Thursday, January 19, 2012
Scotland’s top judge Lord Hamilton gets rebuffed in Supreme Court row; it is a firm no, to his call for anti human rights legislation in Scotland Bill
Only yesterday, I blogged on Lord Hamilton was wrong to try and remove the right of ordinary Scots to take their cases to the UK Supreme Court where there was concerns over aspects of their trial involving denial of article six human rights to a fair trial.
Lord Hamilton fired off a letter to Westminster asking that Scotland be made ‘equal’, but what he was actually asking for was human rights denial.
In the space of 324 hours since I blogged he has had his reply, his ridiculous requested has been rejected.
It never had a realistic chance of success as the English cannot remove the right and Holyrood cannot legislate it a way.
At present there is a nasty debate running regarding the referendum and the Scottish establishment seeing which way the wind is blowing is jumping on the SNP bandwagon.
Much the same way as everyone climbed aboard when Blair won by a landslide in 1997!
There is danger in being ‘populist’ as everyone knows only too well, all things to all men, generally means relevant to none.
Lord Hamilton, the Lord President effectively has backed First Minister Alex Salmond, who effectively back Justice Kenny MacAskill and Elish Angiolini over a turf war with the UK Supreme Court.
At stake was the true nature of justice in Scotland.
The people of Scotland were lucky, not that Kenny MacAskill and Elish Angiolini was ‘fighting’ for them but rather it was another Scotsman came to their aid.
Lord Hope of the UK Supreme Court!
If it wasn’t for people like Lord Hope, Scotland would be even more unfair than it current is.
When Lord Hamilton jumped on the populist bandagon, he tarnished his reputation as Scotland’s senior judge.
Supporting human rights denial, where is the impartially in it that?
He has fallen into line with senior prosecutors and SNP Ministers, in calling for the London court to treat Scottish criminal appeals in exactly the same way as those from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This can only be done by human rights denial, that is the only way to look at this issue, it isn’t politically, it is a purely justice issue.
Lord Wallace, the Advocate General for Scotland has signalled he "remained to be persuaded".
This is code for f*ck off, Wallace can never be convinced because whoever signs this away will be forever tainted, and he couldn’t legally get away with it anyway.
Politically removal of human rights needs a seismic event to happen such as war or national emergency.
Another person to enter the fray is Paul McBride QC he opines that Lord Wallace's stance effectively meant Britain had two classes of judges.
When a English Judge sit on the UK Supreme Court, they effectively become a British Judge, Lord Hope isn’t English.
His point is ill-judged and plainly incorrect.
"Basically, we have English judges who can be trusted and Scottish ones who can't."
This is the type of mentality that this issue generates, gross stupidity, the UK Supreme Court has rendered flawless judgments, and if the Appeal Court judges had done their jobs properly, both Cadder and the Fraser decisions wouldn’t have needed to go to London in the first place.
The UK Supreme Court pointed out by default incompetence within our legal system that is institutional in nature. This is because these people must know the law, so either they are ignorant and have no place on the bench or they are deceitful, in which case they shouldn’t be on the bench.
To give them the benefit of the doubt, I prefer to believe they are ignorant rather than outright corrupt.
Lord Hamilton and the Holyrood ministers' complaint stems from the UK Supreme Court's 2010 "Cadder" decision, which gave suspects in custody the right to legal advice.
The UK Supreme Court judgments have been welcomed by defence, human rights lawyers and human rights activists such as me; who believed Scots Law needed fundamental reforms.
Scotland needs two Deputy Justice Minsters in the Scottish Government tasked with reform issues.
Lord Wallace, in a letter to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has stated my previous point rgarding the certificate when he wrote:
"I remain to be persuaded that it is necessary to require an appeal under the new appeals route to be certified by the High Court before it can be appealed to the Supreme Court."
Historically, the High Court of Justiciary was the court of final appeal in all Scottish criminal cases.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said:
"We welcome the Lord President's intervention, which underlines the seriousness with which the matter is being treated by the Scottish judiciary, and support his view. We agree that the High Court of Justiciary should have the final say on which points of law are of general public importance and with the recommendation of a certification process."
I would like to reply to this person:
Try reading a law book on human rights; then you might be able to take part in the debate, instead of being a sycophant.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University