[The following is an excerpt from a letter by William Forbes in today's edition of The Herald:]
Once a case from any jurisdiction reaches the Supreme Court they are all treated the same – there are no “additional” powers and all have to satisfy the test that there is a case to answer, in accordance with rules and statutes. If anything, greater care is exercised with Scottish cases to ensure the sovereignty of the Scottish courts. What appears to upset Alex Salmond and his supporters is that Scots appear to have better access to the Supreme Court than fellow UK citizens, but arguably this is illusionary. The idea that the Scottish legal system can be improved by further restricting access to justice is flawed and can only suit who would have our mistakes kept quiet. Whether mistakes are made in Camp Zeist, London or Edinburgh it is of the utmost importance that they are exposed and our system is improved as a result.
Justice without fairness is the justice of the lynch mob. (...)
There is a great need to consider how the Scottish legal system copes with the notion of basic human rights. The opposing attitude of who cares if there has been a mistake, as long as it was a “Scoattish wan” does little to advance hope that the law in Scotland will mature.
[The Scottish Government has a golden opportunity to show that it is just as serious about investigating, rectifying and learning lessons from possible mistakes by the Scottish criminal justice system as it is about "protecting Scots law's independence" from a predatory Supreme Court. It should immediately announce the establishment of an independent inquiry into the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi. Until that happens, the Scottish Government can with justice be accused of being more concerned with political posturing than with securing the rights of those who have been ill-served by Scotland's criminal justice system.
The above comment has been picked up in a news item on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm.]