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This is so depressing. So, after dealing with all the existing layers of compliance, regulation and accreditation and obtaining the PII required to cover themselves if they do screw up, solicitors will now also have to sign a piece of paper pointlessly stating they are 'competent'. It's humiliating How many other professions have to do all this?? How are the public supposed to respect us if our own regulatory body needs this level of reassurance?!
Also, I believe that anyone who attests to being competent in all areas of their work at all times is either deluded, supremely arrogant, misguided or a combination of these. I freely admit there are times when I see I'm failing at something or doubt my ability because I'm a free-thinking human being with flaws like everyone else, not a robot programmed to 'competent' mode. In such situations, I pull my socks up smartish and get back on track. Does the SRA really want an army of robots who deny ever having blips or bad days? That is unrealistic and short-sighted.
I wonder what the motivation for this is. The sentence "demonstrating an adequate understanding of the financial context in which solicitors are working and managing available resources efficiently" concerns me. If, for example, legal aid reforms or cuts are challenged in the future, will the MOJ dismiss those challenges on the basis that thousands of solicitors have signed to say that they can achieve competence and are therefore not justified in complaining? I foresee that this could tie solicitors' hands in all sorts of ways, including being a reference document in SDT proceedings & professional neg claims i.e. "You signed this form but then you acted incompetently. Therefore, it is clear that you were falsely presenting yourself as competent from the start" etc.
Why can't they just leave us alone to do our jobs? Sorry to whine but I'm already so frustrated by the injustices of the legal aid cuts and other restrictions on access to justice that this adds insult to injury. Being a part of this profession is becoming soul-destroying.
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