- Law Society of Ireland
The Law Society of Ireland (in Irish: Dlí-Chumann na hÉireann) is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the solicitors' profession in the
Republic of Ireland. As of 2007, the Law Societyhad over ten thousand members, all of whom were solicitors.
The Law Society was formally incorporated by royal charter obtained from
Queen Victoriaon 5 April 1852, under the name of “the Incorporated Society of Attorneys and Solicitors of Ireland”. There were several precursors to the Law Society itself: In 1774, the “Society of Attorneys” was established while in 1791, “The Law Club of Ireland”, a society for solicitors about which little is now known, was founded. Later, in 1830 “The Law Society of Ireland” was established, restyling itself the “Society of Attorneys and Solicitors” in 1841. It was to be the immediate predecessor to the present day Law Society.
The professions of attorney and solicitor were fused under the Supreme Court of Judicature (Ireland) Act, 1877. As a consequence, the Law Society was granted a supplemental charter, again by Queen Victoria on 14 December 1888 under which the Law Society was styled the "Incorporated Law Society of Ireland".
The current statutory basis for the Law Society is set out in the Solicitors Acts 1954 - 2002. In 1994, the Law Society’s name was changed once more, this time the word “Incorporated” (or in Irish: “Corpraithe”) being dropped from its title.
The governing body of the Law Society is its Council. It comprises both elected and nominated members, all of whom are solicitors. Over the years the Council has established a range of Committees to which it delegates certain of its statutory functions. The Council may comprise not more than forty-eight persons. Of its membership, between 21 and 31 must be elected from among the Law Society’s members. A delegate from each of the four provinces of Ireland must also be chosen. Up to five extraordinary members may be appointed from each of the Councils of the Southern Law Association and the
Law Society of Northern Irelandwhile three may be appointed from the Council of the Dublin Solicitors' Bar Association.
As of 2007, the Law Society’s Council comprised the maximum permitted (i.e. forty-eight members). Each year the Council selects one of its number to be the President of the Law Society.
The Law Society has a range of statutory and non-statutory functions. Its statutory functions under the Solicitors Acts relate to the education and admission of persons to the profession; regulatory and disciplinary matters and protection of solicitors’ clients. The Law Society’s non-statutory functions relate to the representation and provision of services to its members and protecting the public interest.
* [http://www.lawsociety.ie/ Official website]
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