Monday, 18 August 2014

A permanent stain on Scottish justice

[At the Edinburgh International Book Festival today James Robertson featured at an event entitled What kind of Scotland do we imagine? The following are excerpts from a review on the Literature for Lads website:]

James Robertson was introduced by the Chair of the event and fellow author, Allan Massie as "a distinguished and versatile novelist having written about topics such as slavery, Calvinism and Scottish history… In addition in his latest novel The Professor of Truth he examines the question of truth and what is justice." Over the next hour Robertson gave his views on many of these topics whilst also engaging in interesting debate with both the Chair and members of the audience. 

Robertson opened proceedings by reading a section from The Professor of Truth which featured a discussion between two of the characters and their views on the justice system.  Following this Robertson shared with the audience his belief that the justice system is in many regards flawed.  He believes that in the past '...the truth is not always achieved. Justice has not always been done. This has implications for all of us as Law is fundamental to any society. If it's not working it is a problem for all of us'. Although both Allan Massie and Robertson were keen to point out that The Professor of Truth is a work of fiction it is clearly based on the Lockerbie bombing and the subsequent legal case.

Chair Massie questioned Robertson about the pending appeal in the case of the Lockerbie bomber. "If it's rejected what does it say about Scottish Law?" Robertson believes "there will be a great deal of unfinished business if the outcome is not challenged. Currently it's a permanent stain on Scottish justice. The system has a shadow hanging over it… it's crucial to lay to rest many of the severe doubts people have." (...)

Robertson is an outstanding novelist and respected cultural voice in the world of Scottish politics. Today he shared his views with an interested and animated audience who were keen to engage him in debate and discussion both on his novels and on the impending Scottish referendum. There is no doubt that whatever the outcome of next month's referendum he will continue to remain one of Scotland's leading novelists and cultural commentators.

1 comment:

  1. "...Law is fundamental to any society. If it's not working it is a problem for all of us."

    'Fundamental' is maybe even not a strong enough word.

    The laws, including 'constitutions', defines the society. Just like the rules of chess defines "chess".

    Good laws and good enforcement is the key to everything the people wants.

    Bad or missing laws, or poor enforcement is a major threat against the people, when the few takes the law for a ride. Caring about it too late comes at costs which can't be overstated.

    The whole planet is one big example.

    And yes, this is exactly why the Lockerbie case is important for us all.

    Not because of one single man, not even because of one single country, but because of its value in the hope for improved worldwide justice.

    One step at the time, as this is all we can do.