Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Redefining Supreme

Did you know that the UK Supreme Court's role in Scots Law was slightly trimmed back a few weeks ago?  I must admit it had escaped my notice, so when I caught up with the news today I couldn't resist making my first edit to Wikipedia for eighteen months (I used to be a prolific Wikipedia contributor a few years ago, until I was worn down by edit wars and the absurd complexity of the site's rules).  The previous wording on the UK Supreme Court article was -

"The main role of the Supreme Court is to hear appeals from courts in the United Kingdom's three legal systems: England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. (English and Welsh law differ only to the extent that the National Assembly for Wales makes laws for Wales that differ from those in England, and the two countries have a shared court system.) The Supreme Court acts as the highest court for civil appeals from the Court of Session in Scotland, but the highest appeal for criminal cases is kept in Scotland.

Permission to appeal from the Court of Session is not required and any case can proceed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom if two Advocates certify that an appeal is suitable. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in contrast, permission to appeal is required, either from the Court of Appeal or from a Justice of the Supreme Court itself."

I've now altered the second paragraph so that it reads -

"For civil cases decided prior to September 2015, permission to appeal from the Court of Session is not required and any such case can proceed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom if two Advocates certify that an appeal is suitable. The entry into force of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 has essentially brought the procedure for current and future Scottish civil cases into line with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where permission to appeal is required, either from the Court of Appeal or from a Justice of the Supreme Court itself."

It always seemed crazy that a country with its own supreme court for criminal law allowed an external court such a gratuitously large say over civil cases. It's particularly satisfying that the anomaly has been rectified by Scottish Parliament legislation, rather than the change being "granted" by our betters in London.

10 comments:

  1. Where does that put Carmichael's appeal should he lose his case.
    Not sure if we are in criminal or civils side of law?

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    Replies
    1. Then again WTF do I know. I am only a Panda.

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    2. It was established during the initial day's trial of Carmichael that the only court of appeal from an Electoral Court is parliament (Wastemonster variety naturally) and not as might be discerned from the location of the Court of Session the Inner Court.

      Just one interesting snippet I caught from watching the procedures. The Appellants' barrister reminded their lordships of this fact.

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    3. So Wastemonster lets him off? How would that work?

      Whole parly or what?

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    4. I suppose a public execution by drowning in the Pentland Firth is out of the question?

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    5. Glasgow Working ClassOctober 27, 2015 at 9:55 PM

      Is that what a panda sounds like that has been buggered?

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    6. Be quiet and eat your bamboo shoots, GWC.

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    7. Glasgow Working ClassOctober 27, 2015 at 11:25 PM

      Nice to have a Christian Voice. Anon will be upset!

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    8. I always thought bamboo was a member of the grass family and not a cereal.

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  2. The UK government is currently resisting growing pressure for a Welsh jurisdiction to match the enhanced legislative role of the National Assembly, approved by a referendum in 2011. A Welsh jurisdiction would avoid the danger of the growing volume of Welsh laws being interpreted (and therefore modified) by judges with no understanding of the country's cultural milieu. Needless to say, this argument does not go down well with the powers that be in Westminster.

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