Law Society Legal News Summary 23 June 2022

Bill of Rights signals collision course with rule of law 

The Daily Mail, Der Speigel, Bloomberg, Washington Post, the Independent, Evening Standard, i News, indy100, City A.M., Yahoo! US, ABC News, Montana Standard, the Toronto Star, the Lebanon Express, Bristol Herald Courier, Lincoln Journal Star, Stamford Advocate, the Gazette, Gazette Ireland, New Law Journal, Reuters, Breitbart, and more than 300 international outlets report our concerns about the announcement of measures to be included in the Bill of Rights, which was published later in the day yesterday. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “It is a lurch backwards for British justice. Authorities may begin to consider some rights violations as acceptable, because these could no longer be challenged under the Bill of Rights despite being against the law.”

Ellie Cumbo, our head of public law, spoke with Sky News, Channel 5 NewsTimes Radio (from 24:28) and LBC about the Bill of Rights and how it may change human rights law in the UK.

Sue Willman, chair of our human rights committee, spoke with BBC News Live about the UK’s relationship with European Court of Human Rights and what the bill will mean for viewers.

Read our press release

SRA continues to pursue increase in fining powers 

Today’s Family Lawyer reports our response to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) 2022/2023 business plan, citing our concerns that the regulator is continuing to pursue an increase in its fining powers. 

“We are particularly disappointed the SRA is continuing to seek to increase its fining powers by more than 1,000 per cent without balancing these changes with appropriate safeguards,” said I. Stephanie Boyce. 

Read our press release

SRA fining power increase should not be conflated with sanctions regime issues 

I. Stephanie Boyce writes an article in the Gazette that the UK government should not conflate the issue of dealing with breaches of sanctions in relation to the war in Ukraine with the day-to-day regulation of the profession. 

“Despite our representations firmly opposing the proposed increase, the Ministry of Justice has indicated that it is inclined to support the increased fining powers to £25,000, based on a desire to strengthen the regulators’ ability to enforce the sanctions regime in light of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine and breaches of the sanctions regime. 

“We believe that raising the SRA’s fining powers to £25,000 would make serious inroads into the role of the SDT and would risk the development of two separate approaches to policy on the imposition of penalties.” 

Read our press release

Conversation about family law with I. Stephanie Boyce 

Today’s Family Lawyer reports Law Society president will take part in a webinar with the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory on 8 July, where she will discuss issues related to children and families in the justice system. 

Sign up to the webinar here

Also worth a read: 

  • Lord Chief Justice warns barristers over court walkouts – Gazette
  • Lasting Power of Attorney delays reach 81 days to registration – Gazette
  • AQA apologises over A-Level exam question mix-up – Legal Cheek
  • SLAPPs action: SRA seeks whistleblowing role – Legal Futures

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