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Legislative changes: Society voices concerns

17 January 2013

This week the Law Society has given evidence in parliament to raise concerns about proposals in the draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill, and to show our opposition to the UK's opt-out from EU police and criminal justice measures.

Draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill: Society appears before MPs

On Tuesday, Law Society Housing Law Committee member Jane Plant appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee to discuss the draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill. The Society welcomed many aspects of the bill but expressed concerns that while proposals for mandatory powers of possession were intended to 'speed things up and cut court courts' they would not 'do either'. The current eviction process was 'working well', while a new process would introduce 'unnecessary complications'.

Legal profession united in opposition to EU police/crime opt-out

On Wednesday, representatives of the English and Scottish legal professions were united in their opposition to the exercise of the UK's opt-out from EU police and criminal justice measures in an evidence session before peers. Chair of the Law Society's Criminal Law Committee Richard Atkinson said:

'Systems need to be in place to facilitate effective cross-border co-operation in criminal justice matters between member states and provide for corresponding procedural rights for victims and suspects. We can see no reason for opting out of measures, which on anyone's analysis are not harmful, and a good number of which are beneficial and which we will need to opt back into at potentially great cost to the taxpayers of this country.'

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