A Fraser legacy

I was sad to hear of the passing of Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, QC.

When Minister of State at the Scottish Office in 1992, he was receptive to my case that Justices of the Peace (JPs) in Scotland should not have to take their oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Following Ian Hamilton’s stand in 1954, the paths for advocates, members of parliament and sheriffs had gradually been changed to omit the [Queen’s] numeral, but JPs had been left behind.

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For six years since my 
appointment the hierarchy had not accepted my argument but, even though Lord Fraser in 1992 instructed that guidance be revised, it took another 15 years of cajoling for this to be published. In late 2007, some 55 years after the coronation, the leadership of the new Judicial Studies Committee was instrumental in doing so.

While we would not have agreed politically, I was nevertheless grateful for his common-sense support and send my 
condolences to his family.

John C Hutchison, JP


Fort William

I have no wish to denigrate the memory of the late Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (Obituary, 24 June), but must disagree with the statement that he was “brought back into government [via the House of Lords] by a typically thoughtful Iron Lady”.

The late Margaret Thatcher awarded peerages to defeated Tory MPs in order to frustrate constitutional reform.

The practise is an affront to democracy and an insult to the electorate.

John Coutts