Scottish independence: Lawyers for Yes launched

MORE than 100 QCs, university legal professors, advocates and solicitors have put their names to a pro-independence declaration as part of a newly launched Lawyers for Yes group.

Joanna Cherry QC is leading the pro-independence group. Picture: Warren Media

The latest branch of the independence campaign is led by Joanna Cherry QC, a former lead counsel for Scotland’s Lord Advocate, and also includes the prominent Labour supporters solicitors Fiona Cook and Jamie Kerr.

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, who represented Socialist politician Tommy Sheridan in his high-profile perjury trial, has also signed the declaration.

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The veteran nationalist Ian Hamilton QC, best known for his part in the removal of the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey in 1950, is another signatory.

Other senior legal backers of the campaign include Edinburgh University constitutional expert Professor Christine Bell, Professor Emeritus of Legal Theory at Edinburgh University Zenon Bankowski and Professor of Public Law at Strathclyde University Aileen McHarg.

The declaration is also supported by retired sheriff and former Scottish Liberal Democrat vice-chairman Dr Robert McCreadie QC – one of the party’s main negotiators on the Scottish Constitutional Convention – a process in the late 1980s and early 1990s that helped lead to the devolved parliament.

Supporters of Lawyers for Yes have stated in the declaration that independence will lead to a “fairer, equal and more democratic Scotland in which the fundamental rights of all citizens are enshrined in a written constitution and protected by a constitutional court”.