§ Sir Hector Monro
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement about the Government's consideration of the recommendations in the report of the Royal Commission on legal services in Scotland.
§ Mr. Younger
The Government have decided to reject the recommendations that a Department of Legal Affairs, a legal services advisory committee and a legal services commission should be established. The Government consider that the present division of responsibility for legal matters in Scotland between the Secretary of State and the Lord Advocate is appropriate, that the present system works well and that the establishment of the new bodies envisaged by the Royal Commission would not make for more efficient or more economic administration.
They have also decided that the responsibility for fixing fees paid to lawyers for work done under the legal aid 132W schemes should be transferred from the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary to the Secretary of State, and legislation to give effect to this change will be introduced at a suitable opportunity.
The Law Society of Scotland has set up an expert committee on multiple house surveys and valuations, and I have approached the society about the possibility of a public defender experiment. Other recommendations are under consideration, and on some I am still awaiting comments.