The Consultation Committee has two roles. First, it is responsible for responding directly to professional regulation consultations – from the SRA, LSB, Legal Ombudsman, 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 for part of the year, the work of the Consultation Committee and the Society’s professional committees has continued apace. The Employment Committee was as busy as ever and responded to government consultations on exclusivity and non-compete clauses in contracts of employment. The Criminal Law Committee provided detailed submissions to the Ministry of Justice Independent Review of criminal legal aid – which is so critical to the future of our criminal justice system. The Dispute Resolution Committee provided a further response to the government’s important constitutional review of judicial review.
My thanks to the industrious members of the Consultation Committee and to all the members of the specialist Committees. Responding to consultation papers is 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.