme for the healthcare sector, new police powers for stop and search and the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website

Investigatory Powers Bill

We have urged the House of Lords to support proposals to protect confidentiality between lawyers and clients under the Investigatory Powers Bill, which began the committee stage in the House of Lords on Monday 11 July.

We have expressed concerns that the Bill fails to provide proper protections for confidential communications between lawyers and their clients. We believe legal professional privilege should be enhanced in the Bill and that the power to target such confidential communications should be removed.

There are risks that confidentiality could be breached as the Bill stands and we hope the committee will consider the concerns we have raised and take forward appropriate amends to properly protect client confidentiality.

Recently, the European Court of Justice ruled that bulk data collection is only lawful if it is used to tackle serious crime and this could cause further problems for the Bill in its passage through the House of Lords.

Our written evidence is available to read on the law reform section of the website