A Brief History of the SSC
The Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (SSC Society), which was formed in 1784 and is incorporated by Royal Charter, has had, and continues to play, a central role in the life and work of the Courts of Scotland and the legal profession generally. For over 200 years, it has endeavoured to represent the interests of its members and to assist in upholding the integrity of Scots Law.
The SSC Society maintains a consistently progressive and enlightened attitude to the pursuit of legal practice and has attempted to avoid being viewed as an institution which, whilst imbued with a sense of history (and, it is hoped, of some accomplishment), remains firmly locked in the past.
On the contrary, it is seeking constantly to anticipate, adapt, and improve its undoubted blend of tradition, sensitively and satisfactorily, with each and every development of present day law and legal procedure. It does this to assist with the many and various challenges that can, and do confront each practitioner.
For over a hundred years, the SSC Society’s premises have been located in the heart of Edinburgh's Parliament House, from where it continues to further its aims. These include:
- Participation, as Collegiate members of the College of Justice, in seeking to maintain the highest possible standards of professional conduct and expertise in the Supreme and Inferior Courts
- Helping to strengthen and uphold the Law of Scotland
- To encourage members both in public and professional life
There is a formal constitution, originally created in 1784, under which all decisions regarding the society are made. Changes to the constitution can be made at a properly constituted meeting of the members, at which a quorum must be present for any changes to be valid.
The SSC Society is represented on the Court of Session Rules Council and on the Joint Committee of Legal Societies, and regularly sponsors members in seeking election to the Council of the Law Society of Scotland. For many years, it donated an annual prize, awarded to outstanding students in the Department of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh. It now sponsors Diploma Students.
The SSC Society also sponsors a biennial lecture, which has attracted a variety of distinguished speakers, and large and appreciative audiences. Speakers have included Lord MacKay, then Lord Chancellor; Lord President Hope of Craighead, Sheila MacLean; Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, Sir Malcolm Rifkind; Mrs Elish Angiolini, the Solicitor General for Scotland (later Lord Advocate); and Lord Steel of Aikwood.