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 Post subject: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:03 pm 
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I don't know if we have a dedicated thread for the Lords of the Universe (can't find one if we do) but I thought this story was worthy to start 1 off.

Ever wondered why the recent Legal Reform bill was so watered down (60 pages+ of amendments apparently)?

Files reflect campaign by legal professions to safeguard privilege
Bar Council and Law Society determined to water down Legal Services Regulation Ac
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/econ ... -1.2531520
Quote:
A few weeks ago, President Michael D Higgins signed into law a long-delayed but contentious overhaul of the legal professions. These measures, which aim to cut high legal costs, had been resisted very strenuously by barristers and solicitors. After a four-year campaign, however, their professional bodies secured big concessions which preserve many of their main powers.
The Bar Council and Law Society never made any secret of their distaste for large tracts of the Legal Services Regulation Bill, introduced in October 2011 by then minister for justice Alan Shatter. In public and in private, the defence of their territory was forceful. Quite how forceful is clear from voluminous Department of Justice records, released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act.
These files reflect an unrelenting campaign by professions to safeguard their privileged position. They had continual access to high-level department officials and were informed of key Government decisions well before they were public. At one point, the Bar Council was given draft amendments to the legislation before they were presented to Cabinet. The council found some of these amendments “controversial” – and declared they should not be taken by Cabinet as the “consultation” with it was incomplete.
All told, the council made a dozen formal submissions to the department. There were scores of letters and emails from the Law Society on policy and technical matters. At assorted meetings with the department, the two bodies set out a litany of complaints about the scope and structure of the proposed overhaul.
Although the department’s records point to concern within the State system that the original proposal did not go far enough to curtail high legal costs, the final package was substantially watered down via amendments. After centuries of self-regulation, the essence of it all is that the new system provides independent regulation of barristers and solicitors. Even though the new regime will blunt the influence of Bar Council and Law Society, they saw off what they regarded as the most damaging elements of the plan....
...Ultimately, the Bar Council retained the right to refuse membership of the Law Library to barristers in employment, partnerships or new business models. The Law Society retained financial and accounting oversight of solicitors. Such developments were acknowledged within Cabinet to raise questions over the potential to reduce costs within the new regime.
Long criticised for high fees and high barriers to entry, the legal professions had faced demands for reform for decades. A major Competition Authority report in 2006 made the case for change, but its most fundamental recommendations went nowhere. In the EU-IMF bailout of late 2010, however, a requirement for a far-reaching reform was built into the deal.

It's a long article but well worth a read. It really does show who rules this country.
And it probably answers the question as to how Barristers can afford to buy houses for €8m and then pump the same into it again to bring it back to it's historical grandeur. All the time fighting a lengthy and very costly legal case against the Local County Council over rights of way.

I've yet to see an article from Noel Whelan on this!

The Legal Profession -so good, they beat the Troika.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:47 pm 
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Thank you FreeFallin

I am delighted there is a thread on here about the legal profession.

So good they beat the Troika.

(And Ireland's citizens.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:37 pm 
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I touched on this just over a week ago.

Here are another couple of links.
http://www.merrionstreet.ie/en/News-Roo ... _Bill.html

And from 2013:
Quote:
Troika expected to seek swift enactment of overhaul of legal profession

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.1577179

Swift Image

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The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'get by'. The ordinary men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what?
Sophie Scholl


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:41 pm 
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Don't forget the unsurprising tediousness of repossessions when pursued through the courts. Is there a reason the legal system might not be too efficient in dealing with the backlog.

Also, there were anecdotes aplenty about 3-4 years ago on this site too about unofficial debt write offs for certain valued bank customers.

_________________
The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'get by'. The ordinary men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what?
Sophie Scholl


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:43 pm 
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Homeboy wrote:
Thank you FreeFallin

I am delighted there is a thread on here about the legal profession.

So good they beat the Troika.

(And Ireland's citizens.)

Yeah, it's unsurprising to me the amount of lofty letters bashing the Troika. And that it has proved legally impossible to reduce a number of quangos (all of whom need regular legal advice).

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So long and thanks for all the fish.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:26 pm 
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yoganmahew wrote:
Homeboy wrote:
Thank you FreeFallin

I am delighted there is a thread on here about the legal profession.

So good they beat the Troika.

(And Ireland's citizens.)

Yeah, it's unsurprising to me the amount of lofty letters bashing the Troika. And that it has proved legally impossible to reduce a number of quangos (all of whom need regular legal advice).

Like em or hate em, each and every quango was set up for a reason. And whatever the reason was, the government of the day and the Dáil decided their functions were necessary.
I'd say that almost all of them will remain for that reason: from time to time, a couple with similar briefs can be amalgated or done away with, and occasionally one or other outlives its purpose - but otherwise they are going to remain.
If two or three are brought together but their functons are still required, a new level of bureaucracy will be set up to manage the merger - and we get something like the HSE. All the Health Boards have disappeared, but there is a new layer of officeworkers on top. Less quangos, but more bureaucrats. Job done!

Unless you believe that the answer is to privatise everything - which just means that the function will be carried out by an even less accountable body.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:47 pm 
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I'm sure you'll all have plenty of Barristers/Solicitors knocking on your door over the next 2 weeks. Ask them for their take on the recent Reform bill and see if they can keep a straight face


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Mantach wrote:
Like em or hate em, each and every quango was set up for a reason. And whatever the reason was, the government of the day and the Dáil decided their functions were necessary.


The 'reason' is that quangos provide the ultimate fudge.
It allows whatever minister in charge to either avoid making difficult decisions or deflect responsibility elsewhere.

No competent minister needs a quango.

And therein lies the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:35 pm 
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mr_anderson wrote:
Mantach wrote:
Like em or hate em, each and every quango was set up for a reason. And whatever the reason was, the government of the day and the Dáil decided their functions were necessary.


The 'reason' is that quangos provide the ultimate fudge.
It allows whatever minister in charge to either avoid making difficult decisions or deflect responsibility elsewhere.

No competent minister needs a quango.

And therein lies the problem.


This is rubbish. In the main quangos were set up because the civil service, due it continued use of the outmoded non specialist recruitment system, is incapable of providing the specialist information and analysis ministers now need. Relying for advice on someone recruited after the leaving cert or after a classics degree from UCD was fine in1950 but makes no sense now.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:46 am 
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It's been said before and it'll be said again

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/legan/legan011.pdf

Michael Joseph is a bit out of date in some way's but still very relevant in others.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:28 am 
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mocame wrote:
mr_anderson wrote:
Mantach wrote:
Like em or hate em, each and every quango was set up for a reason. And whatever the reason was, the government of the day and the Dáil decided their functions were necessary.


The 'reason' is that quangos provide the ultimate fudge.
It allows whatever minister in charge to either avoid making difficult decisions or deflect responsibility elsewhere.

No competent minister needs a quango.

And therein lies the problem.


This is rubbish. In the main quangos were set up because the civil service, due it continued use of the outmoded non specialist recruitment system, is incapable of providing the specialist information and analysis ministers now need. Relying for advice on someone recruited after the leaving cert or after a classics degree from UCD was fine in1950 but makes no sense now.


Rubbish yourself.

Numerous high end officials within the Departments are members of the Bar and Law Societies themselves.

And anyway, it is the Attorney General's Office who are ultimately charged with providing legal advice to the Government.... I assume youre not suggesting that Mr Sutherland, Mr McDowell and others of their number are incapable formulating coherent legislative interpretations (doesnt stop them farming them out for further advices from (favoured ?) Counsel of course - all, again, covered by austerity sucking Joe Taxpayer)....you'll note it is also they (the AGO), along with the Chief State Solicitor's Office, who are charged with allocating work below in the Four Courts, as well as recommending appointments to Tribunals and the like.....not to mention recommending payment of fee notices when subsequently received (a most important function dont ya know)....

The Legal Profession is also the biggest benefactor of the onward march of the 'tolerant' and 'diverse' society in which we all find ourselves existing these days.....not much tolerance of criticism (or even highlighting of) of its largesse or vampiric tendencies toward the public purse of course....it pays well to have dined in the hallowed halls....at least with The Monk what you see is what you get...

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― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


Last edited by Poacher turned gamekeeper on Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:18 am 
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@Poacher: Outside AG and specialist positions professional legal qualifications rare in senior civil service.

Some qualified barristers, very few solicitors, and even less paying subs to either esteemed bodies.


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:33 am 
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Skippy 3 wrote:
@Poacher: Outside AG and specialist positions professional legal qualifications rare in senior civil service.

Some qualified barristers, very few solicitors, and even less paying subs to either esteemed bodies.


Plenty within certain Departments in my experience.....

By the way the following is a quote from todays IT editorial....

Quote:
But, in a proper perspective, this is a story of feuding, ruthless drug-gangs who prey on the communities that many of them are drawn from.


http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/edito ... -1.2532905

In the context of the current thread, Id suggest the following rewriting to apply to its subject ....

Quote:
But, in a proper perspective, this is a story of ruthless, oligopolistic members of a profession who prey on the communities that many of them are drawn from, as well as on all other communities across the length and breadth of country.


:wink: 8- BD 8DD :sick:

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"It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:43 pm 
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To get somewhat back on point as we already have a thread dedicated to Quangos
Quote:
At one point, the Bar Council was given draft amendments to the legislation before they were presented to Cabinet. The council found some of these amendments “controversial” – and declared they should not be taken by Cabinet as the “consultation” with it was incomplete.

Does no one else find this totally GUBU....these Cowboys were practically drafting the legislation that would govern their own profession. These unelected leeches had first view of any proposals before the Cabinet even got a whiff of it.
It's absolutely sickening...and people were saying we lost our Sovereignty when the Troika came in!!!! We'd lost it long before that by the looks of it.

And Poacher makes a good point about the way Society has developed in the era of Minority rights and a Diverse Society, and how this has given the Wigged ones access to a bottomless money pit via the Taxpayer.
Just look at the millions Barristers and Solicitors are making from the Asylum process in this country
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/co ... 08349.html
Quote:
The barrister wife of former Fianna Fail minister Barry Andrews received more than a €1m for briefs from the Attorney General's office to fight asylum applications in the past five years.
Sinead McGrath BL is among eight of the earners in asylum cases who dominate the top echelons of barristers paid by the State. Mr Andrews, who was appointed chief executive of the charity GOAL in 2012, was a government minister in 2008 when the State began spending millions in legal costs to fight asylum applications in the High Court.
The list of high earners in the asylum court includes one of the country's top-earning husband-wife legal teams. Emily Farrell BL and Daniel Donnelly BL, who married last year, made €3m between them in the asylum court in the past five years. Mr Donnelly is the son of former Fianna Fail Dublin Lord Mayor, accountant Michael Donnelly, and a candidate for the party in the Dublin South East electoral area.


So the connections between Government and the Legal Profession might explain a lot about how we got to where we are today


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 Post subject: Re: The Legal Profession- a law onto itself
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:23 pm 
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Lawyers, unions and consultants are constant benificiaries of taxpayer largess. Billions wasted every year. But the links between those groups and the seats of power in Ireland are so large it's hard to see them ever being reigned in. This is also why it's crazy to have a doctor as Minister for health, or a lawyer as Minister for justice.

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