– in the Scottish Parliament at 5:04 pm on 18th September 2002.
Members may recall that, at the end of our previous meeting, Mr Quinan raised a point of order, which Mr Russell followed up, on the referral of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland Bill. I issued a full response to Mr Quinan and Mr Russell yesterday and I have arranged for copies of my response to be made available to members of the Justice 1 Committee and the Justice 2 Committee.
I will be brief. For the record, my ruling is that neither article 6 nor any other article of the European convention on human rights affects the process of legislation. Therefore, there is no procedural or legal reason to prohibit the Justice 1 Committee and the Justice 2 Committee from considering the bill, as the Parliament decided they should last week.
On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I thank you for your reply, which I found interesting.
Given that your reply, your ruling and your judgment were based on information that was provided to you by the Parliament's legal office, I ask you, on behalf of the Parliament, to seek independent legal advice on the point that I raised.
No. Mr Quinan, you have given me an opportunity, for which I am grateful, to pay tribute to the Parliament's independent legal office—its advice is independent of the Executive and anyone else. [ Applause. ] I assure you that I regard the advice that I receive from the legal office as being always of high quality.