Thursday, May 01, 2014

IN THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS: Hidden links between Scotland’s wealthy judges & big business begin to emerge as Scottish Parliament consider proposals to create a register of judicial interests

Top judge forced to publish limited disclosures of judicial conflicts of interest. INCREASING revelations in the media of undeclared links between Scotland’s wealthy, unaccountable judges and big business, as well as undeclared earnings, secret relationships, undeclared criminal convictions and links to offshore trusts have forced top judge, the Lord President Lord Brian Gill to publish a limited amount of information on how judges recuse themselves from conflict of interests in cases being heard in Scottish Courts.

The move to disclose recusal data only came about after Lord Gill gave an undertaking on the issue to MSPs of the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee who are currently investigating proposals contained in Petition PE1458: Register of Interests for members of Scotland's judiciary. The petition calls for judges to declare all their interests in a published publicly available register of judicial interests.

An Exclusive investigation by the Sunday Herald newspaper revealed Sheriff Principal Alistair Dunlop QC who is in charge of courts in Tayside, Central & Fife, held shares in supermarket giant Tesco while hearing a case against the same company. The articles by journalist Paul Hutcheon also go on to detail significant shareholdings of Scotland’s top judge Lord Gill, who is hostile to the creation of a register of judicial interests:

Pressure grows for register of judges' interests as sheriff hears Tesco case while holding shares in company

Paul Hutcheon Investigations Editor Sunday 27 April 2014

A senior sheriff presided over a court hearing involving Tesco at the same time as he held shares in the multi-national supermarket giant.

Sheriff Principal Dunlop QC did not absent himself because having shares in a company that is party to a court action does not require a member of the judiciary to step down from a case.

A Holyrood committee is considering proposals that would require judges and sheriffs to publish their outside interests, including details of their finances.

Members of the judiciary, unlike other senior public servants, do not need to give any details of their external sources of income.

A self-regulating system governing the behaviour of the judiciary is in place instead, with judges and sheriffs taking an oath requiring them to "do right" by people "without fear or favour".

The Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics, issued in 2010, also notes that judges must act impartially and recuse, or remove, themselves in the event of a conflict of interest: "Plainly it is not acceptable for a judge to adjudicate upon any matter in which he, or she, or any members of his or her family has a pecuniary interest," it states.

However, senior members of the judiciary who are board members of the Scottish Courts Service (SCS) do have to submit details of their financial interests.

The rules require disclosure of items including membership of clubs and shareholdings whose value is worth more than £25,000 or greater than 1% of the issued share capital of the company. The value of the holding does not need to be registered.

Sheriff Principal Dunlop, whose territory spans Tayside, Central and Fife, is an SCS board member who declares shares in 29 firms.

These include well-known companies such as Vodafone, Royal Bank of Scotland, G4S, Diageo, Lloyds Banking and Weir Group. He also declares shares in Tesco.

In 2009, Falkirk council licensing board was in dispute with Tesco Stores Ltd - a subsidiary of the PLC - over a premises licence in a service station.

The supermarket giant appealed in 2010 and Sheriff Principal Dunlop, who held the Tesco shares at that time, oversaw a highly technical and procedural hearing in the case.

According to a spokesman for the local authority, the Sheriff remitted it back to the council and the application was subsequently granted by the board. Dunlop is a highly respected legal figure and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing or personal gain. However, the case has again thrown a spotlight on whether the system for declaring and registering judicial financial interests is satisfactory.

Peter Cherbi, a campaigner for judicial accountability, said: "It should be necessary for judges to declare all their interests and in even greater detail than politicians do."

Moi Ali, the outgoing Judicial Complaints Reviewer in Scotland, recently wrote to a Parliament committee to express her support for a register.

"An independent judiciary underpins a civilised society. But with independence goes accountability, and a register of interests is a mechanism for enhancing accountability."

The Judicial Office for Scotland (JOS) recently introduced a register of recusals, which shows cases where judges or sheriffs have absented themselves.

There have been four recusals since March. In a criminal case, Sheriff Veal recused himself as he was "personally known" to a witness.

Lady Wise recused herself from a high court case last week as she had previously acted for a relative of the accused.

A spokesperson for the JOS confirmed the Sheriff Principal held the Tesco shares at the time of the hearing. She added: "In the case involving Tesco and Falkirk Council Licensing Board, Sheriff Principal Dunlop dealt with a procedural issue in order to seek a pragmatic solution to a procedural matter and enable the case to proceed.

"There is well established case law to guide a judge or sheriff on when they should recuse in cases where they may hold shares in a company that is party to an action. Simply being a shareholder is not sufficient to require recusal.

"The Sheriff Principal quite properly dealt with the procedural matter as he was entitled to do and did not consider it necessary to recuse himself."

Revealed: shareholdings of the top judge opposed to register of interests

Paul Hutcheon Investigations Editor Sunday 27 April 2014

A top judge and staunch opponent of a register of interests for the judiciary has shareholdings in several investment funds.

Lord Gill, who has been critical of plans to require judges to publish their financial interests, made the declaration in his capacity as a board member of a courts quango.

It can also be revealed that his predecessor as Lord President, Lord Hamilton, declared shares in dozens of companies when he was in post.

In a written submission to the Scottish Parliament's public petitions committee, Lord Gill argued that a register of interests for judges and sheriffs was unnecessary, adding that their privacy could be impacted by "aggressive media or hostile individuals".

He wrote: "The establishment of such a register therefore may have the unintended consequence of eroding public confidence in the judiciary."

The Lord President declined Parliament's invitation to elaborate on his argument in person, a snub he was within his rights to deliver as judges cannot be compelled by law to give oral evidence to Holyrood. The Lord President instead agreed to a private meeting with MSPs.

However, despite his hostility to a register, Lord Gill is required as a Scottish Court Service (SCS) board member to declare shareholdings and membership of outside bodies. Other board members include Lord Justice Clerk Lord Carloway, Sheriff Principal Dunlop, Lord Bannatyne and sheriffs Iona McDonald and Grant McCulloch.

These registers have recently been made available to the Sunday Herald. Lord Gill, the de facto leader of Scotland's judges, declared shares in Henderson UK Growth Fund, Newton International Growth Fund, Aviva Investors UK Equity Fund, Terrace Hill Group and Vestry Court Ltd.

Sheriff McDonald declared shares in seven companies: pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, banks HBOS and Barclays, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Life, Unilever and Equiniti.

Lord Hamilton, who was Lord President until two years ago, registered shares in 33 firms in 2011. These included Barclays, BSkyB, BP, Centrica, Nestle SA and Rio Tinto.

Also listed were shares in Statoil ASA, National Grid, HSBC bank and Edinburgh Dragon Trust.

The declarations have raised the question of why, if Lord Gill and other senior colleagues can register financial interests as SCS board members, all judges and sheriffs cannot do the same.

However, in a letter to the Committee, Lord Gill said the SCS entries were an "entirely different" matter. "The requirement of those judicial office holders who are members of the SCS to register their interests arises in the context of their membership of a public body," he said. "The disclosure of their interests arises from their work as board members, which may involve the placing of contracts and employment questions. It is not related to their holding judicial office."

Chic Brodie, an SNP MSP, said: "This shows there is no consistency. There should be a consistent set of rules across the judiciary."

A spokesperson for the Judicial Office for Scotland declined to comment beyond Lord Gill's letter.

The Sunday Mail newspaper also reported on the UK legal first where recusals of judges are now published:

BENCHED: Judges reveal conflicts of interest

by Mark Aitken Sunday Mail 27 April 2014

Scotland's judges are coming clean when they have to step away from court cases because of a conflict of interests.

Scotland’s top judge has decided that for the first time the public can see online why judges and sheriffs have stood down from hearing criminal trials and civil actions.

It comes after the Sunday Mail told of MSPs' anger that the Lord President Lord Gill had dismissed calls for a judicial register of interests and snubbed invitations to discuss his position at a Holyrood committee.

The judiciary of Scotland's website lists four cases in the past month where a sheriff has decided not to hear a case. Reasons include a sheriff being known to a witness and a sheriff having previously represented a client in a civil case. The disclosure by Lord Gill, Scotland's most senior judge, follows his block on a judicial register of interests.

But campaigners say judges should reveal business, professional and financial links and do not believe the latest move goes far enough.

Peter Cherbi has called for a judicial register of interests, which could disclose hospitality, gifts and property, as well as personal or financial links to outside bodies.

He said: "The judiciary have the power to change public life, change the law or even throw out legislation passed by elected representatives. "Any group with such power can't be seen to exempt itself from the public's expectation of similar levels of transparency and accountability which apply to other branches of government and public life."

SNP MSP John Wilson said that until there was a full declarable register for judges, there would be doubts about "the interests that judges may be putting before the legal arguments".

Lord Gill has rejected calls for a register as he fears judges may be harassed by the media and has refused to attend Holyrood's public petitions committee

Petition PE1458: Register of Interests for members of Scotland's judiciary is due to be heard again at the Scottish Parliament next week on 6 May 2014.

Previous articles on the lack of transparency within Scotland’s judiciary, investigations by Diary of Injustice including reports from the Sunday Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers, and video footage of debates at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee can be found here : A Register of Interests for Scotland's Judiciary

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are no grounds to trust any judges who refuse to declare their interests

Anonymous said...

Very good.Its about time someone started looking into these judges.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting in the Sunday Herald about what Lord Gill has by way of investments.
I read back through some of your articles to find Lord Gill's letters to the msps and at no time does he tell them he has all these investments and probably a whole bunch of other interests he does not want to talk about in public.
As far as I can see Gill has no credibility left and same goes for the rest of the judges who failed to speak out on what Gill has been doing about your petition.

Anonymous said...

This shows everyone how rigged the justice system really is.These days only idiots use the courts and lawyers.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of Benched I wonder how many of the judges have secret shares or money or whatever interests in Scottish football clubs

Anonymous said...

Must pop into *co to see if they have a buy one get one free special on judges!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine what these judges have been up in during the past year of your petition probably trying to hide as much of it as possible and if anyone else did that they'd be in front of the same judge!

Crooks the lot!

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many houses and land these judges and their families own?
It'll be more than anyone else I reckon probably in lots of names to avoid tax and anyone finding out what they have.
Get it all exposed!

Anonymous said...

The massive elephant in the room that nobody seems willing to talk about is that Scottish Judges' word was accepted as sufficient proof that they were fair and impartial and had characters above reproach?

What has changed is that it is Scottish Judges themselves who have gone on an obcene, mad grab for cash by trying to multiply their exorbitant salary by involving themselves with a wide variety of businesses and individuals in their pursuit of greed?

If a Scottish Judge recuses himself because of a business link, then surely the Scottish Judge is responsible for buying shares etc and has brought his Office into disrepute?

In such circumstances the Scottish Judge should be sacked-on-the-spot for creating the need for the recusal (and all of the costs this creates for the Tax-Payer)?

The problem is that Scottish Judges have made themselves almost impossible to be considered fair and impartial because of the obscenity of their multiple association with business?

Whom ever has allowed this situation to exist should also be sacked-on-the-spot for failing the Tax-Payer?

This is a problem of the Scottish Judges own making and they will all have to declare these vested interests so that we can see how corrupt and widespread this corruption has become?

After all, the reason they are paid obscenely high salaries in the first place is because they cannot wheel and deal and pursue personal enrichment because to do so is to confirm that they are not fit to be a Scottish Judge?

Anonymous said...

I like your headline but I am left wondering if when these judges are together they will be as suspicious of each other as they are of us.

Every single judge has something to lose if this register of yours becomes law and this is why not one single judge has spoken out against Gill.

This has not happened anywhere else as usually one of them comes forward even in secret to inform on the others but here not.

Even when the scandal of MPs expenses broke the press got tips from some of the MPs who told on each other but not when it comes to the judges.All have remained silent like a criminal gang.

The judges have far too much to hide and cannot be trusted until it is all out in the open and even then this policy of Lord Gill to accuse everyone in an effort to stop the petition will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

"Lord Gill, the de facto leader of Scotland's judges, declared shares in Henderson UK Growth Fund, Newton International Growth Fund, Aviva Investors UK Equity Fund, Terrace Hill Group and Vestry Court Ltd.

Sheriff McDonald declared shares in seven companies: pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, banks HBOS and Barclays, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Life, Unilever and Equiniti."

He forgot to put all of that in his snotty letters to the Scottish Parliament didn't he.

Judges dont trust us so we cannot trust the judges.

Anonymous said...

No BBC again and all this detail!We know now not to trust the so-called nation's broadcaster!

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Principal Dunlop, whose territory spans Tayside, Central and Fife, is an SCS board member who declares shares in 29 firms.

These include well-known companies such as Vodafone, Royal Bank of Scotland, G4S, Diageo, Lloyds Banking and Weir Group. He also declares shares in Tesco.

Nice list of tax dodging firms there and bust banks bailed out by taxpayers.

Vodafone pay no tax

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/10525215/Vodafone-defends-zero-corporation-tax-bill.html

G4S as well - had to pay back £109million after the tagging scandal http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26541375

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/11/g4s-face-criminal-proceedings-tagging-justice-secretary

Weir Group gave bribes to Sadam Hussein http://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/dec/15/weir-group-fined-3-million-bribes-saddam-hussein-iraq

its all ok though so the judges just invest in them!

Good on the Sunday Herald and good on you for that petition!

Anonymous said...

"The judiciary have the power to change public life, change the law or even throw out legislation passed by elected representatives. "Any group with such power can't be seen to exempt itself from the public's expectation of similar levels of transparency and accountability which apply to other branches of government and public life.
==================================
So true Peter they must be held to account whether they like it or not.

Diary of Injustice said...

@ 1 May 2014 19:55

Members of the judiciary can be very 'creative' with helpful law firms & family links when it comes to property ownership and such investments ...

@ 1 May 2014 22:10

Could be a good angle on ethical investments by the judiciary ...

Anonymous said...

Any Scottish Sheriff or Judge with a portfolio of investments in self enrichment shares, bonds and gilts should be sacked forthwith?

How much does it cost in time and money to the Scottish Justice System every time their is a recusal?

It causes a hiatus in the case, where another Judge has to be selected and court dates are rearranged, with Scottish lawyers still billing the Justice System for their wasted time?

The Scottish Judges desparation to line their own pockets, could be costing the Scottish Tax Payer many Millions of Pounds every year?

Anonymous said...

Do you have any real politicians over there in charge of Scotland or is it just this judge running the show?

Time he and his judge buddies got a life and let you Scots get on with it.

Anonymous said...

More like in the company of companies and you are bang on about ethical investments!

Look.There is an important issue going on here about judges and investments.They dont want us to talk about it or msps to legislation BUT the thing is if judges are allowed to invest in firms like these who are ripping off taxpayers they cannot be seen to be fair in any way at all.

We need a new system of selecting judges and policing them.They can keep their judicial independence but not their independence from accountability to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Norway has a register of judicial interests so why can't we?

Anonymous said...

Scottish Judges are paid their huge wages (even higher than Judges in England) so that they do not need to speculate to enrich themselves further by buying Stocks and Shares, as the very act of doing so would mean that they would be multiplying and exacerbating the likelihood of them having to recuse themselves because of Conflict of Interest?

However, because Scottish Judges are a law unto themselves, they have thought to themselves, we can make a killing here because nobody in Scotland will stick their neb into our affairs, so we might as well slurp up the rich gravy and if they do we shall just cry foul and lay it on thick about Judicial Independence to get them to butt-out if they know what is good for them?

Anonymous said...

I think you have now managed to prove beyond all reasonable doubt we need a register of the judges interests!

Anonymous said...

How can a judge be impartial if they hold shares in the company involved in a case before them?

This is madness.The judges have come up with their own rules and convinced everyone to believe this is normal.It is not normal and not acceptable.

As for no report from the BBC well they must have their own vested interest in keeping this out of the news and we all know what that is.

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/law-chief-pledges-wreck-dirty-3494356

THE Government’s Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce have a strategy of “divert, deter, disrupt and detect” and draw together the private sector, local authorities and police.

Another weapon in the fight against organised crime is proceeds of crime legislation.

Prosecutors revealed last week that £8.2million of dirty money had been seized from criminals last year.

Although the figure was £4million down on the 2012 total, more people were hit with criminal confiscation orders.

There was also a rise in the number of people forced to prove they were earning their cash legally. Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, said: “Those who attempt to build up criminal business are finding that we can wreck their ventures by ending their funding streams and their hopes of living off the profits of their crimes.”

Businesswoman Kwai Fun Li, 46, of Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, was ordered to surrender more than £700,000 in cash and assets.

She was initially fined £6000 for employing illegal immigrants in her restaurants between December 2009 and May 2010.

But she was forced to hand over the six-figure sum after failing to account for how she funded her lavish lifestyle.
==================================
And yet we don't know if those who sit over court proceedings are involved in crime as the judiciaries convictions are kept quiet. Another example of the law being applied politically.

Anonymous said...

The law of Delict Lord Gill where causal links are needed in order for damages to be awarded and no doubt Judges, Sheriffs, lesser lawyers, expert witnesses and others have financial interests in the insurance company being sued and this is why justice is a business to the judiciary, and torture for the genuinely injured.

Clearly DOI are right when they tell people there is no point in using lawyers or the courts. Like Parliaments the Courts and Judiciary are bought and paid for by your factions business connections. Civil law cases never go the clients way because it is all engineered to look pukka when the reality is that it is a stitch up start to finish. Don't use the courts folks, you cannot win your case and of course there is no complaints system either.
They have devised the perfect system for their own financial enrichment by using the public and dropping them before the court date. Bee there, and I know what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

Hidden links between Scotland’s wealthy judges & big business begin to emerge, and as we know these links buy a lot of friendship.

Justice for these people is not fairness, it is keeping each other rich at the public's expense.

Anonymous said...

Stop using lawyers and the courts.

Anonymous said...

There is a Sheriff who lives at the end of our street in a detached house.He spends his time terrorising his neighbours who wanted to build a porch and garage to their house.He stopped it going ahead and is now trying to hound them out of their home with the intention he gets the property on the cheap.Now his plan has hit a wall after someone told his neighbours about this blog and the fact their solicitors also work for him.Local newspaper took the story and then did nothing because of the sheriff and who he is.Expect some comments from Fife about a corrupt sheriff!

Anonymous said...

Gill's view of Judicial Independence is that he wants everyone outside the conflict of interest sphere to stop asking questions and fighting for reform. The legal profession are now suffering the reaction from their countless victims. Easy for them to stop civil cases where the client has a case because it would punish the judges financially, it is a corrupt system as lawyers reading this blog know and never deny.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

There is a Sheriff who lives at the end of our street in a detached house.He spends his time terrorising his neighbours who wanted to build a porch and garage to their house.He stopped it going ahead and is now trying to hound them out of their home with the intention he gets the property on the cheap.Now his plan has hit a wall after someone told his neighbours about this blog and the fact their solicitors also work for him.Local newspaper took the story and then did nothing because of the sheriff and who he is.Expect some comments from Fife about a corrupt sheriff!

5 May 2014 11:52

No doubt the sheriff will be able to rely on the local lawyers sucking up for favours and the corrupt clerks in the local courts to make sure the neighbour is turfed out of their own home or made bankrupt and Mr or Mrs sheriff ends up with titles to their neighbour's property.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How can a judge be impartial if they hold shares in the company involved in a case before them?

This is madness.The judges have come up with their own rules and convinced everyone to believe this is normal.It is not normal and not acceptable.

As for no report from the BBC well they must have their own vested interest in keeping this out of the news and we all know what that is.

3 May 2014 13:31
--------------------------

This just goes to show just how far removed from the moral standard our Scottish Judges have gone to and is a perfect illustration of what happens when you give a set of people the power to do what they like, knowing that no one will be checking up on them?

Making hay while the sun shines......and making hay when it rains and snows too?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/law-chief-pledges-wreck-dirty-3494356

THE Government’s Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce have a strategy of “divert, deter, disrupt and detect” and draw together the private sector, local authorities and police.

Another weapon in the fight against organised crime is proceeds of crime legislation.

Prosecutors revealed last week that £8.2million of dirty money had been seized from criminals last year.

Although the figure was £4million down on the 2012 total, more people were hit with criminal confiscation orders.

There was also a rise in the number of people forced to prove they were earning their cash legally. Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, said: “Those who attempt to build up criminal business are finding that we can wreck their ventures by ending their funding streams and their hopes of living off the profits of their crimes.”

Businesswoman Kwai Fun Li, 46, of Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, was ordered to surrender more than £700,000 in cash and assets.

She was initially fined £6000 for employing illegal immigrants in her restaurants between December 2009 and May 2010.

But she was forced to hand over the six-figure sum after failing to account for how she funded her lavish lifestyle.
==================================
And yet we don't know if those who sit over court proceedings are involved in crime as the judiciaries convictions are kept quiet. Another example of the law being applied politically.

5 May 2014 07:30
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is just propaganda!

Like the Mafia putting all of the opposition out of business, so that they have a monopoly over the rich-pickings and the say over who lives and who dies, who goes to prison and who gets let off Scot-Free?

Anonymous said...

Is this the exact same situation as with Scottish lawyers, where you simply cannot trust any of them to be honest, diligent, impartial or fair?

Not that all Scottish Judges & Sheriffs are tarred-with-the -same-brush but more that it is simply statistically significant that you will end up with a dodgy one?

Anonymous said...

Scotland's judges are coming clean when they have to step away from court cases because of a conflict of interests.

Scotland’s top judge has decided that for the first time the public can see online why judges and sheriffs have stood down from hearing criminal trials and civil actions. WHO GAVE HIM THIS POWER, WHY DOES HE HAVE IT, IN WHOSE INTERESTS IT IS USED, HOW CAN WE ESTABLISH IF JUDGES ARE CORRUPT AND HOW CAN WE GET RID OF THEM AND PROSECUTE THEM.

THESE PEOPLE HAVE LIMITLESS POWER AND THAT IS AN ANACHRONISTIC CORRUPT ARRANGEMENT.

Anonymous said...

Just get this register into law as soon as possible!The judges obviously need it because they are hiding too much and we need it to keep an eye on the judges!

Good to see it in the newspapers I buy both of these so have the originals.

Anonymous said...

Lord Gill's efforts to shut down your petition appear to have failed once again..

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why the police are not investigating these dodgy Sheriffs and Judges!

Anonymous said...

The Scottish Legal System is a closed monopoly designed for the benefit of its users i.e. Scottish Lawyers?

It has nothing at all to do with Justice and is entirely concerned with trading lives for cash and their self enrichment?

A calculating & repulsive lot?

Anonymous said...

Let us all pray and hope that the Petitions Committee have the backbone to see the this petition made law - soon - and scream the house down if it is swept under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

Dont worry about lack of BBC on this story because they have their own agenda and we see it every day on their news - nothing about Scotland just about everywhere else on the planet except us.The best thing maybe happen is the Scottish Gov pull the bbc plug and give us television who tell us about our news and things we want to know like this instead of all their diversion rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Scotland's judges are coming clean when they have to step away from court cases because of a conflict of interests.

Scotland’s top judge has decided that for the first time the public can see online why judges and sheriffs have stood down from hearing criminal trials and civil actions. WHO GAVE HIM THIS POWER, WHY DOES HE HAVE IT, IN WHOSE INTERESTS IT IS USED, HOW CAN WE ESTABLISH IF JUDGES ARE CORRUPT AND HOW CAN WE GET RID OF THEM AND PROSECUTE THEM.

THESE PEOPLE HAVE LIMITLESS POWER AND THAT IS AN ANACHRONISTIC CORRUPT ARRANGEMENT.

6 May 2014 08:46
/)/(/)/)/)//(/?/)/)/)/)/)/)/)/)/)/

If we are to believe the 'line', that there is no system in place to monitor and control whether or not Scottish Judges & Sheriffs are recusing themselves, other than their 'Word' means that Scotland does not have a Justice System worthy of the name and that this admission by NONO is evidence of a dereliction of duty at best and at worse a flagrant disregard of the morals required to act as a Judge?

If no system has been in place to be able to guarantee probity, then the whole Scottish Justice System is synonymous with the worst example of a Banana Republic?

Logic dictates that there must be a corresponding mistrust in Judicial Decisions brought about by Scottish Judges & Sheriffs themselves to the extent that it would be of no surprise if cases past and present were appealed on the basis that the result of the cases cannot be relied upon?

This is the damage the Scottish Judiciary have caused to our Judicial System, which is now considered to be as low as a snakes belly?

Anonymous said...

This amounts to back-of-an-envelope-style management and control of Scottish Judges?

The question is why?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Dont worry about lack of BBC on this story because they have their own agenda and we see it every day on their news - nothing about Scotland just about everywhere else on the planet except us.The best thing maybe happen is the Scottish Gov pull the bbc plug and give us television who tell us about our news and things we want to know like this instead of all their diversion rubbish.

8 May 2014 11:16
:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;::;:;:;:;:

Scottish State BBC News is heavily censored by the Law Society of Scotland to misguide the general population into believing that everything is fine and dandy?

Ask yourself, when was the last time the BBC reported on the many crooked Scottish lawyers or the criminal behaviour perpetrated by the Law Society of Scotland and it's twins the SSDT and SLCC or indeed to report on the Scandal going on with the Scottish Judiciary?

Then when you dig a little deeper you find out that the head of BBC legal is a Law Society of Scotland stooge?

Anonymous said...

and what about these bent confidentiality agreements to stop nhs whistleblowers what is going to happen to these - they should be all opened up to full scrutiny and stuff the gagging clauses probably enforced by crooked judges

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/health-gagging-orders-face-tough-scrutiny-by-ministers.24134001

Health gagging orders face tough scrutiny by ministers
David Ross
Highland Correspondent
Monday 5 May 2014

ALL compromise agreements, or "gagging clauses", negotiated by health boards will have to be approved by the Scottish Government before being signed under new regulations.

A total of 697 such documents were signed in the past five years and accountability campaigners welcomed the move by ministers as helping to remove the culture of fear surrounding them.

The move follows the furious row over gagging clauses in severance agreements between health boards and workers about to leave employment, often after a dispute. Health boards have denied misusing the agreements.

The issue came to a head earlier this year when The Herald revealed that a whistleblowing doctor, Dr Jane Hamilton, was risking a six-figure settlement and possibly the sack by speaking of her refusal to accept a confidentiality clause.

Health Secretary Alex Neil had previously warned health boards against such gags and in February declared he was removing confidentiality clauses from settlements with NHS staff.

He said there was a perception they "could be used to prevent staff from speaking out about failures in care offered to patients".

But The Herald has learned he has gone further and has ordered that all compromise agreements be subject to government scrutiny.

Rab Wilson, the psychiatric nurse turned whistleblower who exposed failures in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, welcomed the news.

He said: "For far too long health boards have been acting like feudal barons; beyond the pale and accountable to no-one.

"I had a confidentiality clause arbitrarily slapped on me by NHS Ayrshire and Arran when there was no need whatsoever to do so - it was a crude attempt to effectively gag me, and my union, Unison, played along with it."

Dr Hamilton, a nationally recognised psychiatric specialist, had raised concerns about the mother and baby unit (MBU) at St John's Hospital, Livingston, and warned in writing that somebody could die.

Two mothers subsequently took their lives and the family of one is suing the health board.

Dr Hamilton had raised these concerns as "protected disclosures" which were supposed to come with safeguards for whistleblowers against victimisation. However, in the compromise agreement offered to her by NHS Lothian, they were classed as "grievances" and included in a confidentiality clause. It would have meant she could never publicly mention them again.

Her legal advice was that she was effectively being gagged. NHS Lothian consistently denied this, but subsequently removed the clause.

Police are investigating the case of Dr Hamilton after it was reported by Mr Wilson. It is a crime to prevent staff from raising concerns about patient safety or malpractice.

Dr Hamilton said yesterday she welcomed this further tightening-up and scrutiny of the use of compromise agreements "which have up to now clearly been frequently used to buy off and silence staff".

She campaigns in Scotland on behalf of Patients First, the body set up by the whistleblower Dr Kim Holt, who was victimised but ultimately vindicated in 2007 in the Baby P scandal in London.

It is calling for a fully independent watchdog with investigatory and disciplinary powers to protect and encourage staff and ensure quality care for patients.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are putting in place new arrangements for the notification and approval of settlement agreements in the current financial year.

"We are currently considering consultation responses and will set out the new process in due course."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Let us all pray and hope that the Petitions Committee have the backbone to see the this petition made law - soon - and scream the house down if it is swept under the carpet.

7 May 2014 21:50
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The problem we will still have is that it is Scottish lawyers (masquerading as Scottish Civil Servants) who draw up our laws?

Guess where their loyalty lies?

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog you have here I saw your stuff about Tesco and the sheriff.

Maybe they take having judges on their shareholders list as a sign they can do what they want as a company re today's profits warning.