March 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including the Criminal Verdicts Bill, LBTT Amendment Bill and post-legislative scrutiny of the Family Law Act 2006.

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

Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

We have welcomed recommendations in the House of Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill report and were pleased to see that the concerns we raised about legal professional privilege have been recognised and that the committee recommended that it should be expressly protected in primary legislation.

In our response to the Joint Select Committee call for written evidence we emphasised our view that legal professional privilege should be expressly protected within proposed legislation rather than through a code of practice, as had been included in the draft bill in an attempt to mitigate against any possible abuse of the powers where ‘sensitive professions’, including lawyers, are concerned.

We look forward to engaging with the UK Government, as has also been recommended in the report, at the next stage of the bill’s progress.

Our written evidence is available to read on the website