Four legal experts to plead their case at Festival of Politics panel game
The Law Society of Scotland event at this year’s Festival of Politics in the Scottish Parliament will invite the audience to pick its priority for protecting or developing Scots law.
If not quite “I’m a celebrity lawyer, get me out of here”, four expert panelists will each pitch for support for their cause.
Brandon Malone, chairman for the Scottish Arbitration Centre, will argue for mediation and arbitration to take cases out of the courts and into the hands of experienced private negotiators and decision makers.
Susan McPhee, of Citizens Advice Scotland, is keen to see the law become “less legal” and for more effort in creating a legally educated population.
Leading human rights solicitor John Scott QC will be looking at how human rights law is interpreted and viewed in Scotland and argue that far from an intrusion it is the building block of modern citizenship.
Family law solicitor Mark Thorley will argue the positive case for legal aid to provide access to legal advice and representation at a cost that is fair.
The event will be chaired by Law Society of Scotland president, Austin Lafferty.
“This will be the third Festival of Politics event I’ve chaired,” said Lafferty. “They’re always full, with legal professionals and members of the public in the committee room.
“It’s a genuine opportunity not just to listen to some legal professionals speaking but also to challenge them on their thinking.
“I wish there could be more of these events because I believe not just that the public needs to be informed about what’s being done in their name but get a chance to question and engage.
“I suppose I run it a bit like a radio phone-in without the wires and the seven-second delay.
“It’s relatively rare for these speakers to speak in front of a live audience of real people from all walks of life. It is generally good natured and amicable but they do have to be on their mettle.
“I know they throw themselves heart and soul into the event and I feel they also learn a lot.
“Last year’s session was on intellectual property and on the page looked like it might be a bit dry but the audience very quickly moved it into downloading music and social media. It was about real life in modern Scotland. That’s what I love.”
The event will take place on Friday 24 August from 1pm- 2pm in Committee Room One at the Scottish Parliament.
The event is free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance. For details of how to book and for further information on the festival, visit the Festival of Politics 2012 website, www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk
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