Friday, 27 March 2015

SCCRC Megrahi petition: today's procedural hearing

A procedural hearing before Lady Dorrian on the petition to the High Court of Justiciary by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (seeking guidance on whether relatives of Lockerbie victims would have a legitimate interest to pursue an appeal against the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi) took place this morning. The background can be found here.

The court today ordered that a full hearing be held on a date to be fixed once the diaries of all the judges and counsel involved have been consulted. It is anticipated that the hearing will be before three very senior judges.

The hearing will cover both the merits, ie whether relatives of murder victims have a legitimate interest to conduct an appeal against the conviction of the alleged culprit and the prior question of whether this is a matter that has been competently raised by the SCCRC’s petition, the argument being that since the issue of who is entitled to conduct the appeal on behalf of a deceased convict arises only if the SCCRC actually refers the conviction back to the High Court, it is only at that point that a decision falls to be made. In other words, the question of “legitimate interest” to conduct an appeal is not one that is, or should be, in law of any concern to the SCCRC in its task of deciding whether there might have been a miscarriage of justice.


  1. What a surprise. The SCCRC has already stated quite categorically, see the grounds for the second appeal, that there could well have been a miscarriage of justice in this case. The second appeal was curtailed before running full distance for reasons we are all aware of. Given the additional evidence provided by both John Ashton and Dr Morag Kerr since then simply compound the call for a third appeal. Cadder Section 7 must be repealed. The COPFS and judiciary fig leaves are withering to naught by the millisecond.

  2. Totally off topic, but justice lives today. Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox have been aquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, after over seven years of legal farce, including four years in jail.

    That train-wreck made Megrahi's conviction look sane. The Italian authorities appeared to be even more irrationally intent on upholding the Sollecito and Knox convictions than the Scottish authorities Megrahi's. And yet even they finally said, enough, let's go with logic, rationality and truth for a change.

    I thought the convictions would be confirmed. You just never know.