Archive for March, 2009

Mar 30 2009

“…early days to be thinking about cutting out the court of session altogether…

Published by under Scots law

From a speech by Lord Justice Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals, entitled Tribunal Reform: the Scottish Dimension‘, given to an invited audience in Edinburgh on 11 February 2009:

It seems anomalous that there should be a unified jurisdiction at the lower tribunal level, and at the highest level (the Supreme Court), while in between we have a bifurcation to the Court of Appeal or the Court of Session. It would seem more logical, economical and convenient for users, if the Upper Tribunal, exercising UK wide jurisdiction, were able to act as far as possible as the final court of appeal for cases which are not going to the House of Lords. The TCEA1 provides a flexible mechanism to enable the Upper Tribunal to be adapted or strengthened as necessary, by bringing in judges from the courts. It is early days to be thinking about cutting out the court of appeal or court of session altogether and it would require legislation. But given the hands-off approach advocated by some members of the House of Lords, we may be moving in that direction.

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  1. Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. [back]
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Mar 23 2009

Google Street View and the law

Published by under Edinburgh,Info law

As, surely, everyone reading this knows, Google Street View was launched in Scotland last Thursday. Advertised as covering Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen, it also covers large swathes of west-central and north-east Scotland. Only the blue streets have Street View Continue Reading »

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Mar 18 2009

“…our concern remains that the court should have been misled in this way”

Published by under Info law,International law,Scots law

R v Chambers, [2008] EWCA Crim 2467, is an English Court of Appeal decision (thanks to Ruthie for pointing to it) in which prosecuting counsel instructed by HMRC was eviscerated by the court for failing to do his homework: the prosecution was for a supposed breach of regulations which had effectively been repealed seven years before, as was discovered by chance when an appeal against conviction of this non-crime was about to be refused. The excuse was that, um, neither HMRC nor successive prosecution counsel knew, er, that the OPSI website only publishes subordinate legislation as originally passed, not as amended; so the prosecution was based on the original regulations. There seem to have been many such prosecutions:accused, defence solicitors and counsel, and courts had all guilelessly taken HMRC’s word for it that the regulations founded on were still in force.  Continue Reading »

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