Legal self-service

As a justice campaigner I agree with QC James Wolffe’s conclusion that “access to justice will only be a reality if the system delivers just decisions according to fair procedures within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost” (Friends of The Scotsman, 8 September).

I cannot argue with his belief that “skilled legal representation” is also extremely important and an essential key to 
securing justice.

Unfortunately, I suspect that his pleas will fall on deaf ears 
as both civil and criminal justice in Scotland too often fails to 
deliver in these important areas.

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Basically we have a system that is rooted in the past, with the maintenance of the status quo of more importance than ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice.

While the causes are complex, a central issue that Mr Wolffe fails to address is the lack of 
political will to do anything other than tinker with the somewhat incestuous and self-serving system that we have and which he is very much a component part of.

As a supporter of independence, I am encouraged to approach the referendum confident that a vote for independence will result in a new Scottish constitution which not only enshrines principles of justice and equality but produces a government committed to that cause.

I do believe that, hitherto
silenced visionary voices will at last be heard urging a break away from the old systems and self-serving values which have suffocated dissent and devalued justice.

Real change will result and there will be the political will 
to re-assess and update our justice system and its institutions in the knowledge that blind faith in the judiciary, courts, law and police is no way to work 
towards a fairer and more just society.

I accept that my Yes vote will be a considerable act of faith. Given a No vote, however, I suspect that many within our self-serving system will settle back with a satisfied sigh.

Iain A J McKie

South Beach Road


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