Fri, 24 May 2013
Exploit the power of digital with The Lawyer Acumen
The Lawyer Acumen is a comprehensive online resource giving everyone in the legal market real-time business intelligence on the sector.
26 July 1999
1 February 2003
2 April 2007
26 July 1999
25 March 2013
A challenge to Scotland's temporary sheriffs could herald copycat actionsagainst thejudiciary elsewhere in the UK when the Human Rights Act isintroduced, a constitutionalexpert claims.Barrister Neil Addison predicted in The Lawyer (23 March) that theactcould invalidate 90 per cent of the judiciary in England and Wales sincethe way inwhich the Lord Chancellor can remove circuit judges, recordersand magistrates, meansthey cannot satisfy the Article 6 requirement of an"independent and impartialtribunal".He warns that Article 6 threatens the validity of the Lord Chancellorsittingas a judge because he is a Government minister and also thevalidity of the House ofLords because theoretically, any member can hearLords cases."Although conventiondictates that only Law Lords hear cases, conventionsare not legally binding and humanrights legislation looks at theory notpractice," he says.He says the only answer is forthe Government to set up a judicial councilto hire and fire the judiciary.Theintroduction of the act into Scottish law last month promptedLivingston law firm, KeeganSmith to challenge the validity of Scotland's130 temporary sheriffs.Keegan Smithpartner, Iain Smith, says: "This is a landmark case. If weare successful it will havea huge impact on Scotland's judicial system.Courts will grind to a halt."The issue isdue to be decided on Friday.Roseanna Cunningham, SNP legal affairs spokesperson, says:"This will setthe cat among the pigeons if it is upheld. The Scottish system has cometorely heavily on temporary sheriffs and this may skew the way justice isdelivered inScotland."A Lord Chancellor's Department spokesman says: "We don't see any parallelwithour situation. In our system, all judicial appointments are madestrictly on merit. Thereis no political element to that, only that theLord Chancellor is a politician as wellas being the head of thejudiciary."He says the Government has not ruled out a JudicialAppointmentsCommission, although it is not a priority.
View All Related Briefings
Subscribe to The Lawyer today and get all the latest news stories, both domestic and global, and analysis of the legal sector.
A subscription includes:
The latest legal news, opinion, analysis, jobs and events. Wherever you are, whenever you need it.
Let us help you with an integrated approach to mobile and online advertising.
Site powered by Webvision