Employment law expansion of lawyers to cover mental health law and human rights law and insurance law

 I have said about employment issues and an umbrella act for mismanagement legislation already.  But I have noted that their is a lack of mental health lawyers in Scotland with only a handful of solicitors practising especially under the Scottish Legal Aid Scheme such that practices are lax and illegality is occurring at solicitor level as a consequence.  Broadening the scope of employment, human rights and insurance lawyers into the mental health sector would improve the service across Scotland.  For instance a cross department issue is the Mental Health legislation and the Disability Discrimination Act and Insurance law.  People with mental health disability do have contractual and statutory sick pay rights which could keep their employment open if "reasonable adjustment" was processed immediately when someone comes under mental health legislation.  Insurers should assess risk and process a reasonable adjustment contractual or statutory sick pay issue which could ensure some flexibility within the scope of the employment contract or if the risk assessment determined the contract as a fatal determination then compensation could be paid out to the employee, worker or self-employed person.  This would be a specific anti-poverty measure and prevent people going onto welfare benefits as too often that is the outcome of being sectioned under mental health legislation.  Also Mental Health legislation needs to encompass issues of (a) misdiagnosis; (b) not being diagnosed; (c) wrongful diagnosis; (d) and forced medication contrary to a persons freewill and independence.  Currently the legislation has to process a person for mental disability and cannot not process them where they do not concur with diagnosis or can't get a diagnosis.  This quite often is contrary to human rights and things like right to liberty, right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to family and private life and may also impact on right to a fair trial/hearing.  There is also a problem in mental health with jurisprudence - people can be "hidden" from society by being sectioned under mental health legislation and the system can be abused by organised crime and corruption and by other public bodies who do not wish to deal with the causative issues that are associated with a particular person.  People can also be "parked" on medication and can also be "invisible" to society.  Therefore there is a case in Scotland and probably the rest of the UK for mental health to come under an umbrella of Employment law, Human Rights and Insurance law to widen the number of lawyers practising in the area and also practising via the Scottish Legal Aid Board and for an upgrading of training and skills within mental health as a CPD practise development issue.  Ideally all solicitors should have to do Scottish Legal Aid Board work, or, a percentage of pro bono cases, to have a licence to practise law in Scotland / UK, especially as trainees and paralegals need to learn their craft somehow and there are sometimes lax periods in law for some firms especially the larger firms and quality needs to be engineered into the system of law somehow.  I am also concerned that some Scottish Legal Aid Solicitors refuse to represent clients and I don't quite get that - only if you have a "conflict of interest" should you be able to refuse to represent a client if you are required to do SLAB work aka UK too, especially if you are being touted as available for client work by public bodies.  Something needs to shift in Scotland as sadly I can report the legal profession are found wanting in Scotland big time.

Why the contribution is important

To live in a fair and just society where human rights are at their highest standard

by Lesley on October 10, 2018 at 07:33PM

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