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Part 1SThe Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

Modifications etc. (not altering text)


41Power by regulations to amend duties and powers of CommissionS

(1)The Scottish Ministers may, after consulting—

(a)the Commission;

(b)the relevant professional organisations;

(c)such other persons or groups of persons as they consider appropriate,

by regulations modify the provisions of this Part for the purposes of adjusting the duties imposed, or the powers conferred, by it on the Commission (including imposing new duties or conferring new powers).

(2)Regulations under subsection (1) may contain such incidental, supplemental, consequential, transitional, transitory or saving provision as the Scottish Ministers consider necessary or expedient for the purposes of that subsection (including modification of any enactment, instrument or document).

42Reports: privilegeS

For the purposes of the law of defamation, the publication of any report under section 13(1), 23(8), 24, 35(2), 36(2) or paragraph 16 of schedule 1 is privileged unless the publication is proved to be made with malice.

43Restriction upon disclosure of information: CommissionS

(1)Except as permitted by subsection (3), no information mentioned in subsection (2) may be disclosed.

(2)The information is information—

(a)contained in a conduct complaint, services complaint or handling complaint;

(b)which is given to or obtained by the Commission or any person acting on its behalf in the course of, or for the purposes of—

(i)any consideration of such a complaint;

(ii)an investigation (including any report of such an investigation) into a services complaint or a handling complaint.

(3)Such information may be disclosed—

(a)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Commission to exercise any of its functions;

(b)where the disclosure is required by or by virtue of any provision made by or under this Act or by any other enactment or other rule of law.

(4)Any person who, in contravention of subsection (1), knowingly discloses any information obtained when employed by, or acting on behalf of, the Commission is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

44Exemption from liability in damagesS

(1)Neither the Commission nor any person who is, or is acting as, a member of the Commission or an employee of the Commission is to be liable in damages for anything done or omitted in the discharge, or purported discharge, of the Commission's functions.

(2)Subsection (1) does not apply—

(a)if the act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith;

(b)so as to prevent an award of damages made in respect of an act or omission on the ground that the act or omission was unlawful as a result of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42).

45Giving of notices etc. under Part 1S

(1)Any notice which is required under this Part to be given in writing is to be treated as being in writing if it is received in a form which is legible and capable of being used for subsequent reference.

(2)Any notice which is required under this Part to be given to any person—

(a)is duly given—

(i)where the person is not an incorporated practice, if it is left at, or delivered or sent by post to, the person's last known place of business or residence;

(ii)where the person is an incorporated practice, if it is left at or delivered or sent by post to the practice's registered office;

(iii)where the person is a practitioner who is a firm of solicitors or an incorporated practice, if it is sent to the person by electronic means but only if the practitioner agrees to that means of sending;

(iv)where the person is an individual, if it is sent to the person by electronic means but only if the individual agrees to that means of sending;

(v)to any person, if it is given in such other manner as may be prescribed by regulations by the Scottish Ministers;

(b)if permitted by paragraph (a) to be sent, and sent, by electronic means is, unless the contrary is proved, deemed to be delivered on the next working day which follows the day on which the notice is sent.

(3)Regulations under subsection (2)(a)(v) may—

(a)in particular provide that notice required to be given to a person who is not an individual may be given by addressing or sending it to such person appointed by the person for that purpose or to such person falling within such other categories prescribed in the regulations as appear to the Scottish Ministers to be appropriate;

(b)make different provision for different purposes.

(4)In subsection (2)(b), “working day” means any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday or a day which, under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80), is a bank holiday in Scotland.

46Interpretation of Part 1S

(1)In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires—

(2)For the avoidance of doubt, anything done by any Crown Counsel or procurator fiscal in relation to the prosecution of crime or investigation of deaths is not done in relation to any matter in which the Crown Counsel or procurator fiscal has been instructed by a client.

(3)For the avoidance of doubt, the exercise of discretion by any Crown Counsel or procurator fiscal in relation to the prosecution of crime or investigation of deaths is not in itself capable of constituting professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct.

(4)In subsections (2) and (3), “procurator fiscal” has the same meaning as in section 307 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (c. 46).