October 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of consultations relating to Scotland’s place in Europe following the result of the referendum. We have also provided comment on the Scottish Government’s legislative programme.

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

Scottish Government legislative programme

We have responded to the Scottish Government’s legislative programme announced by the First Minister on Tuesday 6 September.

We are pleased that access to justice features prominently within the programme including bills on third party rights, tackling child poverty, and the domestic abuse bill along with the intention to abolish employment tribunal fees. We also support the principles behind the bills aimed at ensuring an accessible and affordable justice system for people living in Scotland. Once introduced, we will scrutinise the proposals and engage with the government, opposition parties and other key groups to ensure that the resulting legislation is practical and effective.

The Scottish Government programme also confirmed the intention to engage with the legal profession on legal aid. We have pressed for reform to our legal aid system and last year we published a series of recommendations for both civil and criminal legal aid to ensure its long term sustainability and we are pleased that the government has confirmed it will engage with the profession on how this can best be done.  It is essential that people can access the legal advice and services they need regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances and that those who provide that advice can continue to afford to do so.

You can read our press release here.