Closed to reason

The Scottish Government is still hell-bent on closing sheriff courts throughout Scotland but the logic of the Scottish Courts Service still completely defeats me. Haddington Sheriff Court’s functions are to be transferred to Edinburgh Sheriff Court at the end of this month.

Haddington has two courtrooms but Edinburgh Sheriff Court does not have an infinite number of courtrooms so I cannot for the life of me see how Haddington Sheriff Court’s business, both criminal and civil, can be transferred to Edinburgh without there being delays in the processing of cases – despite the Scottish Courts’ assertion that this will not happen (for which it has not produced a single shred of evidence).

An interesting and perhaps revealing sideline is that in the 1980s, before Nicola Sturgeon left the legal profession to enter politics, she appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court.

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This would have let her see how busy it was even then.

It is, therefore, surprising that she has remained silent over the court’s closure along with Christine Grahame, convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s 
justice committee, and Kenny MacAskill, former justice 
secretary, who were also solicitors before becoming MSPs – unless, of course, the SNP parliamentary party hierarchy at the Scottish Parliament has such a grip on its members that they dare not speak out on matters.

David Elder

Knox Place