Friday, September 09, 2016

STILL BANKING, M’LORDS: Judicial quango in charge of Scotland’s Courts & Tribunals remains mired in financial links to Banks, investment funds, insurance, property & corporate vested interests

Banks & corporate interests are ‘quids in’ for judges. THE LATEST snapshot of financial investments held by a select few members of Scotland’s ultra secretive judiciary who sit on the judge-controlled body in charge of the courts – reveals banks convicted of rate-rigging, insurance cartels, property and corporate vested interests - remain favoured havens for judicial wealth.

Registers of Interests declaring the shareholdings of Scotland’s top judges – released by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) - in response to a Freedom of Information request – show minor changes in the pro-banks & big business investment structures of a handful of leading judges - since the issue was first revealed in the media and reported in further detail by Diary of Injustice in 2014.

However, Scotland’s top judge – Lord President Lord Carloway – who earns a salary of £220,655 a year – is listed under shareholdings in the register as holding “none”.

Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian - who earns £213,125 a year - is also listed under shareholdings in the same register as holding “none”.

Three other members of the judiciary who currently sit on the powerful Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service Board – also have nothing to declare in terms of shareholdings – leaving former Lord President Lord Brian Gill, Lady Smith and Justice of the Peace Johan Findlay as the only three remaining judges to declare any financial investments.

The existence of the shareholdings register of a select few judges came to the attention of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee who have been conducting a three year probe into proposals to create a judicial interests register - after details of judges' shareholdings were revealed in an investigation published by the Sunday Herald newspaper.

The Sunday Herald investigation also revealed Sheriff Principal Dunlop QC – who presided over a court hearing involving Tesco – held shares in the supermarket giant yet 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.

And, as a result of further investigations by the Scottish Sun newspaper - it was revealed the same Sheriff Principal Alistair Dunlop (who was also a member of the powerful Scottish Court Service Board until leaving this role in 2015) – held shares in companies convicted of paying bribes in Iraq, and China - reported in further detail here: PROCEEDS OF CRIME: Judicial Interests investigation reveals top Sheriff Principal has shares in company fined £13.9million for Iraq bribes case & mining giant caught in China bribe scandal.

The current Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Board Register of Shareholdings reveals the following declarations of shareholdings:

Lord President - Rt Hon Lord Carloway: None
Lord Justice Clerk - Rt Hon Lady Dorrian: None
President of Scottish Tribunals - Rt Hon Lady Smith: Artemis Fund Managers, Barclays, Blackrock AM, Brown Advisory, Goldman Sachs, Global Access, Henderson Investment, Ishares PLC, JP Morgan, Lazard Fund Managers, Pimco Global, Vanguard Funds PLC, Fundrock Management CO Gsquaretrix.
Sheriff Principal Duncan L Murray: None
Sheriff Iona McDonald: None
Sheriff A Grant McCulloch: None
Johan Findlay OBE JP: Aviva, Vodaphone, Santander, Unilever, Norwich Union, Legal & General, Fidelity Funds Network, Lloyds Banking Group, Thus Group, HBOS, Trafficmaster, Standard Life.
Dr Joseph Morrow QC: None
Lord President – Rt Hon Lord Gill (note: Lord Gill retired on 31 May 2015 and was succeed by Lord Carloway). :Henderson UK Growth Fund Retail Class Acc, Newton Global Equity Fund, Aviva Investors UK Equity Fund, Scottish Widows UK Growth Sub-Fund, HSBC Balanced Fund (Retail Acc), Royal Mail Plc, TSB Group Plc, Urban and Civil Plc, Vestry Court Ltd.

Among the non-judicial members of the same SCTS Board, declarations in their registers of interests, also disclosed via FOI legislation reveal:

Eric McQueen: None
Dr Kirsty J Hood QC: None
Simon J D Catto: Aberdeen Football Club PLC, Scottish Power UK Plc, Royal Mail PLc.
Joe Al-Gharabally: RBS, Ryanair, Aviva, AT & T
Professor R Hugh MacDougall: None
Colonel David McIlroy: None
Anthony McGrath: (note - Mr McGrath was a Board member until 31 December 2015 and was succeeded by Col David McIlroy, following completion of his term of office): Accys Technology, Alexander Mining, Apple, Ashley House, Asian Citrus, Augean, Avanti Comms, Barclays Bank Bond, Billings Services, Camkids, Cell Therapeutics, Centamin, Chariot Oil, Chemring, Coal Of Africa, Consolidated General Minerals, Correro, Cupid, East West Resources, Emblaze, Essenden, e-Trade Financial, Fox Marble, Globo plc , Goldenport Holdings, Goldplat, Heritage Oil, HSBC Holdings, Imic, Infrastrata, Interpublic, Jubilee Platinum, Lloyds Banking, Magnolia Petroleum, Mobile Streams, Norseman Gold, Polo Resources, Pure Bioscience, Quindell, Reach4entertainment, Resource Holdings, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saltire Taverns, Stagecoach, Standard Chartered, STV, Tanfield, Tower resources, Volga Gas, Westminster Group.

However, missing from any register is property ownership by judges and their relatives, together with interests in real estate, buy to let and property companies – a well known and profitable area of big business for members of the judiciary and their family members.

Big ticket items such as property are suspiciously omitted from the meagre financial declarations of high earning elite judges - who remain eager to keep their vast interests in property off the books and out of reach from potential accusations of conflict of interest in swathes of land & property related court hearings going through the courts.

The very limited disclosures of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Board members also contain no references to outside earnings & work, relationships to law firms, big business and more detailed declarations which may be picked up by a fully published register of judicial interests as is currently being considered by MSPs.

The three year probe by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee on proposals to create a register of judicial interests: Petition PE1458: Register of Interests for members of Scotland's judiciary previously heard ‘claims’ from Scotland’s former top judge – Lord Brian Gill – that a register listing all financial interests of judges was “unworkable” for the entire judiciary.

However, some members of the Petitions Committee have voiced their unease during previous committee hearings that such a register as already exists for a handful of judges who sit on the SCTS Board - could not be implemented for the entire judiciary in Scotland.

If the judicial transparency proposal becomes reality, all members of Scotland’s judiciary - instead of just the elite few who sit on the board of the Scottish Courts - will be required to declare their vast and varied interests including their backgrounds, personal wealth, undeclared earnings, business & family connections inside & outside of the legal profession, membership of organisations, property and land interests, offshore investments, hospitality, details on recusals and other information routinely lodged in registers of interest across all walks of public life in the UK and around the world.

The proposal to require all members of the judiciary to declare their interests gained cross party support from msps during a debate on the petition - held at the Scottish Parliament on 7 October 2014, and reported along with video footage and the official record, here: Debating the Judges. MSPs overwhelmingly supported a motion urging the Scottish Government to create a register of judicial interests.


The Scottish Sun newspaper reported how one judge – Sheriff Principal Alistair Dunlop – held shares in Weir Group – who were hit with a £13.9m Proceeds of Crime bill for bribing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.


Stocks Register Plea

EXCLUSIVE: by Russell Findlay
Scottish Investigations Editor The Scottish Sun on Sunday May 11 2014

A TOP judge holds shares in a firm hit with a £13.9million proceeds-of-crime bill for bribing Saddam Hussein's regime,The Scottish Sun on Sunday can reveal.

Sheriff Principal Alastair Dunlop 62, has a stake in Glasgow based Weir Group, hammered in 2011 for paying kickbacks to land contracts in Iraq.

He also has shares in mining giant Rio Tinto, whose executives admitted bribery in China four years ago.

Sheriff Dunlop - the most senior sheriff in Tayside, Central and Fife - must declare his interests as a Scottish Court Service Board member but they are not made public.

Last night campaigner Peter Cherbi - who led calls for a register to improve transparency - said "I believe judges like Sheriff Principal Dunlop cannot hold investments in firms guilty of breaking the law"

Tory MSP John Lamont added "The public would fully expect judges to be transparent. A register would improve public confidence."

Sheriff Dunlop declined to comment but the Judicial Office for Scotland said investments were "a matter for the individual".

A full listing of Sheriff Principal Alistair Dunlop’s declared shareholdings - published by Diary of Injustice in August 2014 – revealed a significant list of companies caught up in allegations of corruption around the world.

Sheriff Principal R A Dunlop QC: Astrazeneca, BHP Billiton, Blackrock AM UK Gold & General, Bluescope Steel, BNY Mellon Newton Global, CG Real Return Inc, Close Brothers Group, Diageo, Findlay Park FDS American Smaller Cos., G4S, Henderson Global Invs, ING Global Real Estate Securities, Intercontinental Hotels, JP Morgan Private Equity, Lomond Shipping Co, Lloyds Banking, M&G (Guernsey) Global Leaders, National Grid, Oakley Capital Investments, Origo Partners, Pernod Ricard, Prudential, Rio Tinto, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Dutch Shell, Scottish Oriental Smaller Cos, Tesco, Vodafone, Weir Group.

Further details including information on criminal cases involving companies in the investment portfolios of Scotland's judiciary is reported here: JUDICIAL RICH LIST: Register reveals top judges investments in dodgy justice system providers, companies linked to international bribes scandals.

Previous articles on the lack of transparency within Scotland’s judiciary, investigations by Diary of Injustice including reports from the media, 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


Anonymous said...

So if anyone is stupid enough to believe there is such a thing as justice or trust a judge after reading this well they deserve everything coming to them..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Again let me say many of those companies in your list have at one point or another appeared as litigants in our courts.Suffice to say no recusals whatsoever as the Sunday Herald correctly reports.

Anonymous said...

By far one of your best themes on the legal system - taking apart the myths of Lord Gill and his "world respected judiciary".

I wonder where the other guy stuffs it.Not in shareholdings apparently.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Thank God Scotland has a few decent journalists to write this up and take on the bully judges!

Anonymous said...

Isn't the argument supposed to be pay judges huge salaries and give them what they want then we are guaranteed honesty?What a load of crap that one is!Obviously the judiciary are now doing as they please as they have the power and no one has the balls to take it away from them.There must be countless cases in the courts where vested interests always win because the judges are their friends probably invite each other round to tea and paid for holidays.

Anonymous said...

How about
All rise for the crook who will now hear our case!
Bribes will be collected in the collection plates as you exit the courtroom!

Anonymous said...

Well this is much more riveting than the nightly Revolting Scotland from BBC where this week we had the never ending exclusive about banks closing 100 high street branches.
And why exactly you may ask was this news?
Turns out a well known Glasgow law firm was knocked back by a bank over their peanuts bid for one of those very same closed branches.
Makes you wonder about news on the telly sometimes!

Anonymous said...

The thing is no matter what the outcome of this transparency argument no one is ever going to trust judges who refuse to register their interests with protests in such an arrogant manner as Gill came over at the committee.Now we need your register of interests to see just how bad the problem is and the msps should make it work from the time the committee first considered your petition just to see what has been going on with the judges in the past three years.

Anonymous said...

You make a good point about the property angle.

MPs are required to declare their properties so why not judges who are on triple the salaries of elected politicians.

Do the judges want us to believe they live in caves on small islands off the Scottish coast?

Get real Lords and Ladies time to tell all like you force on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Tesco Sheriff Dunlop had his shares in? ;p

Three charged over Tesco accounts fraud

Three former Tesco executives have been charged as part of a continuing investigation into accounting irregularities at the supermarket giant in 2014.

Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler have been charged with fraud and false accounting, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.

The three are due to appear in court on 22 September.

Tesco said there had been "an extensive programme of change" since 2014.

Mr Bush was managing director of Tesco UK, Mr Rogberg was UK finance director and Mr Scouler was UK food commercial director.

Mr Bush's solicitor said that he was not guilty and planned to fight the allegations.

The SFO started a criminal investigation in October 2014, a week after Tesco announced that its profits had been overstated by £263m.

Later, that figure was revised upwards to £326m when Tesco included previous accounts.

Auditors found that the inflated profit figure was the result of Tesco booking payments from suppliers before the company had been due the money.

The affair damaged the company's share price and led to court action by US shareholders.

In November last year, Tesco paid $12m (£9m) to settle a lawsuit alleging that accounting irregularities had inflated the share price of the company.

The company was also being investigated by the UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which polices accountants. The regulator has since closed its investigation into Laurie McIlwee, the former chief financial officer at Tesco.

The FRC, however, is still investigating Tesco's accountants PwC as to how the firm audited its accounts in the run up to the scandal.

Tesco said in a statement: "We note the decision of the SFO to bring a prosecution against former colleagues in relation to historic issues and acknowledge the investigation into the company is ongoing.

"Tesco continues to cooperate with the SFO's investigation. The last two years have seen an extensive programme of change at Tesco, but given this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide any further comment at this time."

Mr Scouler is now commercial director at the telecoms company TalkTalk.

In a statement Talk Talk said: "We are aware of the SFO's announcement, but as this is an ongoing investigation unrelated to TalkTalk we cannot comment further."

Anonymous said...

I disbelieve anyone in public office who claims they have nothing to declare particularly the high earners

Anonymous said...

Some of the fund management companies you are listing in this register have high minimum limits for clients so we are not talking about a few thousand quid more like in the hundreds of 000's

Anonymous said...

nice headlines lol judges are totally corrupted by the money!

Anonymous said...

If they had admitted all this from the start and declared everything we would have been deprived of all the scandal and your ever so good articles!
So in the end the judges own contempt for us plebs is their own downfall! and someone should do one of those downfall clips for you know who when he was waving his hands at Jackson Carlaw!

Anonymous said...

How many times are those w*nkers going to change the name of the Scottish Court Service?
Seriously SCTS sounds like some tax dodging Cayman Islands entity kicked off by one of the bent brethren.

Anonymous said...

ur judges r 200 years behind rotw! :D

Anonymous said...

I recall a certain judge who told the troops three years ago your petition was "not an issue" and he "would make it and Holyrood go away swiftly".

Interesting to note the judge left his job in a similar manner to someone else who once said similar.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the Cherbi blog back on a regular footing.If interested I have some material on council staff on the take and a ton of evidence to back it up.Keep up the good work exposing the legal mafia.

Anonymous said...

The Sunday Herald investigation also revealed Sheriff Principal Dunlop QC – who presided over a court hearing involving Tesco – held shares in the supermarket giant yet 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.

These rules must be thoroughly corrupt if they allow this to happen!Who wrote the rules anyway?The judges?

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous this has gone on for so long,I suppose this shows the power of arrogant judges determined to conceal their lies and ill gotten gains to the world.

Anonymous said...

As most of what I would like to say has already been said I will simply agree and congratulate you on another fine post letting us all know who the judiciary are in debt to and who they really serve as in themselves,banks and anyone with money rather than the majority of the population!

Anonymous said...

How can the rules allow a judge with shares in a company to hear the same case and then we are told to respect these rules and not question the judges about it or their shares????

This is nothing short of power corrupts absolute

Anonymous said...

How can the rules allow a judge with shares in a company to hear the same case and then we are told to respect the rules and not question the judges or their interests and shares????

This is absolute power corrupts absolute

Anonymous said...

creepy how the horrible Law Society mob never get a mention by Gill or any of his cronies you can bet they are in the background trying to shut down all debate on the petition

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I disbelieve anyone in public office who claims they have nothing to declare particularly the high earners

9 September 2016 at 22:04

I agree.

Anyone on a public salary has to make a declaration judges should be treated no differently and it is a disgrace they are treated differently.

Anonymous said...

The obvious elephant in the room - if you had not made your petition none of this information was EVER destined to be made public.

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying about judges and it totally blows me away no one made them declare their stuff before now

Anonymous said...

The comment about bank closers and coverage spot on

Anonymous said...

Well there you go the Sheriff principal of Perth Sheriff court the most corrupt court in our country today getting another airing. Rotten to the core man. And you know what they say it all comes from the top what a truly disgusting individual along with the scum employed to do his bidding.

Anonymous said...

Think of what could have been if Lord Gill did the right thing from the beginning and agreed to your petition.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video clip of Gill in the other article you wrote.There is no doubt in my mind the judiciary are hiding something from us and it is so vast or important a top judge is reduced to ordering around your own national legislature for his own ends and gain.
The Scots Parliament must go for this in a big way and create the register to show us they are in charge of Scotland not a band of dictatorial judges with chips on their shoulders.

Anonymous said...

The easy way to sort all this out is to require their royal highness's in the judiciary to declare!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if anyone is stupid enough to believe there is such a thing as justice or trust a judge after reading this well they deserve everything coming to them..

9 September 2016 at 17:01

Well said.

As they say - A fool and his money..

Anonymous said...

Although I am a solicitor I do admire your enthusiasm and endless ability for making legal stories non boring!
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

"Tory MSP John Lamont added "The public would fully expect judges to be transparent. A register would improve public confidence."

Good to see support also from the Scottish Conservatives!

Time for at least one or all of the parties to make this a pledge and into law rather than wait for judges doing as they please over and over.

Anonymous said...

While you are cleaning up the bent judges you should also do lawyers and make them declare their interests to clients

Anonymous said...

Some 'snapshot'!
Easy seen why judges are so irate about declaring their interests cause everywhere they stash their money they will end up stashing it with the same companies who walk into court to get a judges signature to go rip someone off or steal their home,business and anything else they can get away with taking all backed up by judges who are too scared to tell us what they have because they know they are at it!

Anonymous said...

Judges are not worthy of the trust they demand we place in them

Anonymous said...

I suppose this comes down to whether a judge holding shares in a company or some kind of financial or familiar interest will rule against the same company in court.The obvious answer is not likely - no matter what rules the judiciary claim exist to protect this from occurring,as we all know rules are made to be broken,particularly those written by the very same people who claim to abide by them,

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this in the telegraph?
If 1 in 5 CEOs are psychos the number must be a lot higher for the dangerous power mad clowns in the judiciary who come over all rabies when they get asked simple about their interests and what they get up in secret.

Look at the list of personality disorders! reads like a resume of a judge!

1 in 5 CEOs are psychopaths, study finds

Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney 13 September 2016

An Australian study has found that about one in five corporate executives are psychopaths – roughly the same rate as among prisoners.

The study of 261 senior professionals in the United States found that 21 per cent had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits. The rate of psychopathy in the general population is about one in a hundred.

Nathan Brooks, a forensic psychologist who conducted the study, said the findings suggested that businesses should improve their recruitment screening.

He said recruiters tend to focus on skills rather than personality features and this has led to firms hiring “successful psychopaths” who may engage in unethical and illegal practices or have a toxic impact on colleagues.

“Typically psychopaths create a lot of chaos and generally tend to play people off against each other,” he said.

“For psychopaths, it [corporate success] is a game and they don’t mind if they violate morals. It is about getting where they want in the company and having dominance over others.”

The global financial crisis in 2008 has prompted researchers to study workplace traits that may have allowed a corporate culture in which unethical behaviour was able to flourish.

Mr Brooks’s research, conducted with a colleague from Australia’s Bond University and a researcher from the University of San Diego, was based on a study of corporate professionals in the supply chain management industry across the US.

The findings, presented on Tuesday at the Australian Psychological Society Congress in Melbourne, are due to be published in the European Journal of Psychology.

The researchers have been examining ways to help employers screen for potential psychopaths.

“We hope to implement our screening tool in businesses so that there’s an adequate assessment to hopefully identify this problem - to stop people sneaking through into positions in the business that can become very costly,” Mr Brooks said.

AT A GLANCE Antisocial personality disorder

Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect how someone thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others. Antisocial personality disorder is a particularly challenging type of personality disorder, characterised by impulsive, irresponsible and often criminal behaviour.
Signs of antisocial personality disorder

exploit, manipulate or violate the rights of others
lack concern, regret or remorse about other people's distress
behave irresponsibly and show disregard for normal social behaviour
have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships
be unable to control their anger
lack guilt, or not learn from their mistakes
blame others for problems in their lives
repeatedly break the law

Anonymous said...

Very good.And you can be thankful BBC Scotland purposely ignored much of the debate around your petition.I say this mostly because whenever the BBC take on any issue relating to a key plank of the establishment they end up doing more harm than good and producing a public relations exercise on behalf of figures who wish to maintain their aura of mystique and dominance.
I dare not even imagine how one sided a programme by auntie beeb on Lord Gill and his cronies would be as production and direction would be ceded to the judiciary from the outset.
Yourself and the printed media did a great job bringing the debate to public attention.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

aye a bunch of sleekit buggers oot to fleece us for their ain nasty legal wains! nae wonder they hate the press!

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote the first comment is a flaming genius.

I only wish people pay heed to such good advice.

Save yourselves a lot of trouble and stay away from our miserable self serving predatory judges and courts who rely on lower down the food chain lawyers drawing in more victims to enrich their ill gotten gains.