Detail of outcome
Having considered the responses received, and, in particular, those bodies which regulated the legal sector, the commissioner has decided to amend the complaints scheme from 1 November 2011:
‘In determining complaints, the commissioner’s standard of proof is the civil standard being the balance of probabilities.’
Detail of feedback received
The commissioner received replies from the following designated professional bodies:
- The General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland
- Bar Standards Board (BSB)
- The Faculty of Advocates (FOA)
- The Institute of Legal Executive (ILEX)
- ILEX Professional Standards
- The Law Society of England and Wales
- The Law Society of Scotland
- Legal Services Board (LSB)
- Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
The commissioner also received a response from ILPA and 11 responses from regulated advisers.
All of the designated professional bodies that responded, with the exception of the Law Society of England and Wales, were either in favour of the change or had no comment to make on the proposal. In particular, certain regulators of legal professionals (SRA, BSB, ILEX, FOA), as well as the LSB, supported the change proposed. ILPA suggested that the commissioner discuss the matter with the SRA, ILEX and the LSB. As mentioned above, all of these bodies were consulted.
Six of the regulated advisers who responded were in favour of the change, while four were against and one used the consultation to comment on another issue.
This document summarises responses to the consultation on Changes to the OISC complaint scheme: standard of proof.