Friday, 21 November 2014

Kenny MacAskill, Lockerbie and Megrahi

[The departure of Kenny MacAskill as Cabinet Secretary for Justice has been confirmed. His part in the saga that is the Lockerbie affair since his appointment in 2007 can be followed on this blog here.  A very short selection of highlights follows:]
Sunday, 30 August 2009 Mandela supports MacAskill decision
Thursday, 10 February 2011 Lockerbie: some shrapnel
Thursday, 1 March 2012 Salmond backs minister on Megrahi
[The new Cabinet Secretary for Justice is Michael Matheson MSP. He is not a lawyer, but that is not a complete departure from precedent. Cathy Jamieson (then MSP, now MP) held the office from May 2003 to May 2007 in the Labour/LibDem administration. One potential drawback of having a non-lawyer in this position is that too much influence on justice policy and practice may come to be exerted by the Scottish Law Officers.

Talking of which, in her ministerial reshuffle Nicola Sturgeon has not as yet taken the step of rectifying the constitutional affront (not to mention governmental idiocy) perpetrated by her predecessors (SNP and Labour) of appointing Crown Office staffers as the Scottish Law Officers. However, unlike other Scottish Ministers, the appointment and removal of Law Officers requires the approval of the Scottish Parliament (under the Scotland Act 1998, section 48). So perhaps an appropriate parliamentary motion is already being drafted. It would be the single most important thing that the new First Minister (who is herself a lawyer) could do for the Scottish justice system.]


  1. COPFS @COPFS · 17m 17 minutes ago
    Lord Advocate and Solicitor General to remain as Law Officers

    Sigh! Ah well, it was still a good thought that I had.

  2. It was on the SNP web page where the new cabinet was announced. I cried.

  3. Hey, look on the bright side. One down, two to go.