Thursday, June 16, 2011

Does David Mundell think he's the Deputy Governor-General of Scotland?

From the BBC...

"Meanwhile, Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said he was seeking clarity from Mr Salmond that he properly understands that his legal duty to "uphold the continued independence of the judiciary" also includes the UK Supreme Court.

The 2008 Judiciary and Courts Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament, makes it clear the first minister is among those who have an explicit duty to protect the independence of the judiciary and to give them the "support necessary to carry out their functions."

Mr Mundell said he wanted Mr Salmond to "state publicly and unequivocally" that he accepts the legislation introduced by his own government."

A couple of points spring to mind -

1) I trust someone is writing to Mr Mundell to ensure he properly understands that, whoever Alex Salmond is answerable to for the way he carries out his many legal duties, it isn't the junior minister at the Scotland Office.

2) Westminster is forever lecturing devolved politicians over how they should keep their nose out of reserved matters, and indeed laws cannot be passed by the Scottish Parliament if they cover reserved matters.  Given that the UK Supreme Court is a reserved matter, I think we can safely assume that the provisions of the Scottish Parliament's 2008 Judiciary and Courts Act cannot possibly extend to the Supreme Court.

Or to put it another way - nice try, David.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is surely not the same D.Mundell who did not understand the law regarding election expenses A pumped up wee nyaff not considered good enough for the post of SOS not only on one occasion but twice

JPJ2 said...

Tut Tut James-how can you be so unkind-the poor man's nose is well out of joint since 2010-imagine being the only Scottish Tory and STILL not getting the Secretary of State job :-)

David said...

"Nyaff" fits his profile.

Hubristic "wannabe", too.

Playground "gangsta'" bully - primary school level and at the bottom of the food-chain - his toom-tabard modus operandi.

Finger-poking drivel from a minor functionary in a post-colonial administration in melt-down and fighting an incompetent rearguard action. Doubt he'd have made junior officer rank in Fabius Cunctator's delaying campaign against the Carthaginians.

Suggestion to him, even - and indeed - Para Handy would have referenced UN and Council of Europe decisions before uttering forth such faux legalistic porridge.

However, suspect this is cauld kail to him in his, less than spectacular, attempts to claw his way up the greasy pole of imperial power and subsequent sinecures.

In Japan, the term -I think - would be "kawai so" for his quandary. At home, the more direct, perhaps, "Hell mend him" for his opportunist, unprincipled, megaphone - to quote the Boer type media unionistas - posturing.

A well scrunched wee fag-end in the foot-notes of history.

James Kelly said...

JPJ2 : Actually, I think it may have been a kindness to Mundell that he never became SoS. If we think Moore isn't up to the job...

Richard Howell said...

See section 1 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008 (Guarantee of continued judicial independence):
"(3) In this section “the judiciary” means the judiciary of—
(a)the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,
(b)any other court established under the law of Scotland, and
(c)any international court."

James Kelly said...

Fair enough, Richard. But that's not to say that Mundell's premise that Alex Salmond isn't being supportive of the Supreme Court judges is correct - as we all know, the noblest kind of love can often be tough love.

James Kelly said...

Oh, and I'm also surprised that Mundell isn't protesting about the Scottish Parliament's confounded presumption in legislating on a matter relating to the UK Supreme Court.