Consultation Paper Committee Report

Jayne Willetts

Committee Chair

The Consultation Committee has two roles. It is firstly responsible for responding directly to professional regulation consultations – from the SRA, LSB, LeO, SDT and, occasionally, the Ministry of Justice. The members of the Committee therefore tend to be drawn from those with professional regulation expertise.

The second role, and this usually falls to the Chair, is to assist the Society’s specialist Committees with their responses to consultation papers. This involves standing back and checking the responses from the Society’s viewpoint before they are submitted to the President for final approval. Copies of all responses are published on the BLS website and on social media with a short press release.

Even though we have been in lockdown, the work of the Consultation Committee and the Society’s professional committees has continued apace. On a topical note, the Property & Development Committee commented in July 2020 on the Land Registry draft guidance on electronic signatures which had been hastily prepared to cope with the challenges of the pandemic. We did not escape from Brexit as the Dispute Resolution Committee responded to a Ministry of Justice consultation on post EU reforms for British courts.

The Criminal Law Committee was as busy as ever with responses to consultations on legal aid, sentencing for assault and Saturday bail courts. In 2020, the Government began its important constitutional review of judicial review. The Dispute Resolution Committee provided a response and continues to respond as the debate continues.

My thanks to the hard-working members of the Consultation Committee and to all the members of the specialist Committees. Responding to consultation papers is possibly the most important work undertaken by the Society and ensures that the voice of the Birmingham legal community is heard in all the right places.

On a final note, we are always looking for new Committee members. The Consultation Committee provides an ideal opportunity to develop your professional regulation knowledge so please volunteer if you are interested.