Faculty reaffirms commitment to a robust and efficient justice system

26 Sep

THE Faculty of Advocate’s commitment to continue rising to challenges facing the justice system was reaffirmed yesterday at a ceremony held in Parliament House to mark the opening of the legal year.

Speaking at the ceremony Vice-dean of Faculty Ronnie Renucci KC said there were “undoubtedly challenges ahead that will put further pressure on resources” and that Faculty would strive to ensure that “the gains that have been achieved are sustained, and that further progress could be made in ensuring a robust and efficient justice system fit for today and the future.” 


Civil business, he said, had all but returned to normal albeit with more procedural hearings being conducted remotely than was the case before COVID-19.

“In the criminal courts progress continues in reducing the backlog of cases, the statistics confirm that. But what the statistics do not show is the amount of hard work, effort, and perseverance that has required to be expended by those who work daily within our criminal courts,” said Mr Renucci. “The progress that has been made has been achieved by parties working together in a collaborative and positive way and although we may have arrived at the problem from different directions everyone has the same goal, the continued and uninterrupted operation of the administration of justice, and with the continuation of that approach I am confident that progress will continue,” he added.   

The ceremony was opened by the Lord President, Lord Carloway, who reiterated the concerns recently expressed by the senior judiciary regarding the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill. “They were unanimous in the view that the Bill, as currently drafted, gives rise to serious constitutional concerns about the rule of law and the separation of powers,” he said. “It is a threat to the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary. If the Bill is passed in its current form, Scotland will be viewed internationally as a country whose legal system is open to political interference. This will have serious adverse consequences. The rights of clients, who are the ultimate consumers of legal services, to obtain legal advice, must be protected from interference by the government. “

Lord Carloway welcomed the 15 new King’s Counsel who have been appointed by His Majesty The King on the recommendation of First Minister Humza Yousaf. They are Dan Byrne, Advocate; Alan Caskie, Advocate; Donald Davidson, Advocate; Fiona Drysdale, Advocate; BJ Gill, Advocate; David Hay, Advocate; Malcolm McGregor, Advocate; Mark Mohammed, Advocate; Susan Ower, Advocate; Christopher Paterson, Advocate; Paul Reid, Advocate; Helen Watts, Advocate; Christopher Wilson, Advocate; Alan Cameron, Solicitor Advocate; and Graeme Jessop, Solicitor Advocate.