The Law Society of Scotland has condemned a UK  Home Office video which refers to legal professionals acting on behalf of migrants as ‘activist lawyers’ and called for it to be withdrawn.

Amanda Millar, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Like our colleagues in England and Wales, we condemn the description of lawyers who are acting to uphold the law as ‘activist lawyers’. The video is wholly misleading and misrepresents the role of solicitors who work on behalf of their clients. It should be withdrawn.

Such an attack on the integrity of the legal profession is utterly unwarranted. In a democratic society it is vital that we have an independent legal profession who are able to advise their clients on how they can uphold their rights within the law.  Solicitors must be able to work without fear or favour on behalf of their clients, just as the judiciary must be able to make impartial decisions in accordance with the law set down by parliament.

We should be proud that we live in a society where anyone, regardless of their status, can seek to uphold their legal rights. Undermining the integrity and legitimate independence of the legal profession by a government department is a dangerous step and attacks the rule of law which serves us all as citizens.