Archive for August, 2009

Aug 26 2009

That letter from the FBI to the Justice Secretary: is it real?

Published by under International law,Scots law

My last post covered two issues; the hypocrisy of the attack on the decision to release Megrahi, and the law relative to compassionate release of prisoners in Scotland. But in linking these I noted in passing that much of the attack on MacAskill was simply ignorant, and wrote “FBI Director Robert Mueller, in his much-quoted open letter to MacAskill, obviously intended primarily for US domestic consumption, thought the Justice Secretary was a ‘prosecutor‘.“. Continue Reading »


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Aug 24 2009

Megrahi’s release: Kenny MacAskill was right

Published by under International law,Scots law

If Megrahi was indeed rightly convicted of mass murder, which I doubt, it is not in doubt that he acted on the orders of the Libyan government. He was a senior member of its intelligence service. Yet both the UK and US governments have for some years been on friendly terms with the people who, they say, ordered the destruction of PanAm 103. They dine with them. They have cocktails with them when they meet at mutual friends. The week before Megrahi’s release, as reported in the Washington Post, a delegation of four American senators led by John McCain met with Colonel Gaddafi to discuss the sale by the US to Libya of military equipment. In April, Hilary Clinton welcomed another member of the Gaddafi family, the régime’s National Security Adviser, to Washington. She said “We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya. We have many opportunities to deepen and broaden our cooperation. And I’m very much looking forward to building on this relationship. So, Mr. Minister, welcome so much here.” Continue Reading »


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Aug 14 2009

Forthcoming conference: Changes to the Tribunal System

Published by under Events,Scots law

I will be speaking on issues relative to the new Upper Tribunal at this conference, organised by the Legal Services Agency, on 14 September.

Changes to the Tribunal System: The New Two-Tier System and Its Implications

On 3 November 2008 the UK Tribunals Service experienced its most radical change in 50 years when key aspects of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 were implemented. Continue Reading »


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Aug 14 2009

Forthcoming conferences: Professor Hathaway on asylum law

Published by under Events,International law,Scots law

Professor James Hathaway of Melbourne University, author of “The Law of Refugee Status”, “The Rights of Refugees under International Law”, and many other leading texts on asylum law; editor of the Refugee Caselaw website; and a world renowned authority on the law of international protection, will be addressing an all-day seminar in Glasgow on Monday 5 October on issues as to refuge status and internal relocation. His work is constantly cited in, and by, courts throughout the common law world; a quick search on BAILII throws up no less than 180 cases in which he is cited as an authority. Continue Reading »


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Aug 12 2009

Use of Wikipedia and hyperlinks in Scottish courts

Published by under Info law,Scots law

Gordon v Lynch, 2009 CSOH 116, is a decision of Lord Woolman on quantum in a personal injuries case notable only, so far as this blog is concerned, for its use of a hyperlink: something I have never seen before in a Scottish Courts decision1. The third paragraph begins “ As a result of the accident, Sean sustained traumatic brain injury.” Continue Reading »

  1. When reported on BAILII, of course, hyperlinks are commonly used for citations of earlier authority. [back]

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