NAME AND SHAME

A guest article from Neale Hanvey MP. Some time ago there were calls for an MP to use Parliamentary Privilege to out the complainants in the Alex Salmond trial. At the time Neale contacted me and promised me an article to explain why this was not as simple as many thought it would be. A man of his word this is his article.

Name and shame

The ‘Salmond affair’ and the ongoing fallout following Alex’s acquittal [and it can’t be said too often – on all charges and by a majority female jury] has raised many serious questions about the operation and priorities of government in Scotland. 

Not least amongst those questions are concerns about the doctrine of the separation of the powers. That is government executive, judiciary, and legislature and whether the wheels of justice in Scotland are currently fit for purpose or indeed safe.

My parliamentary colleague and former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has led real progress in parliament securing in principle support from the UK Government ministers including the Prime Minister himself to any request from the Scottish Government should it seek to amend the Scotland Act and facilitate a remedy for this most fundamental tenet of democracy and justice. 

That neither the SNP spokesperson for justice nor their spokesperson to the Attorney General’s office attended his recent adjournment debate on this most serious of matters, demonstrates a worrying level of disconnect. It may be plausible that the relevance of the subject matter to their respective roles and their party could be down to unfamiliarity with the new territory. However, the significance of the debate was not missed by their single predecessor, Joanna Cherry QC MP, making her usual learned contribution to the debate.

So that brings me back to the Scottish Government and their to-date-silence on taking any remedial action to restore much needed confidence in Scottish Justice.

In short, “First Minister, what say you about democracy and justice?” 

Amongst other things the doctrine exists to protect the principal institutions of governance and of course to ensure there is no overreach or undue influence. It’s not solely to prevent despot’s diktat and tyranny, it provides a means for government to be able to demonstrate transparency, integrity, and legitimacy. 

In the presence of the doctrine any hint or inference of bias, influence or gerrymandering can be quickly dispelled. In its absence such concerns can fester undermining confidence in all organs of a democracy. Such a loss of trust can be utterly catastrophic to the freedoms we often take for granted. 

The point I am making here is that the doctrine of the separation of powers is the foundation of justice in a functioning democracy. And the simple fact is that given all of the above I can only conclude that the current Scottish Government are laissez-faire, at best, about this essential democratic hallmark. 

That should concern every single one of us.

Such concerns about justice and overreach were drawn into sharp relief recently when Craig Murray was jailed for the contempt of Jigsaw Identification. For me the injustice in Craig’s case centres on the impossibility for the contempt to be accurately specified because doing so would commit the very same contempt Craig has been imprisoned for. 

It is a cruel cyclical argument that has left an elderly gentleman in prison who does not believe he has had a detailed explanation and therefore a necessary understanding of why he is being so harshly punished. 

Like any jigsaw, many pieces are required for identification, yet despite opinion polls identifying many others as the source of complainant identification, no one else has yet been charged, never mind convicted.

This brings me to the substance of this piece and the question at its heart. As an MP should I or indeed any other MP sympathetic to these concerns use the provision of parliamentary privilege to name the complainants and circumvent the anonymity conferred to them in the Alex Salmond trial by Lady Dorrian following Alex Salmond’s trial.

Before I give you my current view on this, I just want to briefly set out what parliamentary privilege is and what it’s not. 

Like much of what passes as UK constitutional law, what parliamentary privilege actually is has never been fully set out in statute, and how it applies is subject to the courts. What does exist in statutory form is Article IX of the Bill of Rights 1689, which states that “the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place outside Parliament.” However, what constitutes a “proceeding” is not something to be defined in the mind of each MP. 

The reality is that the boundaries of “proceedings” are a decision for the courts and thus far the interpretation of that has been narrow. It’s also important to point out that MPs do not enjoy any form of immunity from criminal law should they stray, however inadvertently, into such territory. 

I hope this makes clear that parliamentary privilege is not something any MP can invoke at will and must be used with caution and advisably after obtaining expert legal counsel 

The next matter I want to be considered is, what would naming complainants actually achieve? The obvious answer to this is that it may provide a sense of satisfaction that those who, as alleged by many, gave false testimony against Alex Salmond during his trial are ‘named and shamed’.

That could be true, but I would follow up such a question with another. Is that what parliamentary privilege is really for? I don’t think it is, but I also don’t think that it would achieve that outcome. 

Even if I stood up during an appropriate proceeding to name complainants, I would firstly need to have robust evidence that they were indeed complainants. Not based on Jigsaw ID, not based on rumour or hearsay, real verifiable evidence. Evidence I do not currently possess. Furthermore, I am not in possession of compelling evidence that anyone has been deliberately lying in their testimony – and anyway, that is a judgement for the courts.

It is also an almost certainty that any such utterances would be censored from broadcast and would certainly not make it into print or online media. What would be printed is a story about a ‘reckless MP who misused an important privilege as a vicious vendetta to attack complainants’. That would be the story, and for the reasons I have given above it would also be true. 

What makes this truth undeniable is the impact on complainants in other actions who have been granted anonymity. Breaching the anonymity of the Salmond complainants would not be an isolated act. It would reverberate intrusively into the lives and cases of vulnerable people across Scotland whose need for anonymity is unknown and unknowable to me but is something I must consider and honour. 

And this leads me neatly to the Seven Principles of Public Life that all MPs are required to observe. 

I won’t detail an argument for or against each principle here, but whilst I can mount a defence under each clause in favour of naming complainants, once the additional dimension of other cases and complainants is introduced all my arguments fall because such an endeavour would use all those who have or may need anonymity as a mere means for my own narrow interests and ends. And any failure to consider the consequences of my actions on them is not morally defensible.

I am extremely uncomfortable with any freelance journalists being imprisoned anywhere in the world, but calls for me or other MPs to [mis]use parliamentary privilege to name the Salmond complainants must be resisted; the principle of anonymity for witnesses in cases of alleged sexual crimes is and must remain inviolable. 

I also understand and share the frustration and anger of those who see glaring injustice in the pursuit of Alex Salmond, but again attempting to circumvent the law could impede progress towards the truth and do further harm to justice more generally in Scotland.

Naming the alleged complainers won’t solve anything much but could further damage our freedoms and protections and as Craig Murray has sadly discovered these are not as inviolable as many of us had assumed. 

If I really believed that naming complainants would be lawful and helpful I would do so. But I can’t complain about the foundations of democracy while simultaneously taking the law into my own hands, especially when the moral case is so obviously flaky. 

There are no easy solutions or quick fixes, but the starting point is precisely where Kenny is working from at present. To deliver the doctrine of separation of powers. Only then can we again have confidence that truth and justice exist and are protected by the proper balance on the principal institutions of democracy.

So, while the Scottish Government continue in their failure to address their own fundamental shortcomings the story is by no means over yet and the truth has a way of surfacing when you least expect it. 

“Courage calls to courage everywhere.” Resist and hope. 

MY COMMENTS

I very much appreciate Neale taking the time to spell out his views. Any fair reading of his article must agree it would not be as simple and uncomplicated as many would think. I agree it would most certainly face a media blackout in Britain as the Unionist UK MEDIA are intent in harming Alex Salmond and would do nothing to bolster his position. They also seem very supportive of the First Minister as well at the moment. Make of that what you will. Another reason of course may well be a lack of the evil vindictiveness needed and an unwillingness to live in the gutter currently inhabited by the other side.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.

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62 thoughts on “NAME AND SHAME

  1. I’m glad Neale wrote this article. It puts forward, clearly and succinctly, the reasons why he won’t use parliamentary privilege to out the alphabet women. If they are named, then it puts all women who have been sexually assaulted in a very vulnerable position. That is what these women, aided and abetted by the powers that be; legal, political and governmental, have relied on. That is what those who continue to smear Alex Salmond by innuendo remain reliant upon. History will not be kind to them. I’m glad that Neale refuses to join them in the gutter. Neither will I. Yesterday,
    I read with real sadness, verging on despair, a rape victim’s personal account of her dreadful assault and its continued effect on her life, and the reasons why she felt unable to seek help from the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre. The words that should chill each and every one of us reading are as follows; “I wanted to contact the police, to tell his victims it’s not their fault, that I hoped they wouldn’t blame themselves as I did. But I live in Scotland. I don’t trust the police.” Welcome to Nicola Sturgeon’s (a supposed feminist) Scotland.

    Liked by 16 people

  2. At some point in a battle/fight you have to realise that the other guy is winning because they are not following any set of rules.
    There is no moral high ground in a street fight. The “gentleman” is usually the one on the ground bleeding.

    Sorry to be blunt but Westminster, Whitehall, the Media and now Bute House are fighting dirty and the imprisonment of Craig Murray and the relentless attacks on Alex Salmond prove my point.
    Women’s Rights will also be lost on the alter of following “ reasonable debate”.

    Know when you are in a Street Fight and react appropriately if you want to survive.

    In summary – it maybe the correct course of action NOT to use the privilege route BUT you don’t tell the guy trying to gouge out your eyes that you are not going to use it!
    Take NOTHING off the table. Keep ALL options open.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. There are hard truths in what you say, Clootie. Who in their right mind, after everything we’ve witnessed recently in Scotland, actually believes that the independence movement isn’t being battered, blow-after-blow, into submission by powerful assailants who have no consideration in their tactics and overall strategy, for “gentlemanly” rules?

      Liked by 8 people

  3. One thing I would like Neale or Kenny to bring up though I realise it may be the wrong parliament for it, is that a new law should be introduced to give defendants in sex trials anonymity unless and until a guilty verdict is reached. I understand why complainants are given life long anonymity but this really should be extended to defendants who are acquitted. Of course had that been the case, Alex Salmond would never have seen the inside of a court room as the whole point was to smear him.

    As for the leaking of the details before Alex could get his interdict re the Civil Service investigation, there needs a criminal investigation and charges laid. Of course this time there would be no anonymity for anyone.

    Liked by 15 people

  4. I thought the idea was about presenting using parliamentary privilege that evidence which was not heard at the criminal trial and suppressed since by the Crown Office?

    Liked by 7 people

      1. YES O P and this is where we will ALWAYS fail , this obfuscation of why parliamentary privilege was called for was NOT to name the accusers but to get evidence out that was suppressed and showed the collusion and manipulation that highlighted the depth and involvement of certain individuals , with that information available it COULD then have resulted in an investigation which THEN would determine if any or all of the accusers were ENTITLED to their anonimity . There is NO set criteria of who should be granted the anonymity or the conditions that MUST be adhered to for the continuation of that anonymity , so a decision could be made on a individual basis if the person involved had deliberately lied or committed perjury . This BLANKET ANONYMITY for all accusers in perpetuity is what is permitting and encouraging the continuous smearing and denigration of a man CLEARED by a jury of his peers

        Liked by 3 people

  5. An extremely interesting and concise presentation of the rationale for not using so-called Parliamentary Privilege to name the women in the Alex Salmond case. I can also see the potential adverse impact this could have (note “could”) on other women and other cases.

    My only qualification to my generally wholehearted agreement with this position is when Neale asks what would be the purpose of revealing the names, other than “vengeance”. My explanation is simple. The general public have been given a “story” by the MSM about this case, perpetuated continually by ongoing smears from a number of these women who hide behind their anonymity and several non-journalists in Scotland’s appalling media. THIS is not Justice in any way.

    By releasing to the public exactly who these women are (I say this based on my own jig-saw identification of at least 6 of the women – ant that’s without any serious attempt to find out who they are) we would all see that they are a tight knit group extremely close to the First Minister. These are NOT a wide selection of women who Alex Salmond sought out (see the polis investigation of over 400 women, 700+ interviews, 20 officers, and a massive trawl of 20+ years of Salmond’s political career = NOTHING. You’d think he was a mass murderer).

    So the only justification I have is that this would uncover the conspiracy. Give it WAS a political conspiracy (in my view) I am less sure it would make much difference to other women in a genuine sexual assault trial. But, I am not a women, and even though I think justice would be served if these women were held to account for they actions, I would defer to the opinions of women if they would NOT wish their identities to be exposed.

    Liked by 15 people

  6. That is an excellent explanation from Neale and I agree with it.

    There must be checks and balances in a democracy so the separation powers is fundamental. It is why we have executive, legislature and judiciary in the first place. It is also why having the Lord Advocate fulfilling a position in the government cabinet to advise on legal matters whilst at the same time prosecuting cases involving that government is a nonsense and, more importantly, so dangerous as it is obviously open to manipulation.

    In addition we can’t willy-nilly reveal the name of complainants either as this, as Neale says, would compromise the rights of others. In the Salmond case this is frustrating as clearly some of the complainants have been abusing their privilege of anonymity to continue the smearing of the man with articles via newspapers or via press releases from non-governmental agencies. It is only fair that if their anonymity is to be preserved the complainants, and their sympathisers or advocates, should be banned from acting in this fashion.

    Lastly, the anonymity provided to complainants should also be extended to the accused, at least until that person is convicted. If the person is acquitted then that anonymity should remain for all time (just like for the complainants). A more obvious justification for providing this anonymity to those accused then acquitted there could not be that Alex Salmond who continues to be defamed nearly 18 months after the criminal trial ended (witness the Times serialisation of extracts of the book by two well know press political commentators at the weekend).

    We need common sense and fairness put back into our legal system toute suite.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Yes, “Craig Murray was jailed for the contempt of Jigsaw Identification”

    I think the real reason Craig was incarcerated was because after Salmond’s acquittal Craig Murray had instructed, at his own expense, Craig Sandison QC to draft an application to court to lift the anonymity of specific accusers shown in court to give false testimony.

    Less than a week later Craig was charged!

    That is why he was imprisoned and the one piece jigsaw the excuse.

    The clique must be protected.

    Expect the narrative around Lesley Evans unfair, unlawful, biased investigation to now be used to placate public opinion in advance of the removal of jury trials in rape cases.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. 1st August to be celebrated annually as ‘Craig Murray Day’ – in recognition of his services to the Scottish Law System.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. A moral, virtuous and just legal system is where all societies should aim.

    But that is not where we are with the Scottish legal system. It is a weapon being viciously and malignly used to destroy political opponents, and in doing so destroys the justice system. And that unfortunately is where we are.

    Sitting playing by the concepts of justice and fairness might be moral. But when the justice systems stamps on your face what do you do. Or if the police what do you do. Not everyone is prepared to have their face disfigured and stand back for years playing the gentleman’s game against a rotten system.

    Yes changing the system is the answer. Doing it peacefully, within a just rule of law when the rule of law is bent and corrupt. That is the difficulty and our law is without bent and corrupt.

    Someone once said in Northern Ireland that against the institutional oppression the only way to change things was to turn the place shitty. Well that certainly happened with 30 years of misery as the British machine played its war games instead of dealing with the basic unfair politics and oppression that was driving things.

    It took international intervention to bring about and end to the conflict and to have the weaponry taken out of the chaos. But the British Army did not stand down its weapons and now after over twenty years of the Good Friday Agreement the British want to break that agreement, and it seems from earlier legislation, put the military back into Northern Ireland.

    And what all of this shows is that the British are very bad actors. What they did in Ireland by murky clandestine activities they are doing in Scotland. Media controls, fake news, jailing political opponents, and in the background infiltrating and no doubt blackmailing and bribing as required to suppress valid political expression.

    Pursuing a just legal system, and being seen to be doing so, as Neale Hanvey sets out is the way to go. Just don’t however forget that there will be many along the way who will get a vicious kicking.Craig Murray Alex Salmond, Mark Hirst being examples.

    And many thanks to Neale Hanvey for such an informative piece.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. The Bill of rights 689 is English constitutional law and has nothing to do with Scotland. It is akin to citing the Magna Carts. In Scotland it is the CLAIM of rights 1689. A completely different thing altogether. Why is an Alba MP citing English law? Given he is supposed to be championing the reassertion of Scotland’s statehood this is rather worrying. Is he a believer in the English sole continuator state narrative which claims Scotland was extinguished and subsumed into a greater England albeit under the new name of UK? It would appear so.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Probably because the English Bill of Rights, and the Scottish Claim of Right Act are different. There are common themes, so some clauses/claims/paragraphs are equivalent, but some are distinct to the Scots Act, some to the English Act.

      In this case, the clause in the English Act has no equivalent in the Scottish Act, so it is only the English Bill of Rights which (obviously) provides that cover/protection within the GB/UK Parliament. Unless one can point to Scots case law regarding the proceedings in the old Scots Parliament.

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1689/28/contents
      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1689/28/body

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Except English law cannot be imposed on Scotland and vice versa. The constitutions of both countries are to be upheld as are their legal systems as per the terms of the treaty. Scots representatives should NOT be using English law. English law is irrelevant to Scotland. If something is not within Scots law then it should not be applied. It is the same nonsense with citing parliamentary sovereignty which folk cite without question but there is no parliamentary sovereignty in the treaty. And conventions are not laws.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. He uses the English legal term Complainant repeatedly also. In Scotland its Complainer. And its judgment not judgement.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I believe Gayle is right.

      As we know in Scotland, the old Scots Parliament voted itself out of existence in 1707 BUT SO DID ALSO the former EnglIsh Parliament in 1707 so that a united Parliament of Great Britain could be created to regulate all the business aspects defined within the Treaty of Union between the two separate states.

      Few people know that and the fact that the new British Parliament continued to sit in London and adopt most of its English predecessor’s practices simply adds to the story that England “took over” Scotland, with a relative handful of Scots MPs now entitled to sit at Westminster.

      I too am disappointed that Neale used an in appropriate piece of pre-1707 English legislation in his arguments.

      Like

  10. Brave men find reasons to act, cowards make up excuses. Hanvey states that he has no compelling evidence that anyone was ‘deliberately lying’…Either woman H or Alex’s defense witnesses clearly lied, you can’t both be in a building and not in a building simultaneously. That other witnesses supported Alex, and the Jury accepted their account tells anyone with justice at the heart of their argument that a criminal investigation for contempt or perversion should have followed.
    As for not knowing who the women are, go read Craig Murray’s blogs, apparently it’s all there. Or better still, just ask Alex or anyone else who was in court.
    Hanvey would have been better not writing this for me, now I know what he is, just another head in the trough finding personal reasons not to do what’s in the public interest.

    Liked by 10 people

  11. So the alphabetties and sturgeon are just going to get away with it ? Giving them free reign to continue to lie and smear.

    I am just going to remind everyone – if they do get away with it – then you could be next. That is why they need named and the sooner the better.

    The Moorov doctrine is now forever tainted and I doubt it could ever again be used in court. This is yet another reason that the alphabetties should be named, shamed and then jailed. Especially women ‘H’.

    Liked by 10 people

  12. I find it hard to get my head around Nicola Sturgeon wanted to have Alex locked up in jail, but I do believe there was evil afoot here in trying to stop Alex from coming to prominence once more and starting a new party that would push the independence agenda, (now Alba, sadly a little late of the starting blocks because of the trial). whoever orchestrated this stitch-up, are now left with egg all over their faces, the trial was a farce for the women, they looked anything but confident, mature, Civil Servants.

    You said in your last blog, Iain, that you were glad the gloves have come off, (I agree). but can I play devil’s advocate here? The timing could not be better, the Alba party is to hold its inaugural conference, soon, this will be all over the new “Alex fights back”. There is no bad publicity. Bring it on Alex.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I see that the Alba Party is already taking flack from the mainstream (English) media. seems they are not at all happy about alba having their inaugural conference (other than online) – I take it they do not like the idea of it being on the television as it will have to be if the mainstream television broadcasters show any of the other conferences from other parties. Why, oh why, can’t Sturgeon get her head out of her arse and get on with the job she was given to do in 2014, indiref2? (I wonder how much of the money designated for the NHS will come to Scotland through the Barnett Consiquensials?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sorry but I don’t buy all this stuff by Neale. If Neale wants to play fair by Westminster and the Britnat rules then he is in the correct place taking his seat in London.

    If he wants to go down the Ghandi route of the moral high ground then I would point out it gets a bit cold in London for going barefoot and wearing a white cloth instead of a suit.

    Meanwhile the Britnats are brazenly breaking the law by publishing that book. Sturgeon is making it clear that she will keep attacking Salmond and Alba by foul means. She doesn’t do fair. A blogger once told me years ago that Sturgeon was a power mad nutter. As the years have passed it’s hard to argue against that.

    Apart from that Sturgeon herself said on national TV during election campaigning thst she knew the alphabetties were very upset about Salmond being back in politics because a lot of them ARE her friends. Just a brazen admission by a woman who believes she is all powerful and knows she has the Britnat media on her side and probably the justice system as well.

    Sturgeon couldn’t care less about the seperation of powers in a democracy. She just wants all the powers.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. While Neale argues the moral aspect very well, the part that stuck out for me, was where he pointed out that the media would not publish the names, and the story would become about a ‘reckless MP’ driving a horse and cart through court orders which are widely understood by the public to be in place for the purpose of keeping genuine victims safe.

      It would backfire on us big time.

      I would however like Neale to argue about the censorship at the trial. Only approved ‘journalists’ on a specified list were allowed full access to the trial. Craig Murray was actively prevented in the initial stages.

      Likewise, the blanket ban on the contents of the defence evidence – as a separate entity from identifying the complainers – the defence evidence content could and should be more widely dispersed, in accordance with the legal precident ‘justice must be seen to be done’

      Liked by 7 people

  14. It is a complicated case or is it, it boils down to an innocent man was framed,went to court and in a court of law was proven innocent.It was proven in one case (the most serious accusation) beyond any doubt whatsoever that the accuser was not in the building never mind present when the alleged offence was said to have occurred.The accuser has not even been spoken to by the police.Perjury is a very serious offence and deserves a lengthy period of imprisonment.It is this and all the other accusations that were presented to a jury who dismissed them all that is at the heart of this matter.Yet we have anonymous sniping in the media and a First Minister in Scotland who does not accept the verdict,a very dangerous precedent for a supposedly neutral Government.We elect politicians to protect our interests,yet none of them are campaigning to obtain justice for the man who was wrongly accused.This sends out a chilling message to each and everyone of us in Scotland that false accusations can be made against anyone yet there will be no retribution even though an innocent persons life could be ruined in the process.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. One point that Neale and co could start to hit back with, is exactly what part of legal due process do they have an issue with, with regards the verdict in the Alex Salmond trials.

      For example, usual interview proceeds as follows, smear, smear, smear on Alex….

      Reply, ‘sorry, exactly what part of the trial procedures are you suggesting were lacking – you surely cannot be casting dispersions on the jury. I’m sure the majority of female jurors are fully aware of what constitutes sexual assault.

      So what part, the Police enquiry, the Fiscal’s presentation of the evidence? Which part please.

      Removal of juries from Sexual Offence Trials – sorry Juries are an essential part of the judicial process throughout the world – for the simple reason – it is much harder to nobble them, than one compliant judge.

      Police separate from the Fiscal Service, separate from the Judiciary….

      That could never happen in Scotland – sorry, you obviously haven’t heard about the malicious prosecution of Rangers recently – it involved the Police, it involved the Fiscal Service, and the head of the Fiscal Service went on from there to be come a High Court Judge…

      Liked by 8 people

  15. Neale makes a very good argument for doing nothing. Nothing isn’t acceptable though, I hope there are other moves afoot. Maybe Alex’s legal case against the Daily Record leak might be the loose thread that unravels the entire tangled web?

    Liked by 12 people

  16. “Hieronymus” said, “When the system fails, righteous men will rise up.”. The system in Scotland has failed, Those that caused the failure will be held to account. I hope they will be held to account by a new Justice system after Independence.

    Liked by 9 people

  17. Wee video of Marion and Joanna’s arrival at Glasgow Sherriff Court. I debated going to support but I’ve a higher risk of Covid complications so am supporting from afar.

    @SevenHex – a transexual against self id.

    “.the biggest transphobe and homophobe in Scotland is heading into Glasgow for her day in court…with a gay man and a transsexual in her car.”

    Breaking – case deferred to 4th Oct

    @IndyScotParty

    “Case deferred to 4th Oct to allow court to consider arguments relating to human rights”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. IMHO, Scotland’s legal Establishment lacks moral defensability, as their legal practice has pretty much been emptied of all respect for the Moral law, so as to accommodate the demands of English legal and political culture.

    Towards a defensible relationship between the content of socioeconomic rights and the separation of powers: conflation or separation?
    centaur.reading.ac.uk/94546/1/Content%20and%20Separation%20of%20Powers%20FINAL%20CentAUR(dot)pdf

    Liked by 3 people

  19. In the natural world, offspring tend to display characteristics of each parent, but not British constitutional law. So British constitutional law simply does not provide Scotland with the legal tools needed to defend itself from English nationalism.

    In order for constitutionalism to be democratic it needs to be dilogical, i.e. a conversation. Brexit turns the British constitution into a monologue of right-wing English nationalism, with no potential for alternative moral positions. So how on earth Scotland’s government and judicial system hope to support the interests of justice and democracy, while standing under a constitutional order predicated on a rejection of Natural law, is simply beyond me.

    A Law Professor’s Guide to Natural Law and Natural Rights
    https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2245&context=facpub

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Just one query, Neale.

    You refer to a pre-union Bill of Rights in the English Parliament. Was this incorporated into the post union, newly created Parliament of Great Britain?

    What authority does a Bill passed by a different legal entity have for a different legal entity? English Parliament to British Parliament. If it does have authority and automatically transfers, may we Scots quote the pre union legal legislation of the pre union Scots Parliament and apply it across Great Britain via the Parliament of Great Britain?

    I am aware however that the so-called Henry VIII rules of pre union England were eventually formally adopted by the British Parliament – and therefore really shouldn’t be called Henry VIII rules. There was no Henry VIII of GB. But this would imply that the 1689 Bill of Rights wouldn’t automatically have authority post union.

    Liked by 8 people

  21. One correction. Should have written ‘What authority does one legal entity have for a separate legal entity?’
    Texting on the train!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. P.S. Does the Scottish government not have access to constitutional expertise that isn’t conditioned to view British constitutionalism as representative of the contemporary legal universe?

    Liked by 6 people

  23. These women should be named and anonymity removed from such cases. We gave women this special privilege and they’ve abused it.

    Liked by 7 people

  24. “To deliver the doctrine of separation of powers. Only then can we again have confidence that truth and justice exist and are protected by the proper balance on the principal institutions of democracy.”

    As some other comments above imply, Neale Hanvey in this aspect appears to disregard the colonial reality of the situation, where the native cannot expect justice in any colonial system (Fanon; Memmi etc).

    So long as Scotland’s ‘principal institutions’ remain colonial in terms of leadership, nature, culture, values and more, oppression of the people will continue. Any ‘separation of powers’ whilst all ‘principal institutions’ remain under colonialism clearly does not alter this.

    Which raises the question as to whether or not Scotland’s national representatives actually understand what national independence is?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Alf re your last sentence – too right they don’t seem to grasp what independence is. It means being independent not jumping to the tune of the Britnats and their laws, customs, constitutional arrangements and history. This may cause some upset and consternation to a lot of Britnats. But so what – do people really think independence will be gained without a lot of people being angry about it. The UK is not Czechoslovakia. Nasty fascists like in Spain are in charge in Westminster.

      The SNP have bottled it.

      Liked by 9 people

  25. The appointment of the Lord Advocate has always been a political appointment. In recent times past it was very much a party political appointment of an active politician who once appointed had the power to appoint himself to the become a Senator of the College of Justice, which they frequently did, and sometimes appointed themsleves to become Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General. I don’t recall the ALBA MPs in a former life making this a burning issue although it is clearly an affront to the principle of a separation of powers. Why now?

    In an independent Scotland our written constitution will address this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. During Alex’s leadership, the LA only attended the cabinet when there was an explicit point of law that was being considered. He DID in fact separate the roles

      Liked by 10 people

  26. I’m under the impression that parliamentary privilege is for saying things that you’re not allowed to say in other arenas of life, so say what has to be said Mr Neale. There’s no such thing as taking the higher moral ground where Westminster or Sturgeon and her clique are concerned, they have and will play dirty right to the bitter end, and if you want independence you’ll need to play dirty back for acting all righteous will only lead to failure.

    Anyone who thinks that we’ll get out of this rancid union by playing to Westminster’s rules is kidding themselves on. Liars should not be allowed to hide behind the law.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. So, Graeme attacks Alba MPs for attacking the conflict of interest vested in the Lord Advocate, which conflict of interest he himself suggests he opposes.

    What kind of New SNP loon ball thinking is this where SNP members attack folks they say they agree with.

    A bit like saying you support independence and then supporting the Union.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. I fear that the legal system will fail Marion Miller. The aggressive cult of Nicola Sturgeon has destroyed the institutions of Scotland. Every Agency is directed to close down public debate. The case of Craig Murray was only the start. With Marion Miller the intent is to create fear for citizens that aggressive prosecutions will fall on ANYONE who challenges the Sturgeon Empire and her cult doctrine.

    If you are not concerned about democracy in Scotland then you have not been paying attention!

    Liked by 4 people

  29. I would also like to ask Neale and any other ALBA official what their feelings and opinions are on the CONSTANT refusal to allow the electorate to be informed on anything by rolling out the usual pish of ( not in the public’s interest ) just WTF do these people think they are , as their employers WE the taxpayers DEMAND to know anything and everything that affects and impacts on our lives , the constant trotting out and use of that statement ALWAYS precedes the cover up of someone or something acting against the electorates interest , the constant use of THAT and the REDACTOR pen should be banned in ANY Scottish Parliament and anyone using them should be sacked

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Can I thank everyone for their contributions above, I am genuinely grateful to everyone for taking the time to consider and respond. Great stuff!.

    I’ve jotted down a few of my initial reflections on some of the points raised here and via email and hope to draft a postscript for Iain in response to some of the thoughtful comments.

    I should be clear I am absolutely not avoiding tough choices, but for them to have effect, timing is everything. I think it’s pretty clear I have serious reservations about much of the Salmond affair, but as a public figure I have to be very cautious about what I say. I am not much use if I also find myself in jail.

    The purpose behind writing this piece was a direct response to calls from some quarters to ‘name and shame’ complainants and therefore it is quite deliberately framed in that very narrow way.

    What I would say is that the opinion set out is explicitly stated as my ‘current’ position and is by no means fixed. The barriers to taking such action are also explicit in the piece and are centred on my personal possession of strong evidence.

    So for example – and purely for illustrative purposes – if I was passed a body of evidence that demonstrated connivance and conspiracy then that would challenge entirely the defence of anonymity I have put forward.

    Firstly this would demonstrate criminal collusion, an abuse of the courts and justice system and a belittling of the seriousness of such crimes and that of ‘real’ victims.

    My position is relatively simple. If I do not have robust evidence, then it is hearsay and subject to ridicule which would only hamper justice for Alex and Craig. However, if I was to find myself in possession of compelling evidence as indicated, then that would change the complexion of my considerations entirely.

    This has been very useful in helping to clarify some of my thoughts further. Please do not hesitate to further this discussion, or get in touch if you have any advice or information you believe would rhelpprogress these matters.

    Sliánte mhath

    Neale

    Liked by 3 people

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