The Big News: My Blog’s arrived …oh, and err Scotland votes No.

What a momentous  week to start my legal blog.

The biggest divorce in UK history has been avoided and even better, Mishcon De Reya didn’t receive a penny in fees. It was compelling stuff for us  lot south of the border even though we weren’t directly involved – the constitutional equivalent of watching a couple of obese neighbours mud wrestling.

The idea of Scotland going it alone was too much for some to bear but I doubt any of them were lawyers. Scotland has always  had its own legal system, largely independent of England, and  has made a rather good job of it. Their  system  has developed through the application of  Roman- Dutch principles rather  English Legal theory. This means that strict adherence to  legal precedent and common law is discouraged in favour of deciding cases after getting pissed on red wine, engaging in orgies  and smoking marijuana.

Scotland’s legal system has been called archaic and stuffy. It’s not. It’s great.  It has  terms like assoilzie, multiplepoinding and trial diet that are slightly sinister but very cool and, let’s be honest,would you rather be  a plain old Crown Prosecutor or, the fantastically evocative,  Procurator Fiscal. It also, more importantly, still aspires to such outmoded ideals as fairness and, wait for it, justice; concepts  that we long since  abandoned.

In Scotland, if you want to appeal a useless, unjust  decision by a judge in a civil claim you have an automatic right to do so. Not so in England where you must get permission to appeal. And from who do you seek that permission, yes that’s right,  initially from the judge who made the useless decision. He, and it’s almost always a he, will ask “Why do want to Appeal ?” and you say “because you erred in law and  were manifestly wrong”, to which he replies “sod off you cheeky so and so.”

A little tip for you. If you’re planning to kill someone by an act of negligence, do it in England not Scotland. In England damages paid for bereavement or the loss of a loved one are fixed at £12980 and are only  payable to spouses or civil partners of the deceased or parents,  if the deceased was under 18. In Scotland, eligibility for bereavement damages is much wider and damages are decided on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances of the death. They think that this is more likely to end in a just result. They’re right.

Some more advice. If you want to give a bloke a permanent asbestos related disease which leaves  his lungs scarred and creates a lifelong fear of developing a more serious, potentially fatal illness,  make sure you do it in England. You won’t have to pay him a penny. In Scotland you would have to compensate him on the basis that it would be the right  thing  to do.

Ah justice, that old chestnut. Very last year. Haven’t you heard up there that  certainty and predictability now  trump justice. Do keep up chaps.

A dead giveaway  that justice was the last thing on this Government’s mind was  the creation of the  Ministry of Justice.Golden rule- if it’s in the name it will be last thing it aspires to.  Just as democracy was the last thing on the minds of the meglomaniacs  who created  the  Democratic  People’s Republic of Korea or The Democratic Republic of Congo who, interestingly   were all educated  at the same public schools that produced the senior civil servants that run the MOJ.

Whenever you hear that other Orwellian phrase so beloved of Home Office politicians “Access to Justice” you just know that behind the scenes every conceivable barrier to that end is being hastily erected. Justice comes  at a price and we’re not paying it.

Scotland decided to stay in the Union this time but there’s no danger of there ever being a union of our legal systems. They’ve got far too much to lose.





6 thoughts on “The Big News: My Blog’s arrived …oh, and err Scotland votes No.”

  1. I`m glad Scotland said No! They have some great salmon rivers and I wouldnt have room for a passport with all my fishing kit!

  2. I pondered the result of the Scottish referendum then the blinding truth dawned whilst watching a programme about Berwick on Tweed

    James 6th of Scotland became James 1st of the unified country. I had always known that but it was intriguing to hear what actions were taken following the union.

    The truth is that it wasn’t a referendum on independence for Scotland so much as whether the English were released from the yoke of Scottish MP’s and voters.

    An unusual slant I admit

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