In camera

Have your say

Only in the “best wee country in the world” would the decision to televise court proceedings be left to a single judge – the Lord ­President of the Court of Session. (your report, 29 January).

Other countries would leave that decision to their duly elected representatives. Here, a judge, in homage to the age of modernity, patronisingly decided what we should be allowed (on his terms) to see when proceedings are ­televised.

For centuries, the legal fraternity has cultivated the perception that Scotland’s legal system is the envy of the world. Televising court proceedings will test and probably destroy that exercise in advanced mythology.

Mesmerised viewers are likely to witness, on a daily basis, the ultimate deployment of ­spontaneous ineptitude, flowing incompetence, hopeless ­advocacy and pulsating pomposity as ­coteries of Scotland’ “top” ­advocates, ­solicitors and QCs compete for the ­attention of the cameras.

Listen carefully and you will hear the English language being put through the grinding mill of QC speak: “I put it to you that on the evening of 10 September, 2009, you did indeed, with much malice aforethought, unlawfully pick up a recycled but clearly abandoned brick.

“With reprehensible and deadly cunning, you concealed the brick in the hood of your recently stolen outer ­garment.

“Then, in the spooky shadows of an ominously quiet city street, you carefully retrieved the native brick, weaponised it and ­carefully deployed it, with even more ­malice aforethought, to ­brutally rearrange the countenance of your totally innocent victim. What say you to that most serious charge?” “Ah didny f****n’ dae it. That’s whut ah say.”

After a few weeks of similar metaphysical exchanges, a ­distressed legal ­fraternity, soaked in ridicule, will ­desperately petition the Lord President to use his unaccountable authority to banish any item that could in any way accurately record the essence of court proceedings in Scotland.

The petition, supported by the Lord President’s extensive ­collection of televised proceedings to date, is likely to succeed.

And so it came to pass that ­justice, Scottish style, ceased to be seen to be done.

Thomas Crooks

Dundas Street