Shatter's ears burning over high cost of lawyers
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter is not known to blush, but even he must have gone a little red-faced when he read the latest review of our bailout from the EU Commission.
The report castigates the minister for a "lack of progress" in tackling high legal costs, and refers to vocal opposition from the legal profession to proposed reforms of the sector.
The EU Spring 2013 Review from the Commission states: "Studies show inefficiency in the legal system impact on the economy."
It also refers to various publications from small business lobby group ISME about the impact on competitiveness from stubbornly high legal costs.
Could it be that the legal eagles are stymieing an important reform that has huge implications for the economy? Not a bit of it, says Shatter's department, while at the same time admitting that it was in ongoing consultations with the Law Society and the Bar Council about the much-delayed Legal Services Regulatory Bill.
The delay in getting the bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas is due to the time it took to get the highly complex personal insolvency legislation on the statute books.