New consultations for GMWRAG members to be aware of

Two new interesting consultations with very differing approaches to deadlines. We think GMWRAG members should be aware of, and consider responding to, both.

So, first of all, the SSAC have launched another consultation on decision making and mandatory reconsideration. There are 6 key questions to be answered and the answers need to be in by no later than 11:45pm on the 15th of March 2016. We’re not sure what’s wrong with midnight!

It’s hard to imagine any WRO having nothing to say on the subject but if you really don’t have the time to put something together as a service, and we can understand that given the ridiculously short deadline, then our friends at NAWRA are ahead of you and have created a nice simple survey for you to complete and add your contribution as an individual or organisation. However, note that the deadline for that is the 7th of March 2016 at midday.

Additional to the above is a consultation which may have escaped members but which will resonate with many of us. The judiciary is proposing a ban on fee charging “McKenzie Friends”. for reasons which become obvious when you read the article, The consultation paper can be found here and the deadline is a rather more generous 19th of May 2016. 

GMWRAG thinks we can probably predict the majority of responses to the former but that the former is equally interesting. GMWRAG minutes are littered over the years with references to concerns about individuals and organisations charging for services.

Reduced funding in the advice sector has led to not only a rise in the number of lone practitioners charging for services many provide for free but also organisations which charge and purport to be expert but actually provide the equivalent of a “McKenzie friend” in place of what we would recognise as representation.

When completing your responses here are some key definitions from Ambrose Bierce to assist 🙂

LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.

LIAR, n. A lawyer with a roving commission.

LITIGANT, n. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.