by ‘Eck

Is it not a strange thing that Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP, a party founded to seek independence from English rule is now defending the Union?

This is how the bizarre situation has arisen.

During the negotiations that led toward the Acts of Union (1707), Scotland was guaranteed that the Court of Session would “remain in all time coming within Scotland” but also that Scots law would “remain in the same force as before”. What that means is that only the Scots legal system can choose to prostrate itself before another legal system…

…but then last week, the UK Supreme Court passed ruling on a case over which – according to the terms of the Act (article XIX) which made Scots submit to their southern neighbours – they have absolutely no jurisdiction.

Now, I’m no lawyer or constitutional expert but everything seems to boil down to this: either the ‘British’, by which we mean the ‘English’ government in Westminster, accepts that it has no right to dictate over Scots law or, in continuing to insist that it can, the Westminster government invalidates its claim to want to see a continuance of Union by invalidating at least one of the clauses of the Act of Union.

Perhaps this is why various pro-Union newspapers that have reported on this strange state of affairs are adopting ever more contorted ways of arguing against the Nationalist position. This week: human rights (note how the comments section on this article have been turned off?). It should be noted that as Scotland is part of the UK and therefore, part of Europe, there is no mention in the Nationalist’s argument of opting out of human rights legislation. None at all.

As First Minister, Alex Salmond is constitutionally bound to defend the Scots legal system (having the power to appoint the Chief Legal Officers of the Scottish Government) but in doing so, he seems to be doing David Cameron’s job. All in all, maybe it’s time to revisit that 304-year-old legislation and have a rethink…

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One thought on “by ‘Eck

  1. Told you. Just one day after and The Scotsman newspaper has printed an article that is a sort of ‘whoops’, being both an admission that within the terms of the UK’s founding and within current legislation being passed through the English parliament, Scotland does have an independent legal system. Did you also notice how the quote from the Justice Minister was slid under the posts there? A pro-independence politician is quoted as saying: “What we want is to be in the same situation as other countries. We want to be a normal European country…” No denial of European laws; no intention of breaching human rights. Unionists are really going to have to try harder to get their sh*t together before the referendum is launched… not that most Scots haven’t made up their minds already.

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