Were Nat Fraser’s human rights compromised?

Setting aside the issue of whether Scotland’s ultimate court of appeal should be in London (a place few Scots have ever heard of, let alone visited) or in Strasbourg (where most Scots have a second home and where, unlike London, there are no cultural or language barriers), there is surely a more practical question the nationalists should be answering:

Were Nat Fraser’s human rights compromised?

If the answer is yes, then surely we should welcome the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that Fraser should face a retrial? Shouldn’t we welcome a defence of human rights that the Scottish courts failed to make?

If it’s no, does that mean the nationalists believe that the Human Rights Act goes too far?

We await your considered views.

Got a question which you suspect our nationalist overlords would rather not be asked? Email your suggestion to info@LabourHame.com

 

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24 thoughts on “Were Nat Fraser’s human rights compromised?

  1. my considered view is that the supreme court does not have and never could have any jurisdiction over scottish criminal law. The reason i say this is that Article 19 of the treaty of union 1706 and the subsequent act of union with england 1707 expressely forbids it “for evermore”.
    Nothing in the 1998 Scotland act passed by the union parliament in 1998 could ever change this lawful fact.
    Therefore all those who uphold and agree with the supreme court jurisprudence are by reason of law acting unlawfully. either Westminister repeals the acts of union or finds itself in the international court again for breaching the treaty.
    YOU CANT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

    1. Mr Grant. A government cannot bind a future one. So I’m afraid your premise is 100% Scot Nat mince. 😉

      1. mr keegan, it may be mince to you, but alas for you and your union parliament it IS THE LAW.
        Kindly substantiate your joke about not being able to bind a future parliament?
        Fact. McCormack v The crown 1952
        i suggest you read mlearned judge comments, not refuted by westminister at the time or since.
        Then tell me why i should submit to an unenforcable law/court which carries no valid lawful jurisdiction.
        Would YOU let the US Supreme court interfere in your legal process and free Your convicted felons.
        Dont answer that. Your unionist cringe is giving me the boak already.
        Thank God there’s still some patriots left.

    2. Treaties are modified by subsequent treaties all the time. Otherwise we’d still be at war with France.

      And if treaties cant be modified or changed subsequently, why do nationalists want to seperate Scotland from the UK? Surely the Treaty if Union says Scotland and England are joined “for evermore”?

      1. john, you are quite correct. treaties are updated constantly, however the acts of union where/could not be for two reasons.
        1. no sovereign english parliament has existed in over 3 centuries, therefore ammending/updating the treaty is not possible till it is reconvened.
        2. under the scottish constitutional principle of “popular sovereignty” (very socialist- ahead of its time) the scots people have vested the authority by popular mandate to their reconvened scots parliament to seek an ammendment to the treaty by way of a referenda.

        The unlawful decision of the last govt setting up the uk supreme court with a remit to bulldoze the union treaty in clear breach of article 8 of the un charter is an affront to my human rights and hopefully lord mc cluskey will concur and tell the interfering politicians in london tae go bile their heids and take their overpaid apologists wi them.

        1. And if Lord McClusky doesnt concur? Is he then part of the “inionist conspiracy”?

          As for a “sovereign english parliament” I’m afraid Westminster fulfills that role, and always has done. Therefore, Westminster can and does amend loads of treaties, all the time.

          And under the principle of “popular sovereignty” in what way have the scots people vested the authority to seek an amendment to the treaty? Seeing as the referendum in 1999 specifically excluded consitutional powers from the said scottish parliament?

          1. He said “vested the authority by popular mandate to their reconvened scots parliament to seek an ammendment to the treaty by way of a referenda”.

            Which isn’t particularly elegantly phrased, but clearly means “vested the authority in Parliament to hold a referendum to determine whether the people wish the treaty amended, by voting for a government expressly committed to such a course of action”.

      2. Treaties have to be amended by the contracting parties. As this one hasn’t been so amended, the UKSC has no jurisdiction The question of how to secure the protection of rights is therefore properly resolved through the ECHR. End of.

    3. If Rob Grant is correct in his interpretation as to the inviolable supremacy of the Act of Union, I am seriously considering a phone call to Strathclyde’s finest. Mr Alexander Salmond of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh has, without doubt, been conspiring with others to act in flagrant breach of the provisions of the said Act.

      On the 23rd day in the Year of our Lord 2011, the aforementioned Alexander Salmond (hereinafter “the Accused”) did meet with one Gideon Oliver (aka George) Osborne of 11 Downing Street, London. During said meeting the Accused did discuss and indeed demand that the power to set Excise Duties on Alcohol be transferred to the Scottish Parliament. Further, the Accused did, on more than one occasion, in front of witnesses, make plain his desire and intention to raise said Duties within Her Majesty’s Ancient Realm of Scotland; all this in breach of Article VII of the Act of Union January XVI, MDCCVII. The import of said Article VII is as set out below:

      THAT all parts of the United Kingdom be for ever, from and after the Union, lyable to the same Excise upon all exciseable Liquors, excepting only that the thirty-four Gallons English Barrel of Beer or Ale amounting to twelve Gallons Scots present Measure, told in Scotland by the Brewer at nine Shillings six Pence Sterling, excluding all Duties, and retailed, including Duties and the Retailers Profit, at two Pence the Scots Pint, or eighth part of the Scots Gallon, be not after the Union lyable, on account of the present Excise upon exciseable Liquors in England, to any higher Imposition than two Shillings Sterling upon the aforesaid thirty-four Gallons, English Barrel, being twelve Gallons the present Scots measure And that the Excise settled in England on all other Liquors, when the Union commences, take place throughout the whole United Kingdom.

  2. Well, yes they were. As I’ve said before though, if the media were of a mind to do so they will find more and more convictions comprimised by this technicality – and not just the conviction of Abdelbassset Al Megrahi.

    As I posted on Friday accross at “Dispatches…”, the opportunity to reform Scots Law presented itself with this judgement – it’s an opportunity the SNP have scorned for their own reasons.

  3. Were Nat Fraser’s human rights compromised?

    the highest court in the Land said ‘yes’ so there it is

    the nationalists in general and Alex Salmond in particular are using this as a
    justification to create as much mischief as possible they have maligned Scottish judges.

    interfered in the ruling of the justice system which may have kept an innocent scot in prison for a crime he may not have committed or is a new plea being invented by the separationists. That of guilty due interference by the UK supreme court.

    The truth is the snp would willingly and willfully denigrate and usurp Scottish law and its processes to there Independence agenda the much vaunted
    rule of law in a snp ruled Scotland may take a very different more political path than what has been followed in the previous centuries

    1. “the highest court in the Land said ‘yes’ so there it is”

      Sigh. The entire point under debate being, of course, whether the Supreme Court is indeed “in the land”, the land in question being Scotland.

  4. There appears to be a rumour started that Alec Salmond is set for another legal challenge…this time in Europe regarding the inclusion of Doric as an alternative to English in the European Union….read my note on same.

  5. If Salmond considers himself right in this matter, why apparently does he accept all the acts of parliament which are “foisted” upon the people of Scotland by the UK Parliament by non-Scottish MPs? He has behaved like a prat. He should have the character (he hasn’t) to apologise for his hysterical response. HE CANT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

  6. I have a question: “whether Scotland’s ultimate court of appeal should be in London… or in Strasbourg”, is it not in Strasbourg already? If an appeal is made to the Supreme Court of the UK, can you not appeal again to the European Court, since isn’t it final court of appeal on human rights. So they SNP aren’t saying we want the court to be moved from London to Strasbourg, but just for it to skip London and go straight to Strasbourg… I honestly don’t know and I’m genuinely wondering…

  7. I think we are getting caught up in the fog of distractions surrounding this matter. Iain McWhirter’s piece today in the Sunday Herald clarified the constitutional position that affected Canada in 1998 where the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Quebec had no right to secede unilaterally from Federal Canada. He also makes a point that the same position is being assessed today in Spain with regard to Catalonia where the Constitutional Court is deciding on a similar matter. It is fairly obvious if you see the impact that these constitutional bodies have on the independence debate why they are being attacked in the way that they are. Seems a little bit cynical and misleading to set about them in this way and undermine their position for another agenda.

  8. Can either of Bardh Gwerin or Rob Grant kindly explain how the UK Supreme Court is a breach of the Act of Union but the ECHR is not? The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of the UK Parliament as was the Act that established the Supreme Court. Either both of these Acts are a breach of the Act of Union or neither is. Either both courts undermine the eternal Authority and Privileges of the Scottish Justiciary as laid out in the Act of Union or neither do so.

    Artivle XIX of the Act of Union states: THAT the Court of Session, or College of Justice, do after the Union, and notwithstanding thereof, remain in all time coming within Scotland, as it is now constituted by the Laws of that Kingdom, and with the same Authority and Privileges as before the Union, subject nevertheless to such Regulations for the better Administration of Justice, as shall be made by the Parliament of Great Britain……….

    The Act of Union clearly allows the UK Parliament to legislate for the better administration of justice.

    The SNP critics of the Supreme Court really need to think a little harder in justifying their criticism of the Court lest we begin to suspect that it is mere window dressing for anti English posturing.

    P.S. I presume that Rob Grant was actually referring to MacCormick v Lord Advocate 1953 which John MacCormick lost. There have been other cases brought which have tried to argue that some action of the UK Government or Parliament were in breach of the Act of Union; none, as far as I am aware, have been successful.

    1. malcolm, strictly speaking you are correct, under the treaty, echr is not compliant in scots law, however neither was the uk privy council, nor was the law lords at westminister.
      BUT these breaches were deemed to be proper as scots mp’s acting with the mandate given them by their electorate approved.
      The situation altered in 1998/9 when the Scots parliament was RECONVENED.

  9. “If it’s no, does that mean the nationalists believe that the Human Rights Act goes too far?”

    And no, it doesn’t. It means that we believe the ECHR should be policed by the proper body, ie the European court. If someone burgles your house and you catch them in the act, is it alright to tie them up, hold a kangaroo trial and have them beaten senseless by a few of your mates rather than handing them over to the cops? Is that a question to which Tom Harris MP’s answer is “Er…”?

  10. Using the arguments put forward here that the act of union is subject to parliamentary majorities, does that mean that the Scottish parliament simply has to declare the act terminated to end the union.

    Is that really the argument that is being put forward here?

    1. brian, in simple terms….YES, however at some time in the last 30 or so years, i dont know when exactly, the snp and the unionist parties decided that a referenda based on the scots constitutional principle of “popular sovereignty” would be required and a majority of scots resident would have to register a vote in favour, which is as it should be.

  11. This is not a minor matter as the Sunday Herald made clear yesterday.

    Lawyers are using “human rights” as a basis for pushing many issues through that prism in the direction of the Supreme Court with dangerous consequences.

    Where will Labour stand if the Supreme Court upholds the case set out below-for the Union or for Scotland? The Act refered to is an act of the Scottish Parliament.

    “Over three days, QCs acting for Britain’s biggest insurers argued a 2009 Act allowing people to sue for asbestos exposure should be struck down.

    They claimed it was “irrational” at common law, and breached the insurers’ right to property under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

    In other words, the law threatened to deprive the insurers arbitrarily of millions of pounds, as they would ultimately pay out on compensation claims lodged against employers by asbestos workers.”

  12. The fundamental issue is more to do with the Supreme Court, its remit and its impact upon the constitutional debate.

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