Poor judgment

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Marek Mozolowski’s critique (Letters 24 July) of Charles 
Ritchie’s views regarding the benefits of the Union (as
reflected in a right of access to the UK Supreme Court) fails to
diminish the merits of the latter’s
argument.

Scotland’s judiciary has produced judgments so remarkable in their failure to recognise the significance of European law and human rights law in the context of Scots law (see Cadder v HM Advocate) that informed bystanders would be inclined to conclude that Scotland’s judiciary is pickled in insularity.

Mr Mozolowski patronisingly “praised” Mr Ritchie for conceding that the UKSC has no
“monopoly on infallibility”.

Indeed, but what it does have is a habit of considering UK cases in the context of their link (where appropriate) to European law and human rights law – ergo the judgments of that court are unlikely to be warped by the
influence of insularity.

Mr Mozolowski concluded: “I would rather have a ‘tartan fudge’ than a Westminster ‘fix’.” That “fudge” prevailed in the Cadder case and seven of Scotland’s senior judges thereby sanctified a practice that allowed citizens to be arrested, charged and denied timeous access to a lawyer – contrary to human rights law.

That is why Cadder succeeded in his appeal to the UKSC and that is why access to that court is so crucial. What he sees as a
“fix” others would see as the 
triumph of reason over the “merits” of cosy insularity and peerless parochialism.

Thomas Crooks

Dundas Street

Edinburgh