Response to question

J.C.M. Hughes made this Freedom of Information request to Law Society of Northern Ireland

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

The request was refused by Law Society of Northern Ireland.

Dear Law Society of Northern Ireland,

On Thursday 16th of May, I used the contact form on the Law Society website to submit a question. This submission was acknowledged.

As of today's date I have not received a reply.

For completeness sake I shall repeat the question and would appreciate either a response or an explanation of a refusal to respond.

On 16/04/19 whilst involved in a case being heard in Chancery (Belfast) I was advised by a practising solicitor that "I [the solicitor] am not required to not will I ever negotiate with self-litigants".

I would be grateful if the Law Society could comment on the accuracy of such a claim?

If in doing so this claim is upheld I would also wish to understand how such an obvious bias does not create an illegal and cynical disadvantage to persons who cannot afford legal representation and whom are required by a Master or higher judge to negotiate agreements for Order of Court?

As these questions have been before you for sometime now, your earliest acknowledgement and response would be most welcome.

Yours Aye,

J.C.M. Hughes

Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

The Law Society of Northern Ireland cannot comment on your report without full knowledge of the situation and importantly the fact that this matter appears to be under the jurisdiction of a court.

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

If you have a particular issue or concern regarding the actions or conduct of an individual solicitor in Northern Ireland then you may wish to write to the Law Society's Chief Executive, Mr Alan Hunter at the address shown below outlining in full detail your concerns:

Please send to

Mr Alan Hunter
Chief Executive
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

FAO: Mr ALAN HUNTER - CEO Law Society Northern Ireland.

Dear Sir,

You will see from the foregoing messages I have raised a point for clarification with the Law Society and have been kindly directed to you by Mr O'Connor your communications chief.

For clarification the point raised is (a) a matter of grave import in respect of solicitors & self-litigants in Northern Ireland and (b) is not raised within the jurisdiction of a court or within any courtroom.

I do trust you will give this matter due consideration and your earliest response is appreciated.

Yours Aye,

J.C.M. Hughes

Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

As previously indicated in emails to you -

1. The Law Society of Northern Ireland cannot comment on your report without full knowledge of the situation and importantly the fact that this matter appears to be under the jurisdiction of a court.

2. If you have a particular issue or concern regarding the actions or conduct of an individual solicitor in Northern Ireland then you may wish to write to the Law Society's Chief Executive, Mr Alan Hunter at the address shown below outlining in full detail your concerns:

Please send to

Mr Alan Hunter
Chief Executive
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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Dear Paul O'Connor,

I continue to await a response to my FOI request, directed via yourself for the attention of Mr Alan Hunter.

Yours Aye,

J.C.M. Hughes

Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

I refer you again to the response which has been provided to you previously.

1. The Law Society of Northern Ireland cannot comment on your report without full knowledge of the situation and importantly the fact that this matter appears to be under the jurisdiction of a court.

2. If you have a particular issue or concern regarding the actions or conduct of an individual solicitor in Northern Ireland then you may wish to write to the Law Society's Chief Executive, Mr Alan Hunter at the address shown below outlining in full detail your concerns:

Please send to

Mr Alan Hunter
Chief Executive
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

Dear Paul O'Connor,

Thank you for your quick reply. I refer you again to my FOI request marked for the attention of Mr Hunter.

I believe the public interest and confidence are both best served if this matter is examined publicly.

I await Mr Hunters response.

Yours Aye,

J.C.M. Hughes

Dear Law Society of Northern Ireland,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Law Society of Northern Ireland's handling of my FOI request 'Response to question'.

It is now some 10 plus weeks since my initial request to have this FOI request escalated. I believe that the matter is of significant relevant public interest. Accordingly I would appreciate the courtesy and respect of an open and transparent response.

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

Yours faithfully,

J.C.M. Hughes

Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

I acknowledge receipt of your email of 27 August 2019.

Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) sets out the bodies or holders of office that are public authorities under the Act in the following broad categories:

• Government departments, legislative bodies, armed forces
• Local government
• NHS
• Maintained schools and further and higher education institutions
• Police
• Other public bodies (this includes a list of individually named non-departmental public bodies).

As the Law Society of Northern Ireland is not included in Schedule 1, it is not subject to the provisions of the Act.

Yours sincerely

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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Dear Law Society of Northern Ireland,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Law Society of Northern Ireland's handling of my FOI request 'Response to question'.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE LAW SOCIETY ON 100% OF RECEIPT OF FOI APPLICATIONS REFUSES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THEM. ACCORDINGLY I REQUEST AN INTERNAL REVIEW EXTENDING FROM MY INITIAL FOI REQUEST AND SEEKING ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION THAT THE LAW SOCIETY.....

A) NEVER RESPONDES TO FOI RESQUESTS.
B) MAINTAINS A DEFINED PROTOCOL / PROCEDURE TO THE SAME EFFECT

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

Yours faithfully,

J.C.M. Hughes

Paul O'Connor, Law Society of Northern Ireland

Mr Hughes

Thank you for your further email.

To reiterate the Law Society of Northern Ireland is NOT subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

As such the Society has no need to provide a review of how it responds to FOI requests as they do not apply to the Society.

Best regards

Paul

Paul O'Connor
Head of Communications
Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast
BT 1 3GN
         
This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. E-mail monitoring and blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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Dear Paul O'Connor,

To be clear can you clarify which of the following applies....

A) The Law Society does not respond to FOI requests.

B) The Law Society chooses not to respond to my FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

J.C.M. Hughes