New immigration rules loom as Brexit approaches

Thorntons' Gurjit Pall has urged Scottish businesses to apply for a Home Office sponsor licence as the Brexit transition period draws to a close – to ensure they can still access the best overseas talent.

Published 23 October 2020

Our Legal Heritage: Black History Month – Dido Elizabeth Belle

To mark Black History Month, SLN is dedicating its ‘Our Legal Heritage’ slot to Scotland’s black history.  

Published 23 October 2020

Opinion: Alistair Bonnington on Scotland’s malicious prosecution shame

An astonishing admission was made by Scotand's Lord Advocate in the Court of Session at the end of August. He conceded that his predecessor's 2012 prosecution of the two men called in as administrators of Rangers Football Club was malicious. This is a shameful milestone in the legal history of this nation.For as long as anyone can remember, every Scots law student was taught that there never has been, nor ever will be, a successful application to have a Scottish prosecution declared to be malicious. That's because the test to prove malice is, in law, impossibly high; and in any event, those who hold the ancient Scots office of Lord Advocate would never misuse their constitutional power in that way.

Published 22 October 2020

Andrew Stevenson: Covid and the fate of court buildings in Scotland

From around 1835, Inverness Castle was the home of the city’s sheriff court until, earlier this year, all its business was permanently moved to a new “Justice Centre”, more functional but with considerably less style or grandeur. However, the future is precarious for many court buildings in Scotland, not just elegant Georgian edifices such as those in Ayr or Perth, and Covid-19 is likely to accelerate their demise.

Published 21 October 2020

Benjamin Bestgen: Law and nanoscience

Benjamin Bestgen considers how the law might grapple with nanoscience. See his last jurisprudential primer here.

Published 21 October 2020

Editorial: Local justice – all smokies and mirrors?

In the 1970s Ernst Schumacher, an unlikely named British Coal economist, wrote his famous work Small is Beautiful bequeathing the decade a title that became a mantra, but which arguably made little impact on society. Today, in a reaction to globalisation boosted by Covid lockdowns, a new slogan has appeared. 'Local living' is à la mode as city breaks on Ryanair become a distant memory and we rediscover the weekly arrival of the local fish van with its opportunity to blether to the neighbours.

Published 20 October 2020

David Lorimer: A double-edged shield

Lord Glennie’s opinion in the recent ‘CH’ appeal ([2020] HCJAC 43) highlights a conflict of judicial thinking, and legal opinion in general, with respect to the Scottish rape shield. Could it be that the real issue is a fundamental lack of trust in the ability of a jury to reach a fair conclusion in such cases? In his customary manner, David Lorimer takes a carefully considered look at the issue.

Published 16 October 2020

Audrey Ferrie: An almighty hangover for the licensed trade

The 16-day lockdown across the central belt has ushered in an almighty hangover for drinkers, diners and licensed trade operators alike, writes Audrey Ferrie.

Published 16 October 2020

Chris Plews: Let’s get down to business

In the UK around 95 per cent of Britain’s 4.9 million private businesses employ less than 10 people. While 75 per cent are sole proprietors, another 20 per cent have up to only nine employees.

Published 14 October 2020

Benjamin Bestgen: Taxation

Leo Mattersdorf, friend and accountant of Albert Einstein, claimed the great physicist once said to him during a meal that "the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax". Benjamin Bestgen this week takes a look at this marmite subject. See last week's jurisprudential primer here.

Published 14 October 2020

Graeme MacLeod: No absolute right to privacy on messaging platforms

Graeme MacLeod comments on a recent Inner House judgment in which police officers in a WhatsApp group lost an appeal against a decision to investigate them.

Published 12 October 2020

Lawyer of the Month: Matthew McGovern

Much has been said about the plight of criminal defence lawyers in recent years, from the inadequacy of legal aid fees to the impracticality of working hours. Almost all of it has been from the point of view of practitioners with decades of experience in the sector, though.

Published 12 October 2020

Robert More: 48 hours in the life of a defence solicitor

Solicitor advocate Robert More recounts two days in the life of a defence lawyer, highlighting the dire straits in which practitioners find themselves. The pleas of the profession continue to fall on deaf ears as the Scottish government and, in particular, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, do nothing.

Published 9 October 2020

Martin Devine: Glasgow’s ambitious growth plans get underway

Glasgow has raced out of the starting blocks in its bid to double the size of its city centre population over the next 15 years to 40,000, writes Martin Devine.

Published 9 October 2020

Covid: Lack of legal certainty is now endemic

Niall McCluskey and Christian McNeill take a critical look at the latest coronavirus rules.

Published 8 October 2020