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Rights Of Audience: Law Society's Application

Volume 571: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (i) whether they are satisfied that the Lord Chancellor is complying with his statutory obligations under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and in particular paragraph 11(4) of Schedule 4, in view of the fact that in June 1995 he received the written advice of his Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct that the Law Society's application for authorisation to grant extended rights of audience in the High Court to employed solicitors be not approved; and yet the Lord Chancellor has not decided whether to accept or reject this advice; and
  • (ii) whether this delay is justified and if so, on what grounds.
  • I am satisfied that the Law Society's application is being dealt with in accordance with the procedure laid down in Schedule 4 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.It is only right that the application he given due thought and consideration and this, needless to say, takes time. This application raises difficult issues. My advisory committee found great difficulty in reaching a conclusion and, as my noble and learned friend will be aware, their advice to me was accompanied by a substantial dissenting opinion.