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Review into legal services 'far removed from bleak picture' given to Tynwald

Law Society welcomes KC's independent report

The Isle of Man Law Society says it believes a review into the provision of legal services on the Island is ‘far removed from the bleak picture’ presented by a Tynwald committee.

It’s welcomed the publication of Lord Garnier KC’s report saying it is ‘a positive outcome and fair reflection’ on the delivery of services.

Lord Garnier has made 32 recommendations for change – which will be considered by Tynwald next month.

You can find out more HERE.

The report follows findings previously published by the Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Justice Committee which claimed there was a need for urgent reform.

In a statement the Isle of Man Law Society said it has already actioned a number of the points made, before the review started, adding: “We recognise that we must reflect and adapt to changes around us which is an ongoing process and not one that merely begins under the shine of a spotlight.  

“We are mindful that our profession needs to be more diverse and reflect the wider society that we serve. The profession is meeting these objectives.

“Currently the majority of trainee advocates are women who have received a state funded education reflecting a modern Law Society which encourages inclusion on merit.

“The society is also supporting its membership with a new and pragmatic regime for continued professional development, taking effect from next week, to ensure that advocates remain up to date in their specialist fields of work and are accountable for the same.”

Changes to advocates’ admission regulations and the Manx Bar exam are said to be coming in next week which will modernise the route to qualification for a Manx advocate.

A full review of governing byelaws, with the intent to modernise the society’s internal rules and enhance its powers to improve consumer protection, is also planned.

The society also says it was already in the process of reviewing its Code for Professional Conduct of Advocates – a process it had started but paused pending the publication of Lord Garnier’s views.

It adds it looks forward to working with government to implement recommendations from Lord Garnier’s review and hopes progress will also be made, in the near future, to finalise a separate review into legal aid services.

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