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Solicitor, 3+ years PQE (one-year, fixed-term) – Clan Childlaw
Salary: £30,000 - £32,000 per annum (dependent on experience)
Hours of work: Full-time (35 hours a week). Consideration will be given to part-time working (minimum 21 hours).
Location: Various locations, Scotland-wide – applications will be considered from applicants based in any area of Scotland
Clan Childlaw is recruiting for an enthusiastic and versatile solicitor with at least three years’ experience in child law, family law, housing or social welfare law to join our growing team.
About the Role:
Clan Childlaw is an award-winning law centre that provides legal advice and representation exclusively to children and young people in Scotland. Our unique legal service operates an outreach model, travelling to meet children and young people in their own communities.
Due to further expansion, we are able to offer a unique opportunity for an experienced child law solicitor to work remotely, enabling our child-centred representation service to be accessed by children and young people in all parts of Scotland.
The successful candidate will have the flexibility to work from home and to shape and manage the expansion of Clan’s legal representation services throughout Scotland. The role will require regular travel to attend meetings, children’s hearings and courts across Scotland. This is an exciting time to join our welcoming and supportive team as we expand our reach to help children and young people in all areas of the country.
You should have at least three years’ experience of child law, family law, housing or social welfare law. You must be able to manage your own caseload and work with minimal supervision. This is a great opportunity to use your expertise to work on a varied caseload that includes children’s hearings, rights of care leavers, housing law and family law as it relates to children. We are committed to driving wider change for children and young people through our casework and so you will help identify and carry out strategic litigation as required.
You will be passionate about providing legal help to children and young people and will be flexible enough to provide this service across all areas of Scotland, especially to areas further north of our current locations in Edinburgh and Glasgow. In order to provide this service it is essential that you have a drivers licence and access to a car for business purposes.
You will be working remotely in order to travel to all areas of Scotland as required by our casework. You will also be required to travel to our offices for regular team updates and support and supervision meetings with your line manager.
Membership of the PVG Scheme is essential for this role and the successful candidate will be required to apply for the scheme and produce an acceptable PVG Scheme Record.
21 hours per week Temporary maternity cover up to 31 July 2021 £41,598 to £44,007 pro rata (including Distant Islands Allowance)
Orkney provides a beautiful setting in which to live and work and a wonderful opportunity to combine a fulfilling and challenging career with the best that the islands can offer in terms of lifestyle. Our vibrant and forward-thinking community is regularly voted the happiest and the best place to live in Scotland. Our quality of life is second to none. Orkney has a rising population, excellent local services, and a multitude of opportunities and facilities to cater for whatever your interests outside of work may be.
Orkney Islands Council is looking for an enthusiastic and committed professional to carry out a variety of duties as part of our legal team.
The post will suit a candidate with a particular interest in commercial contracts, projects, freedom of information and litigation, but also a willingness to deal with any other areas of work allocated by the Head of Legal Services. The post provides an excellent opportunity to develop further experience across other areas of work that Orkney Islands Council covers.
You should hold a law degree (LLB) and a Diploma in Legal Practice or Diploma in Professional Legal Practice or equivalent. You also should be a qualified solicitor holding (or eligible to hold) an unrestricted Practising Certificate issued by the Law Society of Scotland.
You should have the experience to work under limited supervision, with well-developed communication and IT skills and must have a working knowledge of relevant legislation.
This post is subject to Standard Disclosure Scotland clearance.
If you would like to talk over how you might meet this challenge, please contact Gavin Mitchell, Head of Legal Services, via firstname.lastname@example.org
Supreme Court: Man convicted of sexual crimes after being caught by 'paedophile hunters' fails in human rights appeal
A man who sent an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy a sexual image and arranged to meet him and who was thereafter convicted of sexual offences has had his human rights appeal to the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed.
Lord Sales gave the judgment, with which Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Leggatt agreed.
This appeal concerns the compatibility of the use in a criminal trial of evidence obtained by a so-called “paedophile hunter” (“PH”) group with the accused person’s rights under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 provides that everyone has the right to respect for his or her private life and correspondence. PH groups impersonate children online to lure persons into inappropriate communications and provide the resulting material to the police.
An adult member of a PH group, acting as a decoy, created a fake profile on a dating application using a photograph of a boy aged approximately 13 years old. The appellant entered into communication with the decoy, who stated that he was 13 years old. The appellant sent the decoy a sexual image and also arranged a meeting. At the meeting, the appellant was confronted by members of the PH group who remained with him until the police arrived. Copies of the appellant’s communications with the decoy were provided to the police.
The respondent, as public prosecutor, charged the appellant with attempts to commit: (i) the offence of attempting to cause an older child (i.e. a child between 13 and 16 years old) to look at a sexual image, for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification, contrary to section 33 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009; (ii) the offence of attempting to communicate indecently with an older child, contrary to section 34 of the 2009 Act; and (iii) the offence of attempting to meet with a child for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity, contrary to section 1 of the Protection of Children and the Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005 (together, “the charges”).
The appellant objected to the admissibility of the evidence sought to be relied upon by the respondent on the basis that it was obtained covertly without authorisation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 and without authorisation or reasonable suspicion of criminality in violation of his rights under article 8. These objections were dismissed and the appellant was convicted of the charges. The appellant appealed against his conviction to the High Court of Justiciary, which refused the appeal and granted the appellant permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on two compatibility issues, which arise in criminal proceedings over whether a public authority has acted in a way that is unlawful under section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Reasons for the judgment
The appellant appeals on two issues: (1) whether, in respect of the type of communications used by the appellant and the PH group, article 8 rights may be interfered with by their use as evidence in a public prosecution of the appellant for a relevant offence; and (2) the extent to which the obligation on the state, to provide adequate protection for article 8 rights, is incompatible with the use by a public prosecutor of material supplied by PH groups in investigating and prosecuting crime.
On the first issue, the appellant submits that there was an interference with the appellant’s rights to respect for his private life and his correspondence under article 8(1), which required the respondent to show that such interference was justified under article 8(2). The court holds that there was no interference with those rights at any stage because: (i) the nature of the communications rendered them incapable of being worthy of respect under article 8; and (ii) the appellant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the communications.
It is implicit in article 8(1) that the protected features of private life and correspondence must be capable of respect within the scheme of values the ECHR exists to protect and promote. States party to the ECHR have a special responsibility to protect children against sexual exploitation by adults. Here, in the absence of any state surveillance, and where the issue is the balance of the interests of a person engaging in such conduct and the children who are the recipients of the relevant communications, the reprehensible nature of the communications means they do not attract protection under article 8(1). The interests of children have priority over any interest a paedophile could have in being allowed to engage in criminal conduct. Further, the prohibition of the abuse of rights in article 17 of the ECHR supports the conclusion that the criminal conduct at issue in this case is not capable of respect for the purposes of article 8(1).
An important indication of whether the right to respect for private life and correspondence is engaged is whether the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to those communications, which is an objective question. The appellant’s communications were sent directly to the decoy. There was no prior relationship between the appellant and recipient from which an expectation of privacy might be said to arise. Requests made by the appellant to the decoy to keep the communications private did not establish a relationship of confidentiality. Furthermore, the appellant believed he was communicating with a 13-year-old child, who it was foreseeable might share any worrying communications with an adult. The appellant may have enjoyed a reasonable expectation of privacy so far as the possibility of police surveillance or intrusion by the wider public are concerned, but not in relation to the recipient. Once the evidence had been passed on to the police, the appellant had no reasonable expectation that either the police or the respondent should treat them as confidential. Again, under the scheme of the ECHR, the effective prosecution of serious crimes committed in relation to children is part of the regime of deterrence a state must have in place.
On the second issue, the state had no supervening positive obligation to protect the appellant’s interests that would prevent the respondent making use of the evidence to investigate or prosecute the crime. On the contrary, the relevant positive obligation on the respondent was to ensure that the criminal law could be applied effectively to deter sexual offences against children. Article 8 has the effect that the respondent should be entitled to, and might indeed be obliged to, make use of the evidence in bringing a prosecution against him.
Private shareholders win share buyout contract dispute case
The majority shareholders of a private limited company have succeeded in an action to establish the terms of a contract between themselves and another shareholder with whom they were in dispute.
Ronald Somerville, Charles Shaw, and Nick Felisiak brought the claim against David McGuire after a dispute between them resulted in a contract to have the defender’s shares in the company bought out.
The case was heard in the Outer House of the Court of Session by Lord Clark.
The pursuers and the defender were shareholders in 5 PM Ltd, incorporated in 1999, with the defender owning a 35.4% share. Together, the pursuers and the defender owned 98% of the shares. The defender had been a non-executive director of the company, with the first and second pursuers being the executive directors.
Following a dispute that resulted in the defender raising proceedings in the sheriff court against the company and the pursuers, the parties determined that the dispute could be resolved by the defender relinquishing his shares in the company at a fair price.
The first and second pursuers and the defender jointly instructed a chartered accountant to provide a valuation of the defender’s shares. A valuation was issued but subsequently withdrawn. By letter in November 2016, it was proposed that an independent expert value the defender’s shares for purchase in accordance with a methodology contained in the company’s articles of association.
In November 2017, following other correspondence, that offer was accepted, with a Mr MacDonald appointed to value the shares. A key feature of the defender’s correspondence was a request for the valuation to be “Hoffmann compliant”, i.e. consistent with the principles set out by Lord Hoffmann in O’Neill v Phillips (1999).
The defender refused to sign a letter of engagement, following meetings with Mr MacDonald in which they discussed the defender’s request for Hoffmann compliance. The defender maintained that Mr MacDonald denied being familiar with the O’Neill case at a meeting in April 2018.
The pursuers sought declarator that the terms of the contract between themselves and the defender were contained in the offer issued in November 2016 and accepted in the following November. They averred that the methodology proposed by the accountant was consistent with the parties’ rights and obligations under the company’s articles of association.
The defender averred that there was apparent bias that disqualified Mr MacDonald from acting for the parties, as he wrongly continued to deny that he had confirmed his lack of familiarity with O’Neill at the April 2018 meeting, had ignored most of the reasonable proposed revisions to the letter of engagement suggested by the defender, and not made revisions to the letter of engagement that he agreed to include at a meeting with the defender in May 2018.
Acceptance not qualified
In his opinion, Lord Clark first considered the constitution of the contract, saying of the defender’s November 2017 letter of acceptance: “The acceptance was not in any way qualified and it referred only to the offer dated 8 November 2016, making no reference at all to any of the other correspondence or documents which are now argued to form part of the contract. These other documents comprise many pages and deal with a number of matters. On behalf of the defender, there was no identification of the relevant passages in these numerous documents which were to be taken to constitute part of the contract. This raises considerable difficulties for the suggestion that they do form part of it.”
He continued: “It is inappropriate to conclude that an offer which is met by an acceptance is supposed to have added to it words from numerous other documents which also form part of the contract when those words are not identified."
On whether there was an aim that the agreement was Hoffmann compliant, he said: “I conclude that there was no aim that the agreement would be ‘Hoffmann compliant’ whatever that concept meant. A reasonable person in the situation of each of the parties was not aiming for or committing to the application of a meaning of that concept which ran starkly against his understanding. There is nothing in the factual background to support the view that the pursuers were proceeding on the basis that the concept applied whatever it meant and even it if did include full and unfettered access, and that the defender was also proceeding on the basis that the concept applied, again whatever it meant, and even if it did not include full and unfettered access.”
On the issue of bias, he said: “In relation to the meeting on 16 April 2018, Mr MacDonald accepted that the defender may simply have a different recollection of what was said, rather than have stated any untruth. As I understood the defender’s evidence, he was not suggesting that Mr MacDonald was telling a lie about what happened. I see no basis for concluding that because they differed in their recollections of what was said at the meeting that could give rise to a conclusion of a real possibility of bias.”
Regarding Mr MacDonald’s failure to amend the letter of engagement as the defender requested, he said: “Accepting, as I do, the evidence of Mr MacDonald that it was simply an oversight, there is no support for the suggestion of a real possibility of bias. In relation to the rejection of the other revisions proposed by the defender, Mr MacDonald’s evidence was that while the majority of the proposed revisions were unobjectionable and reasonable the letter of engagement would normally be two to three pages long, the matters had already been adequately covered and it was not necessary to make them explicit. Once again, this discloses no basis for finding a real possibility of bias.”
For those reasons, Lord Clark found in favour of the pursuers regarding the construction of the contract and repelled the defender’s pleas-in-law in the counterclaim.
The new Dean of the Faculty of Advocates is Roddy Dunlop QC.
Mr Dunlop was the sole nomination to succeed Gordon Jackson QC, who stepped down after four years in office.
Mr Dunlop said: “It is a huge honour to have been appointed Dean of Faculty. This high office extends back to the very origins of the College of Justice in the 16th Century. It has been held by many of the foremost legal minds in Scottish history, and I am humbled, and a little awed, to find myself in their company.
“I take office at an extremely challenging time for Faculty, and for the legal profession as a whole. I will endeavour to meet these challenges in a way that respects the efforts of those who have gone before me.”
Admitted to Faculty in 1998, Mr Dunlop took silk in 2010. He has a broad-based, mainly civil practice, but with a keen interest in media law, he has been regularly instructed in the criminal courts in contempt matters.
Mr Dunlop served as Treasurer of Faculty from April 2017 until February this year when he was elected as Vice-Dean of Faculty. An election for a new Vice-Dean will follow.
President of the Law Society of Scotland, Amanda Millar congratulated Mr Dunlop.
She said: “I am delighted to congratulate Roddy on becoming Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.
"Roddy has proven to be extremely capable in his short time as Vice Dean, following his election earlier this year. I am looking forward to working with him on issues affecting both our professions, and as we seek to address the challenges we face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has had a major impact on the legal sector and justice system.”
Brodies underlines commitment to Highlands with double appointment
Brodies LLP has appointed specialist private client and family lawyers, underlining its commitment to growth in the Highlands and Islands.
Lisa Law joins Brodies as director. With more than 12 years' experience, she specialises in wills, power or attorney and guardianship, as well as trusts and executries. She is an accredited specialist in incapacity and mental disability law and is a notary public.
Also joining the firm is senior associate, Sarah Lilley. Ms Lilley has practised family law exclusively for the past 12 years. She is trained in the collaborative method of dispute resolution, is an accredited specialist in child law and a notary public.
Ms Law and Ms Lilley join Brodies from Innes and Mackay. Their appointments bring the number of colleagues based in Brodies' Dingwall office to seven. Earlier this year the firm announced that following her promotion to partner, real estate lawyer, Karren Smith, would take on a leading role in the firm's Highlands and Islands base.
Brodies managing partner, Nick Scott, said: "We committed to our Highlands presence in 2018 so that we could support current and future clients in the region with the full range of legal services that our firm can offer. Our growth is focused on building that practice with local experts, and in welcoming Lisa and Sarah to Brodies we underline that commitment.
"Our clients will be able to benefit from the knowledge, skill and experience that Lisa and Sarah bring to the firm, and which will complement the wider personal and family practice. We wish them well in their careers here at Brodies."
Human rights framework for care home investigation published
The Scottish Human Rights Commission has published a new briefing on care homes and human rights during the pandemic.
The briefing sets out the human rights framework as it applies to the issues that have arisen in care homes, and details the requirements of human rights law to ensure effective investigations are carried out by the state.
Judith Robertson, chair of the commission, said: “It is now well documented that the coronavirus outbreak has significantly impacted the residents and staff of Scotland’s care homes. The commission welcomes the First Minister’s commitment to holding a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, including what has happened in care homes.
“We would now like to see the Scottish government further commit to taking a human rights based approach to any public inquiry, which specifically gives consideration as to whether human rights standards and principles have been met. Our briefing provides more detail on how this can be achieved in practice.”
England: Widow of shipbreaking worker free to pursue negligence claim
A High Court judge has refused to strike out a claim for negligence brought by the widow of a Bangladeshi worker killed on a ship.
Mr Justice Jay held that Maran (UK) Ltd arguably owed a duty of care to the shipbreaker, Khalil Mollah. The decision is likely to send shockwaves around the shipping industry which historically has sent thousands of vessels to South Asian beaches for great profit.
Maran sought to have the case summarily dismissed on the grounds that they were too far removed (in time and space) from Mr Mollah's death to owe him a duty of care. The accident, they submitted, was because of the working conditions in Chattogram over which they had no control.
Mr Justice Jay, however, rejected this argument. He said: “The proximate cause of the accident was the deceased’s fall from a height, but on a broader, purposive approach the accident resulted from a chain of events which led to the vessel being grounded at Chattogram.”
Mr Mollah's widow, Hamida Begum, alleges that Maran (UK) Ltd was responsible for the vessel being sold to be broken up in the dangerous location.
Her husband fell to his death on 30 March, 2018 while working on the defunct oil tanker EKTA in the Zuma Enterprise Shipyard in Chattogram, Bangladesh. He had worked in shipbreaking since 2009, working 70 hr weeks for low pay, and without PPE in highly dangerous conditions.
EKTA, formerly Maran Centaurus, had been owned and managed by companies within the multi-billion dollar Angelicoussis Shipping Group, which included Maran (UK) Limited. In a transaction in August 2017 worth over $16 million Maran Centaurus was sold for demolition. Soon afterwards, she was deliberately run aground on a beach at Chattogram, Bangladesh, in order to be broken up.
The International Labour Organisation ranks shipbreaking at Chattogram as among the most dangerous jobs in the world. The area has been called “the world’s cheapest place to scrap ships”, and is notorious for its poor working conditions, prevalence of child labour, and high death and injury rates among its workers.
It is alleged that the sale price was a clear indication that the tanker was destined for Chattogram, and Maran (UK) Ltd would have known this.
Mr Justice Jay accepted that over the past 10 years more than 70 per cent of vessels that reach the end of their operating lives are broken up using the “beaching” method in SE Asia.
However, he said: “[The defendant argued that] given that nearly all vessels ended up in South Asia, it could not be said that [Maran UK Ltd] were deviating from standard practice. I reject that submission on the straightforward basis that if standard practice was inherently dangerous, it cannot be condoned as sound and rational even though almost everybody does the same.”
The judge dismissed Maran (UK) Ltd’s application to strike out the claim for negligence and the case continues towards trial.
Solicitor for Mrs Begum, Leigh Day's Alex Wessely, said: “The shipping industry is renowned for its lack of transparency, especially when the dangers of shipbreaking are concerned. We are very pleased with this judgment, which we hope is a step towards creating proper accountability for when things go tragically wrong.”
Leigh Day partner Oliver Holland said: “If Maran (UK) Ltd is made to accept that it owed Mr Khalil Mollah a duty of care, maybe that will go some way to making UK shipping companies think twice about accepting greater financial reward for their end-of-life vessels at the cost of the environment and the lives of South Asian workers.”
Property Taxes Round-Up – an ETN, TFC & CIOT webinar
The Edinburgh Tax Network, in conjunction with CIOT and Terra Firma Chambers, will present a Property Taxes Round-Up on 21 July 2020 from 1pm to 2pm. At this event Carl Bayley, BSc, FCA, will explore:
Changes to Principal Private Residence relief from April 2020
'Report and Pay' rules for CGT on residential property disposals
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax update
Interest relief restrictions (Section 24) - what does the world look like for landlords now these are fully implemented?
Incorporating a property letting business - is there a tax-free route?
Property tax issues arising during the Coronavirus Crisis
Carl is a past chairman of the Tax Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the institute’s governing board and council.
He is also a former president of ICAEW Scotland. He is the author of a series of ‘Plain English’ tax guides designed to help business owners, landlords and families understand the taxes they face and make savings through sensible planning and by having the confidence to know what they are entitled to claim.
There is no charge for attendance but registration is required. To sign up, please click here.
ICC: First trial featuring charge of gender persecution begins
The trial of a former Islamic militant has begun at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and marks the first time someone stands accused of persecution on the grounds of gender at the court.
Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, 42, was transferred to the custody of the court from Mali more than two years ago, The Guardian reports.
Prosecutors in The Hague have accused him of various offences including torture and participation in a policy of forced marriage which “led to repeated rapes and sexual enslavement of women and girls”.
His alleged offences were committed during a six-month period in which the Malian city of Timbuktu was ruled by radical Islamist groups in 2012 and 2013.
His defence lawyers told the court that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and was unable to stand trial. They said that a full psychological assessment had not been carried out due to the pandemic.
Sharia law was imposed on Timbuktu after it fell to Islamist militant factions and Tuareg rebels. Under their rule, music was banned, women were forced to wear the burqa, girls were prevented from attending school and the graves of saints were demolished.
Melinda Reed, executive director of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, which is based at The Hague and focuses on the ICC, said: “The charging documents include cases where women were hunted down and detained in inhumane conditions for the sole reason of wearing a headscarf considered as too beautiful or not wearing gloves at the market."
She added: “In many cases, persecution is charged on ethnic or religious grounds without the recognition that persecution can be seen on both religious gender grounds, as seen [here]."
Benjamin Bestgen discusses the death penalty in this week's jurisprudential primer. See his last one here.
A few weeks ago an acquaintance (let’s call her Lea) witnessed an incident where teenagers had assaulted elderly people by deliberately coughing and spitting on them and yelling “COVID-19, COVID-19!” Lea told me about it and said that while she does not support the death penalty generally, she would not feel too sorry if these [colourful expletive] would, exceptionally, be shot.
Lea is a thoughtful, well-educated person and mother of two teenagers. I got curious and, claiming professional interest, asked if she would still endorse this view if her kids had committed a similar (or worse) offence. She replied that she hoped her children would know better and in any event, her country does not have capital punishment. But upset about COVID-19 aside, Lea said that some deeds are so heinous that monetary fines or imprisonment don’t seem sufficient punishment: only the terror of certain death and the irreversible removal of the offender from the world might constitute just retribution for the harm that person inflicted on others.
What kind of sentence is death?
Sentiments like Lea’s are often attributed to pub-bores and populist right-wingers. Many deem capital punishment barbaric and morally wrong: if we truly reject murder, torture or terrorism, we mustn’t inflict similar things on people who have harmed us so, otherwise we are morally tainted in the same way.
Morality aside, capital punishment is also criticised as:
an ineffective deterrent;
errors are intolerable because irreversible: miscarriages of justice don’t come worse than an erroneous death sentence;
many offenders could also be rehabilitated;
to protect society and incapacitate an irredeemable, dangerous person, we have many reasonable means available that do not involve killing; and
no meaningful reparation to the victim or the wider community.
Further, natural justice suggests that we should understand exactly the nature of any punishment we impose so we know it is appropriate. But death, while biologically well-understood, is metaphysically unknowable.
Lea is no pub-bore or right-winger. Her gut-response about these teenagers was fuelled by the thought that through their disgusting assault they had terrorised and instilled the fear of death in these elderly people who are at risk of dying from COVID-19. If a victim had actually become ill and died, these youths would be killers.
Retribution is an old and powerful intuition when we consider how to react to actual or perceived wrongs. The wish or need for revenge and rebalancing the scales is viewed by many as entirely natural and justified, by many others as an uncivilised impulse we should aim to overcome.
The ancient Mesopotamian Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest written law we know about, employs the “ius talionis” (eye for an eye principle), stating that a man committing murder must be killed.
Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant shared that view: the only proportionate punishment for murder is to take the murderer’s life in return.
Nowadays, former prosecutor and academic Robert Blecker advocates that while he believes that capital punishment should only be used for the very worst offenders, retribution is an important part of justice: a murderer who viciously tortures his victim or a terrorist responsible for dozens or hundreds of deaths and trauma should suffer and die. No other punishment matches the crime.
It seems that official support for capital punishment is steadily decreasing not only in Britain but worldwide. Just over half a century ago, abolitionists still had to argue their case against the normality of capital punishment, nowadays it’s the opposite. But, equally, we see that strongman leaders and authoritarian, populist governments create an environment in which more people feel less restrained calling for the death penalty to maintain “law and order” and be “tough on crime”, however defined.
According to a snapshot YouGov poll in 2017 that surveyed 2,060 randomly selected adults, 53 per cent of Leavers and 20 per cent of Remainers thought the UK should reintroduce the death penalty after Brexit.
There is, perhaps, no punishment as ultimate as death. As long as some people still wish for death to be a judicial option, we cannot afford to be naïve about the subject: some people’s intuitions about justice, good order and authority may well include a justifiable desire for retribution, which the death penalty could provide, while others reject capital punishment on religious, philosophical or pragmatic grounds.
So the next time you encounter somebody who expresses sympathies for the death penalty, maybe ask them (non-judgementally) why exactly and have that conversation.
Benjamin Bestgen is a solicitor and notary public (qualified in Scotland). He also holds a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and tutored in practical philosophy and jurisprudence at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main and the University of Edinburgh.
Millar & Bryce launches suite of new searches to support private client solicitors dealing with wills and executry
SAVE TIME & MINIMISE RISK WITH A FINANCIAL ASSET SEARCH
Peace of mind during the Estate Administration process available from Millar & Bryce, the land and property searching specialists.
Wills and Executry professionals have many important obligations to fulfil, whether they are acting as an executor or assisting personal representatives. Collating financial information, contacting individual firms, and chasing for a response, can cost private client teams greatly in both time and revenue.
Millar & Bryce are pleased to introduce a new and enhanced Financial Asset Search (FAS) provided by Landmark Information Group. This now includes current account information to assist tracing live and dormant assets, specifically those otherwise lost or forgotten over the course of an individual’s lifetime, to ensure that they are identified and included in the estate.
Our FAS service, helps to streamline the asset checking process saving law firms numerous hours of administration whilst at the same time giving security that a comprehensive check has been administered, reducing risk for both your firm and your client.
We’ll get all the information you need within 28 days
Financial Asset Search (FAS) provides a range of services to aid the executry process.
Our service will identify unknown, lost or dormant financial assets within 28 days, with further monitoring for up to 60 days where necessary via a comprehensive report. In fact, on your behalf, we contact over 200 financial institutions ensuring a thorough and comprehensive service.
When it comes to cases where the assets are unknown or spread across an estate, particularly relevant with sudden deaths, FAS is an invaluable way of saving time and reducing the chance of potential liability because something has been missed.
Trace a wide range of assets, including:
Unit trusts and investment trusts
National Savings and Investments (NS&I)
Occupational pensions via the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
The latest will (registered with Certainty National Will Register)
FTSE 100 Shareholdings (registered with Capita, Computershare & Equiniti)
NEW – Current Account Information Search (CAIS) obtained via Experian CAIS service includes:
A comprehensive address and name history
A public records search such as bankruptcies and court judgements
Details of all recently held credit accounts, whether open or closed
Our FAS report is more extensive than other searches. It gives our customers the peace of mind that all avenues have been explored. Offered for a fixed fee of £155 + VAT. No additional fees, just a reliable, time-saving service when you need it most.
Contact our dedicated Private Client team via email@example.com or contact our relationship team on 0131 556 1313 to find out more.
I think it's safe to say that the past few months have been tough on all of us.
Here at Denovo we were worried about everything you would expect from a business perspective - our teams' safety and ongoing well-being, our client's ability to get the best out of our product whilst working in new environments, the thought of new business drying up, and the potential, gruelling re-forecasting process. These were all factors weighing heavy on the minds of the people leading our business.
In our new insights guide, we focus on our decision making during this period. We basically had two options - batten down the hatches and weather the storm, or us use the time, which had been unceremoniously gifted to us, to make our product, service and overall offering even better!
To find out which option we chose, click here to read more.
CCODR reminds ADR practitioners to protect client data when taking dispute resolution online
In May 2020 it was reported that MSPs had been advised that social distancing measures could cause a backlog of 2,000 High Court cases in Scotland over the next two years. In June 2020, the picture became bleaker when the Lord President, Lord Carloway, warned that if things continued there could be a backlog of 3,000 jury trials in the High Court and sheriff courts by next March. Social distancing is reported to have reduced capacity in Scottish courts to 30 per cent.
Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. Parties, particularly those involved in commercial disputes, have switched on to the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means of resolving their disputes in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner. That wave has been building in the UK and Ireland for quite some time and is backed by judicial and legislative encouragement.
COVID-19 has moved the venue of ADR online. Parties and their representatives wish to proceed and the courts remain focused on positive judicial encouragement to ensure that there is timely access to justice when a court hearing is a must.
Although necessity is the mother of invention, invention requires constant sense checking and modification. Some parties have reacted quickly, patching together various platforms and technologies to deliver online ADR. Their invention and industriousness should be applauded, however security, compliance and the safety of clients’ data should never be forgotten.
Based in Northern Ireland, CCODR – a company backed by Innovate UK – is offering a purpose-built web-based solution to facilitate online dispute resolution to aid the resolution of disputes faced by businesses, organisations and individuals thereby enabling a return to ‘business as usual’ in a more efficient and cost effective manner than traditional legal routes can provide.
The CCODR platform offers the only online dispute resolution industry-specific technological platform which is partnered with a Consumer Code. Unique features of the platform include end-to-end encryption (E2EE), a full suite of case management tools for alternative dispute practitioners, encrypted uploading and file sharing, and integration of digital billing including invoices, payments and receipts, among other features purpose-built into the platform to facilitate highly secure online dispute resolution sessions across the UK and Ireland and enable ADR practitioners to seek out work beyond their geographical boundaries.
Three special 'working from home' offers exclusively for Scottish Legal News readers
Bijou – 6.25 square metres (2.5m x 2.5m) at £1650 ex VAT
Cabin size – 2.5m x 2.5m / 70mm log / Overhang – 80cm / Double Glazed Single Door size – 1x 83cm x 193cm / Double Glazed Tilt and Turn Window , Window size – 1x 71cm x 113cm / Ridge height – 2.47m / Front Wall height – 2.4m / Rear Wall height – 2.08m
Options: Delivery to site / unloading / unpacking; Construction (2-man team); Insulation of Floor and Roof; Preferred Base / Groundworks; De Luxe Roofing (e.g. tiles, slate, bitumen shingles)
Insulated Garden Office – 16 square metres (4m x 4m) at £6000 ex VAT
Hydro-wind trapping membrane / Knauf insulation 100 mm / Vapour barrier membrane / Wooden battens / Walls / Roof / Knauf insulation 150 mm / Oriented strand board (OSB) – type 3 – 12 mm / Hydro-wind trapping membrane / Vapour barrier membrane / External cladding 27mm / Roof / Roofing felt components / Window and door (set) PVC
Options: Delivery to site / unloading / unpacking; Construction (2-man team); Insulation of Floor and Roof; Preferred Base / Groundworks; De Luxe Roofing (e.g. tiles, slate, bitumen shingles)
Multi-purpose – 24 square metres (6m x 4m) at £3778 (44mm) to £4923 (70mm) ex VAT
Log Cabin 6.0 m x 4.0 m / Log Cabin 19.68 ft x 13.12 ft / Overhang – 300 mm / Windows – 2x – 1260 mm x 710mm / Doors – 1x – 1880 mm x 1290 mm / Doors – 1x – 1880 mm x 760 mm / Eaves Height – 2000 mm / Ridge Height – 2400 mm
Options: Delivery to site / unloading / unpacking; Construction (2-man team); Insulation of Floor and Roof; Preferred Base / Groundworks; De Luxe Roofing (e.g. tiles, slate, bitumen shingles)
At Grand Lodges we will not be beaten on price and quality. Everything that we do (by customer request) is bespoke BUT without the high price tag.
In tandem with our Partner we can work with you to ensure that all your necessary and chosen technology is in situ and working as it should be. For all customers we will provide a helpful Working from Home (WFH) and GDPR framework.
Ampersand Advocates launches ‘Bitesized’ webinar series
During this period of social distancing and restrictions on group gatherings and in recognition of the changes to the ways in which practitioners are keeping up-to-date with current trends in legal practice, Ampersand is launching a series of easy to digest ‘bitesized’ webinars. Keeping in mind that time is short as we all balance working from home with our personal lives, these webinars are designed to be short, snappy and less of a commitment for busy professionals than traditional seminars.
With a set of 60 experienced advocates, our bitesized live offerings, each of which will last up to 30 minutes, will cover a range of areas of law and legal practice, with time for Q&A.
We will offer these live as well as ‘on-demand’ via our website afterwards.
We can also host in-house events and would be happy to discuss requirements.
Our first LIVE webinar is this Friday, listed below, so register on the appropriate links grab your favourite beverage and snack, sit back and listen…
Nick McAndrew – Conflicts in witness evidence: how does the court decide?
19th June, 12 noon
The outcome of a litigation will often depend on how the court decides upon a disputed factual issue. This talk considers the ‘he said, she said’ scenario, and the tools available to a judge when deciding who to believe. A firm understanding of these tools assists in: (i) the effective investigation and preparation of a case; and (ii) advising with greater clarity on the prospects of success.
There will be reference to the principles relating to credibility and reliability of witness evidence, how they have been applied in recent Scottish cases, and suggested guidance on case preparation with the principles in mind.
Nick will call as an Advocate on 26th June, having previously been a solicitor for five years with a large Scottish law firm. As a solicitor, he advised on a broad range of disputes involved in the construction sector and developed expertise across dispute resolution forums (including the Sheriff Court and Court of Session, Adjudication and Arbitration). We look forward to welcoming Nick to Ampersand.
To register for any of our webinars view Ampersand Bitesized Webinars on the Webinars section of the Ampersand website here.
To discuss any in-house requirements for webinars tailored to the requirements of your organisation or team, please contact Alan Moffat or another member of the clerking team.
Themis Advocates has welcomed two new counsel following admission ceremonies in Parliament House.
Chris Miller, who gained academic distinction at Strathclyde University, brings knowledge of internet law and policy to his practice. He has experience appearing in court and various tribunals and is well placed to advance his interests in media and intellectual property law within a broader commercial and reparation practice.
Rob Hovey joins with experience in personal injury and clinical negligence litigation. As a Mike Jones Excellence in Advocacy Prize winner, he is already a confident court practitioner.
Prior to his admission, during his time with one of Scotland’s leading litigation firms, he built up experience in a wide range of reparation litigation, including industrial injury and personal injury actions, clinical negligence, and foreign travel claims.
Welcoming the new members, stable director Andrew Webster QC said: “Themis Advocates, refreshed and revitalised, are determined to maintain excellent advocacy services across a broad range of practice areas. Rob and Chris bring not only enthusiasm to their well earned membership of Faculty, they enrich the spread of service provision offered by Themis.
"As the practical consequences of the current pandemic begin to crystallise for all of us, Chris’s interest in internet law and cybercrime and Rob’s experience of foreign travel litigation should prove a relevant and timely base upon which to build successful practices, for which they are clearly well suited. But for today we offer our congratulations and wish them well as members of Faculty and as members of Themis Advocates.”
With approximately 44 per cent of UK businesses now operating a skeleton structure while 20 per cent have chosen to completely shut down, it might seem like now is the time to just knuckle down because; 1. You have less staff to do the work (furlough, etc) and you need to do it yourself 2. You’re simply trying your best to get through this and out the other end bruised rather than battered. However, lawyers are smart and the ones that I have been speaking to see this as an opportunity to get their business ready when things start to get back to normal (in whatever guise that takes) or are futureproofing for when, god forbid, something like this happens again.
If you had a viable and profitable business before Covid-19 you have to believe you’ll have a good business after it. This is a different situation to the last recession. This is caused by a virus rather than a fundamental business failure. With that, we have all been given the gift of time. Did we earn it? No. Did we expect it? No. Should we use it to blow apart the deep-rooted approach of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and get our business ready to grow post-lockdown? Absolutely YES!
In Denovo’s new insights guide, they focus on how you can use this time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. They encourage you to look at this situation as an opportunity to develop new working practices and services that can be carried out from different environments. And the question they put to you is - if you do, can you create new ways of working that will be 'pandemic proof' in these areas?
To let: refurbished office at Newton Terrace Glasgow
Approx 600 square feet. comprising one big, one small and two medium sized rooms. Very suitable for distanced working. Two car spaces included plus toilet and shared kitchen. Ideal for a new legal firm or one downsizing. Cncentives available. (a further 600 square feet may become available in addition.)
The Supreme Court is considering its judgment after hearing arguments about the constraints placed on a landowner when objects in a property are listed separately to the whole of the building (Dill v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and another  UKSC 20.
The case concerned two 18th century lead urns on limestone pillars which were placed in the gardens of a listed building in 1973 by Mr Dill’s father. In 1986 the urns and their pillars were individually listed under the predecessor to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. In 2009, Mr. Dill (apparently unaware of the listing) removed them and sold them at auction. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Council noticed they were missing and advised Mr Dill that Listed Building Consent was required before they could be removed. The Council refused his application for retrospective consent and served a Listed Building Enforcement Notice on him. Mr. Dill challenged this, and the case reached the Supreme Court in March 2020.
Mr Dill argued that because urns weren’t buildings, or part of a building, they couldn’t be listed. If successful, then this could have a huge impact on landowners as a wide range of objects have been listed, including two K6 style red telephone boxes at Preston station and a milepost on the A56 outside Sheffield.
The case is a timely reminder to landowners and developers that objects can be listed on their own or as part of a building and that removing or altering them can be a breach of the 1990 Act. It is also a warning that silence from the relevant Council does not necessarily mean that the landowner has “got away with it”. In the Dill judgment, there was a six-year gap between removal and the Council taking action. This is because unlike planning and other matters, there is no time limitation for enforcement of breaches of Listed Building Consent.
Whilst the judgment of the Supreme Court is awaited, landowners, developers and those advising them must continue to exercise extreme care when looking to alter or develop listed buildings. A breach of the 1990 Act is a criminal offence carrying a maximum of 2 years imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine. Buyers of listed buildings should also be careful as they will “inherit” any breaches by previous owners and be responsible for complying with any Enforcement Notices issued in respect of these works. Stewart Title can offer a number of Indemnity Policies dealing with Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas and our Underwriters possess extensive knowledge of these issues.
Technology in the 21st Century is providing us with the means to communicate our thoughts and ideas across the planet in a way that would have been unthinkable, even 10 years ago.
However good the technology is, it cannot pick up the subtleties of a language, the culture that underpins it, or even the humour that oils many of our conversations.
For this reason there has always been a need for skilled interpreters and translators and probably always will. That’s where Global Language Services Ltd can help you.
Not only do we have the language service talent that you are likely to need, we also have a track record that spans Government, health, justice, commercial and private sector contracts.
So, whatever you want to achieve in a different language, we’re on your side from the word ‘go’.
We go out of our way to help with any translation and interpreting requirements and you can test that simply by picking up the phone and getting in touch. Calls are answered by trained operators with no call centres – just real people determined to help you achieve your language service requirements as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been searching for Professional Translation or reliable Interpreting Services at competitive prices, we like to think that Global will be your long-term partner after your first project with us.
With offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen we are committed to finding local interpreters and translators wherever possible. Our reach, however, goes much further than Scotland and we are happy to take translation projects from across the world.
Examines the repairing obligation and dilapidations claims arising under commercial leases in Scotland
An understanding of the basics of dilapidations law is essential for commercial lease negotiation. Many of the problems that arise at the end of a lease have their roots in what was agreed at the beginning. This clear and practical book gives a thorough exposition of the law governing dilapidations in Scotland.
It covers the following areas:
The underlying common law
Interpretation of the lease
Remedies for breach of repairing obligation
Common parts and service charge
Dilapidations claims at lease expiry have become increasingly important in recent years. Changing occupier requirements and reduced occupier demand has led to closer scrutiny of the liabilities of outgoing tenants and of the intention of landlords with regard to redevelopment and/or re-letting of a property. Additionally, developments in contract law and the rules of interpretation of contracts in the last decade have affected how a court will interpret or construe a lease in the event of dispute on its terms, which has given rise to important cases.
£45 • paperback • 152 pages • available now
Available now from Edinburgh University Press and all good law book suppliers
Our application process for 2022 traineeships is now open. Please apply here. The closing date is midday on 14 August 2020.
Spanning two years and divided into three, eight-month seats across Litigation, Real Estate, Corporate & Commercial, Banking and Personal & Family, our traineeships equip you with valuable time and experience to develop your skills as a lawyer.
You'll learn from and work alongside some of Scotland's leading experts, be involved in interesting matters and projects with national and international elements and gain insight into critical components of our business.
Responsibility and ownership of your own workload lies with you from day one – and we'll challenge you, teach you, support you and encourage you, to become the lawyer you want to be.
Ayrshire Housing is a leading housing provider and registered charity. Our turnover is £10.3 million and this year we have invested £8.6 million by adding to our stock and in improving the quality of our existing houses. Our development projects have been widely recognised for the quality of their design. We complement this with a long-term commitment to friendly customer focussed management. We extend our impact in the wider community through our community development and training initiatives.
Our Board structure is based on a partnership of our tenants and Ayrshire’s communities. We wish to recruit committed and knowledgeable individuals for two vacancies in our community category. We are particularly interested to hear from people with an interest and/or experience in housing and social affairs, or with the financial knowledge to contribute to the supervision of a significant not-for-profit company. The positions are subject to election by our community members.
The positions are unpaid, although travelling expenses are refundable. Attendance at up to 10 evening meetings a year can be expected. We offer comprehensive induction and role development support.
If you are interested in being elected to the Board please submit your name and contact details along with a brief statement (around 100 words) explaining your interest in becoming involved by 24 July 2020.
Terra Firma Chambers ‘2020 Vision’ webinar: Professional Practice in the Time of COVID-19 Sponsored post
Terra Firma is pleased to announce the next in our “2020 Vision” series of webinars: 2020 Vision: Bringing Clarity to Professional Practice in the Time of COVID-19, will be broadcast on Zoom at 11am on Monday 20 July 2020.
At this event, chaired by Stephen O’Rourke QC, Ewen Brown speak on “Client Confidentiality in Lockdown- Threats and Challenges”, Andy Bowen QC on “Confidentiality/Privilege – A Difficult Subject” and Stephen O'Rourke QC and Jon Kiddie on “Remote Hearings- Background & Essentials”.
There is no registration fee but prior booking is necessary. To register for this event follow this link: https://tinyurl.com/y8ty8bk3
The webinar has been accredited for 1 hour of advocacy CPD for members of Faculty and is eligible for a similar award from the Law Society for the solicitor branch of the profession. We would welcome any questions in advance and these should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have missed Terra Firma’s earlier webinars, they are available for viewing on our YouTube channel.
Sole Practitioner & High Street Firm Free Online Conference | Law Society of Scotland | 29 July from 9:30 am Sponsored post
Business Readiness, Recovery and Renewal: This free online conference is designed to interrogate and discuss the key issues and responses necessitated by recent events concerning COVID-19 with a focus on business readiness and recovery. Please join sole practitioners and high street solicitors from across Scotland to take part in a day of open and honest discussion on change and renewal.
The conference will have several plenary talks and a range of breakout sessions allowing participants to dip in and out and attend the parts they’re most interested in. With 27 expert speakers confirmed and over 20 sessions to choose from, there’s a wealth of options covering a range of legal and business topics.
Places are limited, so register early to avoid disappointment.
Managing your finances during COVID-19 and beyond: A webinar from ETN, Mazars and Terra Firma Chambers Sponsored post
The Edinburgh Tax Network, in conjunction with Mazars and Terra Firma Chambers, will present a webinar for those looking to plan their personal finances during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis on 16 July 2020 from 1pm to 2.30pm.
With speakers, Kenny Stevenson (Financial Planner), Lynne Welsh (Tax Manager) and George Lagarias (Chief Economist) of Mazars and Terra Firma Chambers’ Derek Francis, the session will cover:
Financial planning – areas of planning that are more important in these times
Cash flow forecasting – ensuring both short term and long term finances are being managed
Economic and investment outlook – views from Mazars’ Chief Economist
Ampersand Bitesized – Business Interruption Insurance in the age of Covid-19 Sponsored post
Euan Scott – 24th July, 12 noon
The impact of coronavirus on Scottish business has been significant. Due to the restrictions imposed on them, more and more businesses are turning to business interruption insurance in an effort to recover their financial losses. Whether their policy ought to respond is not, however, always clear.
This webinar will look at principles of interpretation for contracts of insurance and the likely arguments to be made by both insured and insurer should the matter be litigated.
The talk will last 30 minutes, including a Q&A session.
Ampersand Bitesized – Time will tell: the shifting landscape of prescription Sponsored post
Mark Boni – 17th July, 12 noon
The law on prescription has seen significant change over recent years, creating “harsh” outcomes in a number of cases. This talk will look at two recent court decisions which disagree as to how the rules on postponing the start of the five-year time limit should be applied.
The talk will last 30 minutes, including a Q&A session.