Judge attacks Supreme Court rulings

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ONE of Scotland’s top judges has launched a new attack on the Supreme Court, human rights rulings and, in particular, the slopping-out verdict that will see millions paid out to prisoners.

Lord McCluskey, who led a review on what role the London-based court should have in Scots law, criticised the judges sitting on it for believing decisions taken in Strasbourg were “binding on the rest of us”.

This, he argued, led to the Supreme Court’s Cadder decision – which he said was “wrong” – triggering the collapse of more than 1,000 criminal cases, and also paved the way for a ruling that prisoners subjected to slopping out should receive compensation.

He said that verdict “was an outrageous decision and one we should never have arrived at”.

“The end result was money that should have gone to rehabilitation of offenders was given to prisoners as compensation for what I had to endure for the first 30 years of my life – sometimes having to go out to the shed to visit the loo,” Lord McCluskey added.

He was speaking at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee yesterday, discussing the Commission on a Bill of Rights, set up by the UK government in March, which could ultimately replace the Human Rights Act in UK law.

However, Professor Alan Miller, chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, warned such a move could leave people with “less protection” than they currently receive under the Human Rights Act.