Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, The European Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities

keith gell made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to The Law Society
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (manylion).


This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan The Law Society.

Dear The Law Society,

Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a court.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Gell

Bob Stanley, The Law Society

Dear Mr Gell

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/044

 

Thank you for your email of today’s date requesting information. I am
treating this as an information request under the Law Society Freedom of
Information Code of Practice ("the Code").

 

You have requested the following information:

 

“Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or
The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with
disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal
authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a
court.”

 

The Law Society is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act (the
FOIA) as it is not a designated authority, but has adopted its own
voluntary Code which can be found at:

 

[1]http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/get-in-touc...

 

The Code applies to all information held by the Law Society, excluding the
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). To request information from the SRA
please follow the link below:

 

[2]http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/tr...

 

We are currently dealing with your request and will aim to respond
formally by 29 June 2020 which is 20 working days from the receipt of your
request.

 

Your sincerely,

 

 

Bob Stanley

Information Compliance Manager

Risk and Assurance Team

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

020 8049 3758

[3]www.lawsociety.org.uk

 

 

 

 

This email and any attachment(s) is intended for the addressee only. Any
unauthorised use including further processing, for example; printing,
forwarding, storage or copying is not allowed.
If you are not the intended recipient, please let the sender know as soon
as possible and then delete all copies from your e-mail account.
Please note the sender is not authorised to conclude any contract on
behalf of the Law Society by email.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/get-in-touc...
2. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/tr...
3. http://www.emailhosts.com/ct/ctcount.php...

Bob Stanley, The Law Society

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Gell

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/044

 

Further to my email of 1 June 2020 please find below the response to your
request under the Law Society’s Freedom of Information Code of Practice.

 

You requested the following information:

 

“Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or
The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with
disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal
authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a
court.”

 

As stated on our website, we are not subject to the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, as we are not a public authority listed in the Schedule to that
Act. However, we have adopted a Freedom of Information Code of Practice
and we try to provide information in response to public requests as far as
reasonably possible. 

 

The Law Society is the professional body for solicitors who are admitted
to the roll of solicitors in England and Wales. We are a chartered
corporation - a body incorporated by Royal Charter. We do not have
charitable status and we are entirely separate from and independent from
government. 

 

The Law Society does not consider itself to be a public authority for the
purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998, nor a body against whom Convention
claims can be brought (as we are independent from
government). Nevertheless, we are committed as an employer to equality,
diversity and promoting an inclusive environment that welcomes and values
diverse backgrounds, thinking, skills and experience. You can find out
more on our website here:
[1]https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/about-us/l...
  In addition, the Society helps to facilitate diversity and inclusion
amongst the solicitors’ profession more widely. See here for more
information about what we are doing:
[2]https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-se...

 

I have reviewed the last sentence of your request but in my view this is a
request for legal research, which falls outside the scope of our Code
(copy attached, see paragraph 8).    

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response please see paragraphs 23 to 25
of the Code for information on the options available to you.

 

I hope this information is of use.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Bob Stanley

Information Compliance Manager

Risk and Assurance Team

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

020 8049 3758

[3]www.lawsociety.org.uk

This email and any attachment(s) is intended for the addressee only. Any
unauthorised use including further processing, for example; printing,
forwarding, storage or copying is not allowed.
If you are not the intended recipient, please let the sender know as soon
as possible and then delete all copies from your e-mail account.
Please note the sender is not authorised to conclude any contract on
behalf of the Law Society by email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/about-us/l...
2. https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-se...
3. http://www.emailhosts.com/ct/ctcount.php...

Dear The Law Society,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of The Law Society's handling of my FOI request 'Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, The European Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities'.

I request an internal review of your response. You have told me the Law Society does not consoder itself a public authority under the Human Rights Act, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

You have not addressed whether any such information exists, such as a judges determination, on this matter. Please provide me with such information if it exists, or tell me that it has never been tested in a court or tribunal.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

keith gell

Bob Stanley, The Law Society

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Gell.

 

Thank you for your email which I have forwarded to Andy Taylor, the Law
Society’s Head of Risk & Assurance.

 

You will be hearing from Mr Taylor by Friday 3 July 2020 in accordance
with paragraph 26 of the attached Code.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Bob Stanley

Information Compliance Manager

Risk and Assurance Team

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

020 8049 3758

[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk

From: keith gell <[FOI #667988 email]>
Sent: 04 June 2020 21:35
To: Information Compliance <[email address]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Is the Law
Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, The European
Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN Convention on the
Rights of persons with disabilities

 

Dear The Law Society,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of The Law Society's handling
of my FOI request 'Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human
Rights Act 1998, The European Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound
by the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities'.

I request an internal review of your response. You have told me the Law
Society does not consoder itself a public authority under the Human Rights
Act, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the the UN Convention on
the rights of persons with disabilities.

You have not addressed whether any such information exists, such as a
judges determination, on this matter. Please provide me with such
information if it exists, or tell me that it has never been tested in a
court or tribunal.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

keith gell

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[3][FOI #667988 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Bob Stanley,

On the 1st of June 2020 I made the following Freedom of Information Request:

Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is the Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a court.

You should normally have replied with this information by 29th June 2020, and have not properly responded under FOI guidelines.

I request you undertake an internal review of your response to my request.

Yours sincerely,

keith gell

Bob Stanley, The Law Society

4 Atodiad

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Dear Mr Gell

 

Freedom of Information Request – Our Ref: FOI/044

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I responded to your request on 4 June 2020 (copy attached).

 

You requested an internal review on the same date (copy attached).

 

I wrote to you on 5 June (copy attached) informing you that you would be
hearing from the Law Society’s Head of Risk & Assurance by 3 July 2020.

 

The position remains unchanged and you will be hearing from Mr Taylor by 3
July as previously stated.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Bob Stanley

Information Compliance Manager

Risk and Assurance Team

The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

020 8049 3758

[1]www.lawsociety.org.uk

 

From: keith gell <[FOI #667988 email]>
Sent: 30 June 2020 10:46
To: Bob Stanley <[email address]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Is the Law
Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, The European
Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN Convention on the
Rights of persons with disabilities

 

Dear Bob Stanley,

On the 1st of June 2020 I made the following Freedom of Information
Request:

Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or
The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is the Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons
with disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal
authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a
court.

You should normally have replied with this information by 29th June 2020,
and have not properly responded under FOI guidelines.

I request you undertake an internal review of your response to my request.

Yours sincerely,

keith gell

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Andy Taylor, The Law Society

Dear Mr Gell

 

I have not been involved in the first stage of your information request
dated 1^st June. In view of this I have undertaken an independent review
and I summarise below the relevant communications between yourself and the
Society to date.

 

On 1^st June you submitted the following request:

 

“Dear The Law Society,

Is the Law Society a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, or
The European Convention on Human Rights. or both?

Is Law Society subject to the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with
disabilities

Please include any statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal
authority, including, statute, precident, or determination made by a
court.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Gell”

 

On 4^th June the Society replied confirming its position in relation to
your enquiry regarding its position in respect of the relevant Acts and in
addition advising:

 

“I have reviewed the last sentence of your request but in my view this is
a request for legal research, which falls outside the scope of our
Code…”  

 

On 4^th June you submitted an appeal. In that appeal you confirmed the
Society had responded in relation to its position in respect of the
relevant Acts, however requested a review of the following;

 

“You have not addressed whether any such information exists, such as a
judges determination, on this matter. Please provide me with such
information if it exists, or tell me that it has never been tested in a
court or tribunal.”

 

Your communication with the Society of 4^th June 2020 outlines the scope
of your appeal. My findings are as follows.

 

Your request of 1^st June and subsequent appeal makes reference to “any
statement made by the Law Society itself and any legal authority,
including statute, precedent or determination made by a court”. Official
statements made by the Society would ordinarily be released into the
public domain and, for example, available from our website
([1]www.lawsociety.org.uk) or other external sources. Details of any
statement made by any “legal authority, statute, precedent, or
determination made by a court” are outside of our control as if they
exist, are likely to have been made by a body separate to the Law Society.
To this extent, if relevant information were available, it would be
accessible via searches in the public domain. On that basis, I consider it
correct that you were advised this element of your information request
would fall outside of the scope of our Freedom of Information Code as it
is legal research that could reasonably be undertaken by yourself.

 

However, section 9 of our Freedom of Information Code (the Code) details
the parameters for what information we may hold, whenever it came into
existence, and whether it is kept on paper or stored electronically.
Information includes, for example, agendas, minutes or other papers and/or
communications prepared for our council, boards or committees,
consultation documents and reports. This aspect may not have been fully
considered in your original request and I have taken time to search our
electronic systems where reference is made to the ‘Law Society’; ‘Public
Authority’ and/or each of the three Acts you cite in your original
information request. As I am sure you will appreciate, a review of our
paper records is not possible at this stage since our offices are
currently closed due to the covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

 

The electronic searches have identified approximately 9300 documents and
exchanges using a combination of the search parameters. However, the
searches will only provide examples of where the relevant text exists.
Searches cannot be further extended to include the context of the text.
Therefore each electronic document needs to be individually read to;

(i)              identify where the search result is contained within the
document, and

(ii)             identify whether the reference was made in the context of
your information request.

 

I have taken some time to review a sample of the electronic documents and
depending on the size and complexity of each document, it has taken
between 2 and 5 minutes to identify the relevant section within the
document and then read the context to see if it was made in a manner that
may apply to your request. Of the electronic documents reviewed so far,
none of the references relate to the parameters in your information
request.

 

I have considered whether it is reasonable and proportionate for a member
of staff to continue to search all of the identified electronic documents.
On the assumption it will take at least 2 minutes per document, this would
require a minimum time resource of 2 minutes x 9300 documents which totals
18,600 minutes or 310 hours. This is a considerable volume of time and I
have referenced the current published guidance ([2]www.ico.org.uk) in
accordance with section 17.c of our Code. Currently, the cost limit for
complying with a request or a linked series of requests from the same
person or group is set at £450 in total, based at a rate of £25 per hour.
Therefore to complete the review of the electronic records (i.e. excluding
paper records) equates to a minimum of £7,750 and is far in excess of the
published guidance.

 

To summarise, I find it correct that you were advised that any information
to “include any statement made by any legal authority, including, statute,
precident, or determination made by a court and or judges determination”
is a matter of legal research and/or may be available elsewhere and falls
outside of the scope of our Code (section 8 and section 17.a refers).
Separately, the identification of any relevant internal information held
by the Society is beyond the published cost limitations and therefore also
falls outside of the scope of our Code (section 17.c refers).

 

My review completes the final stage of our procedure. I am very sorry I am
unable to assist you further in respect of your information request.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Andy Taylor

Head of Risk and Assurance

 

This email and any attachment(s) is intended for the addressee only. Any
unauthorised use including further processing, for example; printing,
forwarding, storage or copying is not allowed.
If you are not the intended recipient, please let the sender know as soon
as possible and then delete all copies from your e-mail account.
Please note the sender is not authorised to conclude any contract on
behalf of the Law Society by email.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear Andy Taylor & Bob Stanley,

I would be happy with the minimum amount of information necessary to establish:

If the Law Society is a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998, The European Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities.

This could be as little as 2 pages.

Please note, I do not have access to a Law Library, and Sussex University refuse to allow me use of the electronic part of their Law Library as I am note a Law student.

I hope this facts allow you to review your response and send me this information.

After all, the Law Society states in its code of practice:

"We're not covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but we believe in being as open as possible about what we do."

Given the 'openess' of the Law Society, if there were determinations as to its status regarding Human Rights and the Rights of Disabled persons, I hope you agree with me that you should not keep them SECRET.

Thank you in advances for your openess.

Yours sincerely,

keith gell

Andy Taylor, The Law Society

Dear Mr Gell

 

Thank you for your message. The Society has previously responded to your
information request on 4^th June 2020 and you have subsequently requested
an internal review. This process was completed on 30^th June and I am
satisfied the Society has explained the position to you in its earlier
replies. I am very sorry but we are unable to assist any further in
respect of this matter.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Andy Taylor

Head of Risk and Assurance

 

 

From: keith gell <[FOI #667988 email]>
Sent: 12 August 2020 12:01
To: Andy Taylor <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Internal review of Freedom of Information request

 

Dear Andy Taylor & Bob Stanley,

I would be happy with the minimum amount of information necessary to
establish:

If the Law Society is a Public Authority under the Human Rights Act 1998,
The European Convention on Human Rights, and is it bound by the UN
Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities.

This could be as little as 2 pages.

Please note, I do not have access to a Law Library, and Sussex University
refuse to allow me use of the electronic part of their Law Library as I am
note a Law student.

I hope this facts allow you to review your response and send me this
information.

After all, the Law Society states in its code of practice:

"We're not covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but we believe
in being as open as possible about what we do."

Given the 'openess' of the Law Society, if there were determinations as to
its status regarding Human Rights and the Rights of Disabled persons, I
hope you agree with me that you should not keep them SECRET.

Thank you in advances for your openess.

Yours sincerely,

keith gell

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir