Thursday, 2 July 2015

Substantive hearing on SCCRC Megrahi petition on Friday 3 July

In December last year the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission petitioned the High Court of Justiciary seeking guidance on whether relatives of Lockerbie victims, such as Dr Jim Swire and the Revd John Mosey, had a “legitimate interest” to pursue an appeal on behalf of the late Abdelbaset Megrahi, should the SCCRC decide that a miscarriage of justice might have occurred. The reaction of the relatives’ lawyers to this petition can be read here. A procedural hearing on the petition was held at the end of March 2015. The case is back before the High Court in Edinburgh tomorrow (Friday, 3 July) at 10.30 am when the substantive legal issues will be debated. Written heads of argument have been lodged by the SCCRC, the Crown and the relatives.


  1. Is the Crown actually opposing the right of the victoms' relatives to mount an appeal? After all the rhetoric about a court of law being the only place to settle this, essentially saying stop telking to the press and writing books, the proper procedure is to do just that?

  2. The Heads of Argument submitted by the Crown contend that the aim of the legislation which permits posthumous appeals is to benefit "persons connected to the deceased person or his estate". There is no suggestion, they say, that the legislation envisages that other persons, such as the relatives of victims, should be regarded as having a legitimate interest to bring a posthumous appeal.

  3. That might play better if the Lord Advocate hadn't spent the best part of five years pretty much challenging the victims' relatives to mount a fresh appeal, declaring it was the legitimate route to addressing their concerns, and dismissing all other avenues of action in favour of that one.

    Not that I suppose any of that will have the slightest force in law.