Views

Grounds For Divorce

Alec RossBy Alec Ross

I remember when the whole Rangers Tax Case thing kicked off over seven years ago. What really struck me about that was the way everybody and his dog became an expert in tax and things that you’d never heard about (employment benefit trusts, CVAs, “side-letters” & taxable income) suddenly became common parlance in the pub and in the workplace.

This being Scotland, discussions about legal processes around the proroguing of Parliament and the wider Brexit omnibouroch, along with the implications for Scotland’s place within the UK, were never going to get quite the same attention as the implosion of one of Scotland’s oldest footballing and cultural institutions.

That said, it is on the radar.

I’m not sure what time the Supreme Court judgement on the Proroguing of Parliament is made today, but here’s how I understand it (legal folk – help me out here).

Last week, Scotland’s highest court – the Court of Session – ruled unanimously that the proroguing was unlawful.

The reaction was interesting – there was an immediate assumption that there was some sort of hierarchy of courts and that this being Scotland, ours was a pretendy wee court, a bit like our parliament, and that the judgement was only “advisory”.

Not so, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there is no hierarchy of courts. Parliament is answerable, equally, to every court in these lands.

Incidentally, we can dismiss any claims of judicial bias. Lawyers hate going anywhere near politics. The fact that they did means that they were certain there was a case to answer, and the idea that this was some kind of remoaner / independence movement is just ludicrous and insulting. The idea that these guys would be putting on the woad on a Friday night and watching Braveheart is for the birds).

Secondly, there’s a strong historical aspect to this. Scots Law is protected under the Act of Union of 1707. The argument is that the Scottish Parliament wasn’t dissolved – it was simply moved to London and became part of a larger parliament.

But the legal principles underpinning it haven’t changed – and under Scots Law, Parliament, not the executive (the Prime Minister) has the power to prorogue. This may well have been a factor in the Court of Session judges’ thinking.

And finally, what’s really interesting is that, given that Scots Law is protected under the Act of Union, a decision by the Supreme Court today to allow the proroguing means, I think, two things.

Firstly, it says that the Supreme Court knows more about Scots Law than three eminent Scottish Lawyers do.

And secondly, it breaks a fundamental pillar of the Act of Union – the recognition and protection of Scotland’s unique legal system.

All of which would mean that, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the first Independence Referendum, the union would effectively over. At the very least, we’d have, in the words of the song, “Grounds for Divorce”.

For all Willie Rennie’s anti-democratic and logic-free blustering and Jo Swinson’s rank hypocrisy, Scotland has a whole pile of mandates for a new plebiscite. A pro-independence majority in both Edinburgh and London, a manifesto, a section 30 order – and, of course, Brexit.

A judgement allowing proroguing goes, however, further. By breaking the terms of the Act of Union, it effectively annuls that union.

It would be not so much a mandate for voting for independence, but a mandate for independence itself.

Hold onto your hats, people. This is about to get interesting.

Alec Ross

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20 replies »

  1. “The argument is that the Scottish Parliament wasn’t dissolved – it was simply moved to London and became part of a larger parliament.”

    That’s something I’ve never understood – when James of Scotland, became King of England, why did Scotland end up being ‘under’ England, rather than the other way round?
    I’m told that it was because he moved his Court to London – that doesn’t seem like a good reason for Scotland being taken over by England.
    Seriously, it’s something I’ve never understood, and never had explained to me in a way that makes it make any sense.
    I don’t understand a lot of political rannygazoo, and this was, and is, an example which stumps me.

    I agree Alec, it was as if the ruling by the Scottish Court somehow didn’t count and didn’t matter!!!! For goodness sake……………..

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    • Due to that period nothing really changed in Scotland. 12 years prior to his death James 1st of England and Ireland 1603 actually combined the Scottish crown to his English one make him King of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland thus began the UNITED KINGDOMS. BUT English parliament used the term the United Kingdom of great Britain.
      (Now remember this) in Scotland our King’s or Queens owned no Lands. Queen Ann signed the legislation in 1707 of one parliament sitting in London. Queen Ann never had the power or rights to join Scotland with England Ireland Wales. Scots chose the King or Queen unlike in England were it is hereditary. Reason mass riots in Scotland.
      One other point.
      In the treaty of union the Scottish Parliament was never dissolved it was only closed.
      West minsters Parliament was meant to be dissolved but due to the treaty being signed on a Friday 1707 it was never Dissolved or closed at all it continued being the English parliament. That is why to this day Westminster and the establishment think Scotland is actually a colony/county of England.

      All that information is contained in the treaty of union if you are prepared to research.

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  2. Judgement due by end of week I think… then it will surely kick off. I feel they must back the Scottish court and legal system for the reasons you outlined, but will they..? Whichever way it falls is a win for us.

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    • I think it will be Monday and the reasons given will follow a week later, but Monday if England’s high court sides with Scots law Boris must ask the Queen to recall parliament.
      If it goes the other way then the treaty of union has never been it is 312 years of stagnation of using Scottish troops to fight and build there empire, 3012 years of sucking Scotland dry.

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  3. Alec old friend, I think you might be wrong about 1707. My understanding was that the Scottish Parliament & the English Parliament were both swept away and a New Parliament entirely, that I disparagingly refer to as WASTEMONSTER was formed in its place.

    Never has it been so obvious that a Parliament that depends on conventions, precedents and I just heard them in the Supreme Court referring to a precedent dating back to the 17th century, that we need a Written Constitution along with a Bill of Rights and we don’t need it now WE NEEDED IT LAST WEEK!!!!

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    • Compelling Scotland to leave the EU against the unequivocal sovereign mandate to remain is nothing less than Constitutional subjugation + David Camerons EVEL + The setting up of the “UK” supreme court by Tony Blair – the very existence of it violates the treaty -…..all break the treaty The United Kingdom is constituted by the Treaty of Union 1706/7. It only has two signatory kingdoms on the Treaty of Union.
      It is thus a bipartite union of Kingdoms
      If either kingdom declares the treaty ended – it is ended.
      There doesn’t even need to have been any breaches of the treaty.
      The resultant breakup means there is no longer a United Kingdom.
      If there is no UK then there is no UK Government.
      On 30 April 1707 the Kingdom of England parliament ended permanently.
      On 30 April 1707 the Kingdom of Scotland Parliament was prorogued.
      On 12 May 1999 the first meeting of the adjourned Scottish Parliament took place when Winnie Ewing reconvened the parliament that was adjourned in 1707.
      Now those are indisputable facts. Upon the United Kingdom parliament ending by Scotland declaring the Union ended there is no legal parliament of England and no legal parliament of the United Kingdom but there is a legally elected parliament of Scotland.
      Just what legally elected parliament is going to dispute Scotland’s claim? https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/…/31/union-what-union/

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    • Now the Scottish Parliament moved to Westminster.
      We have a completely independent legal system which means we must have a complete independent legislator.
      Of course the laws protected by the Act of Union are old Scottish laws that cannot be changed in all time.
      That said our political establishment have set about destroying those laws themselves and imply they have been repealed, of copurse they only imply it through the open media, whilst at the same time all new laws written affecting those laws, specificly point out they do not repeal the Scottish laws.
      There are 1000’s of buildings in the Scotland illegally built on trust lands and even just today there is a public owned trust pier in Strone on the Future Property Auctions catalogue. Then there is the white fisheries law that allows any Scottish fishermen to fish Scottish waters if it is their only means of earning a living.
      Our political establishment have broken so many precedents of the Act of Union there is no arguement against any ruling of the English based Law Lords.

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  4. Interesting that our ‘wee pretendy parliament’ (which I used to consider rather third rate a long time ago), is now easily out performing Wastemonster, the mother-f*cka of parliaments which is now an international laughing stock. Taking pride in our law makers and their dignified actions in the midst of the Brex$h!t debacle.

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  5. Charles, my understanding is that the Scottish parliament was set aside but the English one, which should have been, was not, but just continued in WM with all the bells and whistles, Black Rod etc
    It enrages me when people like Teresa May refer to Henry VIII laws, Magna Carta etc as they have nohing to do with the (312 ?) year old UK parliament…

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  6. Firstly there absolutely is a hierarchy of Courts, and if you’re unaware of that, you really shouldn’t be commentating on legal issues at all.

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  7. There absolutely is a hierarchy of Courts. In Scottish Civil Law the lowest tier are the Sherriff Courts, above that is the Outer House of the Court of Session, above that the Inner House, and above that the Supreme Court of the UK.

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  8. Due to that period nothing really changed in Scotland. 12 years prior to his death James 1st of England and Ireland 1603 actually combined the Scottish crown to his English one make him King of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland thus began the UNITED KINGDOMS. BUT English parliament used the term the United Kingdom of great Britain.
    (Now remember this) in Scotland our King’s or Queens owned no Lands. Queen Ann signed the legislation in 1707 of one parliament sitting in London. Queen Ann never had the power or rights to join Scotland with England Ireland Wales. Scots chose the King or Queen unlike in England were it is hereditary. Reason mass riots in Scotland.
    One other point.
    In the treaty of union the Scottish Parliament was never dissolved it was only closed.
    West minsters Parliament was meant to be dissolved but due to the treaty being signed on a Friday 1707 it was never Dissolved or closed at all it continued being the English parliament. That is why to this day Westminster and the establishment think Scotland is actually a colony/county of England.

    All that information is contained in the treaty of union if you are prepared to research.

    This is the reason I have always said the word INDEPENDENCE is wrong when using it in any context of Scotland’s right to self governance.

    “In a poorly attended Scottish Parliament the MPs voted to agree the Union and on 16 January 1707 the Act of Union was signed. The Act came into effect on May 1st 1707; the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster, London, the home of the English Parliament.

    Scotland kept its independence with respect to its legal and religious systems, but coinage, taxation, sovereignty, trade, parliament and flag became one. The red cross of St. George combined with the blue cross of St. Andrew resulting in the ‘old’ union flag. This is popularly called the Union Jack, although strictly speaking, this only applies when it is flown on the jackstaff of a warship.

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    • Ernie, My recollection of the history of that time was that the anti-union contingent was lured-off on some pretext so that they were well away to prevent them from voting, another RIGGED VOTE therefore INVALID. Time to walk away.

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  9. Ernie Ross I agree with you completely about the word Independence. If we are in a Union of Nations then we have the right to renegotiate our relationship within the Union. England assumes, de facto, that Scotland is in a subordinate relationship and if we use the world Independence we simply accede to their false assumption. We in Scotland have given our political leaders many mandates to revoke the 18th Century Union as it stands and start negotiations for a new relationship for the 21st Century. We can then begin to negotiate “agreements across the world” (David Davis 2016) to our benefit including a new relationship with the EU if we so desire. The result of the negotiations may or may not be ratified by referendum, a decision for the Scottish Parliament to take in due course.

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    • 100% correct.

      Like I said in the 1st tweet, Scotland’s parliament was never dissolved it was only closed in 1707.

      Reason for winnie Ewing saying on the opening of Scotland’s parliament 1999.

      The Scottish Parliament which adjourned on March 25th 1707, is hereby reconvened”.

      Winniw knew the truth.

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