Fear of the law

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The Edinburgh Bar Association says, “It fears for the future of the Scottish criminal justice system under the stewardship of the SNP government”. (Your report, 29 January.)

For years, the laity has suffered the stress and the cost of exposure to a legal system (civil and criminal) that has more than once affronted the concept of justice: thanks to the “stewardship” of an essentially unaccountable legal fraternity, that, inter alia, enjoys the benefits of self-regulation.

The “regulators’” – the Bar ­Association, Law Society and ­Faculty of Advocates – are viewed by many as biased in the context of “investigating” complaints of professional misconduct against their own.

The laity’s “fear” for the future’ of civil and criminal justice under the “stewardship” of the legal fraternity might diminish – thanks to the implications of the fraternity’s hostility to the SNP administration. This nurtures the hope that some day, (preferably this century), a government in Scotland will abolish self-regulation, will make lawyers more accountable and will abolish the affront to justice that inheres in the immunity from suit that Scotland’s lawyers seem to enjoy when negligent in court.

When the Bar Association, the Law Society and the Faculty of Advocates “fear” that prospect, Scotland will be on the road to enjoying the benefits of a modernised legal system.

Thomas Crooks

Dundas Street