Self Regulation is No Regulation

I see that the Irish government has published the Legal Services Ombudsman Bill aimed at introducing new regulations for the legal profession.

The proposed legislation would set up a review process for clients of solicitors and barristers who are unhappy with the handling of a complaint by the Law Society or the Bar Council.

The ombudsman would conduct investigations in private and would have the power to issue directions or recommendations to the society or the council.

This isn't good enough; we need to move from the current situation of self regulation.

The Law Society in the South is the exact same as its Northern counterpart, an old boys club. The same is also true of the Bar Council.

The simple fact is that as a profession our "union" should not also be tasked with holding us to account.

We need to move to a situation were we have an independent legal oversight commission with the power to hold the legal profession to account.

The current situation is unacceptable to a great many people.

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