Regulation and ethics

The Law Society has just published a consultation with its members on proposals for independent regulation and appears to be seeking views on a situation where an independent regulator would set “minimum standards” while the professional body would be responsible for the ethical or professional standards.

It’s a really interesting debate and it may need some work to decide exactly where the boundary between the two lies.  There doesn’t seem to be a closing date, but solicitors are encouraged to contact their local Law Society regional managers or to send comments to an email address.

Judiciary consult on McKenzie Friends

The Judicial Executive Board has issued a consultation on how the courts should approach McKenzie Friends.  The main proposals are:

  1. The courts should take a more formal approach, with rules governing McKenzie Friends part of the Rules of Court rather than, as at present in guidance;
  2. The name should be changed to “court supporter”;
  3. McKenzie Friends who seek permission to act as advocates or conduct litigation should provide the courts with a short CV and undertake to follow the normal rules with respect to their duty to the court; and
  4. The court will not permit McKenzie Friends to appear if they are receiving direct or indirect payment for their services.

The consultation follows concerns from the Bar Council and reports by the Legal Services Consumer Panel about paid McKenzie Friends.

The consultation closes on 19th May 2016.