Members awaiting their Christmas reading in the form of the Society’s December Gazette will no doubt be more anxious to receive this when they learn of the contents. History is made with the first reports issuing from the Supreme Court dealing with such topical issues as enhanced criminal disclosure certificates, bank overdrafts charges and child residence.
Sadly, we also publish Sheriff Lockhart’s eloquent tribute to Professor John Sinclair who died on 8th November, 2009. We also publish an obituary to the late David Hector McNeill. Ken Swinton wrestles with the case law emerging from the Family Law (Scotland) Act, 2006 with particular reference to the succession rights of cohabitants and comes up with some imponderables that quite simply need to be pondered. The issues surrounding fax Missives are taken forward by Euan Sinclair who addresses the prospects of e-Missives. As with the the French revolution, it is perhaps a little early yet to determine the consequences of the translation from Sasines to Land Register operation and Gordon Junor addresses some of the litigation which has now emerged, with particular reference to the rectification of the register. Legal representation at employment disciplinary hearings is addressed by Innes Clark and your Secretary provides his tuppence worth on the current hot topic of regulation and representation at the Law Society and Alistair Brown reviews a current publication on money laundering. While the most elegant prose is no doubt that contained within Michael Scanlan’s Presidential message (we have to say that), by far the most important item in this edition is Ken Swinton’s response on behalf of your Society to the Legal Services Bill and every member of the Society and every other reader of the Gazette is requested to read this article carefully and then to ask themselves, firstly, whether there is any merit whatsoever in the proposal to bring ABS to Scotland and, if not, whether they should communicate that conclusion to ourselves, to the Law Society, to their MSP and to the Scottish Parliament. Ken explains clearly, also, why will writing and claims handling should be regulated in the public interest and how executry petitions should be retained within the work reserved to solicitors and executry practitioners. These are all issues in which important decisions are being made and there is no reason why your views should not be lodged and taken into account as well as the views of anyone else. The question we might ultimately have to ask ourselves is the question as to whether we see ourselves as spectators or as players in the game.