Monday, June 27, 2011

The four ‘wise’ men hand in their report on the UK Supreme Court; they want Scots to give up human right and seek permission to appeal, request denied

Dear All

The four ‘wise’ men have spoken.

Experts reviewing the relationship between the High Court of Justiciary and the UK Supreme Court in criminal cases have called for change.

I have just checked my pocket and have £1.72.

Made up of a pound coin, a fifty pence piece, a twenty pence piece and a two pence.

That is the only change that is being offered because the law certainly won’t be.

Lord McCluskey's review group claimed Scotland faced more intrusive jurisdiction from the Supreme Court than the rest of the UK.

The report said the system was "flawed" and called for coherence across the UK.

Why should the Scottish system mirror England?

If we look at the Peter Cadder case, he was denied the same rights as English people.

It is therefore hypocritical to say that we should mirror England when we were quite happy to deny Scots the same rights as English people before.

Scottish government ministers have previously said the Scottish legal system should have direct access to the European court in Strasbourg.

The backlog of cases at the European Court makes this idea untenable.

Although it is seen as a mechanism for ending the jurisdiction of the UK Supreme Court on Scottish criminal cases in reality, it isn’t.

The question is human rights; the Scottish Government cannot take away the human rights of a person to go to the UK Supreme Court.

The Westminster Government also cannot legislate this way because fundamental human rights cannot be tampered with.

However, the McCluskey Group backed the UK Supreme Court's jurisdiction to rule on human rights in Scottish criminal cases but only if the High Court in Scotland granted convicts permission to appeal.

And they can whistle if they think people are going to submit to the High Court acting as a de facto agent of their human rights provision.

Currently in Scotland, an appeal can be made to the UK Supreme Court for criminal cases relating to human rights law.

That is the way things stand, and at present given the miscarriages of justice which have occurred, we need this protection against vested interests.

The McCluskey report has recommended a new provision, with proposed amendments to the Scotland Bill, which would place the High Court of Justiciary "on an equal footing with its counterparts elsewhere in the UK, by enabling the Supreme Court to grant permission to appeal only if the High Court of Justiciary has granted a certificate that the case raises a point of general public importance".

They won’t get that from a Westminster Government, it isn’t even a possibility worth discussing because it removes the exercising of a human right which Scots currently enjoy.

A proposal which is entirely disgraceful in nature because no one would ever get the right to have their case heard and everyone knows it.

Another disgraceful step is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court should be exercised in such a way that it identifies clearly the law that the criminal courts have to apply, but that the application of the law to the case in which the issue is being litigated should be remitted to the High Court of Justiciary".

If they can’t be trusted the first time round, then should they then be given the opportunity to just ignore the judgement?

I think not.

There is a Scottish Parliament debate taking place on Thursday to discuss the McCluskey Report.

That debate should focus on where is the nearest place for this landfill material to be deposited.

High Court in Scotland to grant convicts their permission to appeal!

Request denied.

Cases remitted to the High Court of Judiciary!

Requested denied.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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