There is little doubt that the item that is dominating the news is recent events surrounding the law firm of Marrache & Co and the suspension of its two principals Isaac and Benjamin Marrache. It is important to respect the individual rights of both of them and also the companies involved and allow due process to take its course.
It is evident from these recent events, however and irrespective of the outcome of that specific matter, that Gibraltar's legal profession has to be dragged in the field of regulation and supervision into the 21st century . The regulatory and supervisory systems (such as they are) presently in place are antiquated and inadequate. Discipline over the profession is exercised by the Chief Justice. No doubt the right steps will be taken now and improved systems put in place.The danger is that there will be an overreaction that will precipitate the implementation of a system that will undermine the basic principle that the legal profession should be seen to be and be independent of government.
Lawyers are officers of the court and so, not only do they owe a duty to do the best by their clients as instructed (within and subject to carefully developed rules), they also need to take care that justice is done. Overpowering regulation and supervision that is not independent of government will undermine civil rights. This would be a major retrograde that would impede access to a fair system of justice.
Lawyers must remain vigilant, cautious and united to ensure that they safeguard their independence, yet do not do so at the expense of an improved regulatory and supervisory regime.