Regulating the Legal Profession Conference

As has already been noted the Government is in the process of implementing a commitment in the EU/IMF aid package to re-regulate aspects of the legal profession in Ireland with a view to enhancing competitiveness in the sector. The Legal Services Regulation Bill has been controversial in some of its aspects and UCD School of Law is hosting a conference, drawing in a variety of overseas and local experts, with a view to locating debates within a wider international context.The keynote speaker will be Lynn Mather, Professor of Law & Political Science, Buffalo University. Other speakers include Isolde Goggin, Chair of the Competition Authority, Julian Webb, Professor of Legal Education, University of Warwick and Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. A full programme and online booking facilities are available at

By Colin Scott

Colin Scott is Principal, UCD College of Social Sciences and Law and Professor of EU Regulation and Governance at UCD. He is a Co-Editor of Legal Studies (Wiley-Blackwell).

3 replies on “Regulating the Legal Profession Conference”

Ireland will default before it reforms the legal profession.

We’re talking about a class of people that can and have torpedoed constitutional amendments that do not suit themselves or their friends. The power and influence of the Law Library is without peer in this country. I would go so far as to call it “Overmighty” in a democratic republic.

The true mark of whether regulation succeeds or not, will be whether prices go down. I don’t foresee the likes of the “gang of eight” or any of the rest of the Law Library giving up their money without a fight, and its a fight I’m certain the government will lose.

While I’m at it, From the EU/IMF Memorandum of understanding:

3. Actions for the third review (actions to be completed by end Q3-2011)

iii. Structural reforms

To increase growth in the domestic services sector
Government will introduce legislative changes to remove restrictions to trade and competition in sheltered sectors including:
– The legal profession, establishing and independent regulator for the profession and implementing the recommendations of the Legal Costs Working Group and outstanding Competition Authority recommendations to reduce legal costs.

Did anyone manage to get that done?

Section 9 (2)(a) of the Bill seems fall short of what has been agreed in the MOAs. We have agreed to liberalise the provision of legal educational services, breaking the monopoly enjoyed by the 2 incumbent organisations -but this Bill only provides for the new Authority to keep these educational services under review. A strangely vague formula of words if the intention is to actually liberalise.

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