The beginning of Brexit on Wednesday

The Prime Minister has reiterated her commitment to the union of the United Kingdom ahead of the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday. The important speech could not have come at a more timely moment, as the possibility of a second Scottish Referendum, before the completion of Brexit, looms large. On Wednesday, Theresa May will need all her best negotiating tactics to try and leverage the most favourable deal for a Britain outside the EU, and also one that ensures Britain will be the main subject of debate in any future Scottish Referendum.

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Final year law students to act as McKenzie friends

As reported by Thomas Connelly for Legal Cheek, the news that final year law students can gain practical legal experience by acting as McKenzie friends for litigants-in-person is to be welcomed. Sadly, other forms of hands-on learning which give law students a real taste of what being a lawyer or barrister is like, such as mooting competitions, are still in short supply. Participating in this scheme will certainly supplement traditional learning, in which students examine case law and legal textbooks.

It is interesting that students who wish to join the scheme will have to provide their own professional indemnity insurance. This has diversity implications, as it may place limits on those who can afford to get involved. Will cash-strapped university students be able to off-set the cost?

Read the article in Legal Cheek

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Justice Secretary urges judges to ‘promote themselves to public’

Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, has called on Britain's leading judges to “promote themselves to the public”. This comes ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May's triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March - which is likely to generate another round of public scrutiny for the judiciary. 

Liz Truss had previously been criticised for failing to come to the defence of the judiciary after they were declared "the enemy of the people" by The Daily Mail. 

The role and independence of the judiciary is vital to uphold our democratic system. However, should it be up to each individual judge to promote themselves in the media in defence of their role? 

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The importance of the judiciary

The Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, has extolled the importance of judges speaking out about what they do, especially once the UK leaves the EU. The independence of the judiciary is one of the cornerstones underpinning the rule of law and is a vital component in the balance of power. Both judges and the Lord Chancellor have a vital role to play in explaining the significance and importance of an independent judiciary. 

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Technology key to legal firms’ future success

According to accountancy firm BDO's recent "Law Firm Leaders" survey, over 90% of participating firms think that technology will be a major factor in their success in the next five years.

The survey of 50 firms from top 200 UK law firms and top 100 global law firms looked at how leaders plan to manage, adapt and respond to a new market and also considered their outlook over the next five years. The survey identified four main areas of change: accelerated change, technology, law firm shape, and client relationships.

This research further demonstrates how the legal sector is determined not be left behind and is embracing the development of technology. 

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