Fergus Whyte: How pro bono work helps plug gap of unmet legal needs

This is National Pro Bono Week which provides a useful opportunity to think about when and how lawyers provide legal services to those in need.

Published 3 November 2020

Alan Mcintosh: Scotland could be facing a tsunami of car repossessions

The financial hurricane resulting from the coronavirus crisis is now beginning to touch down on the personal finances of millions of Scots and like all great storms, is going to leave a trail of destruction in its aftermath, with debris being made up from broken tenancy, mortgage, and consumer credit agreements.

Published 2 November 2020

Thomas Muinzer: Climate Crisis – the Seventh Gas Campaign

Dr Thomas Muinzer details the work of the Scottish Climate Emergency Legal Network this year.

Published 29 October 2020

SLAS dismayed at Prime Minister and Home Secretary’s attack on lawyers

Andrew Stevenson, Secretary of the Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) criticises attacks on “leftie lawyers” made by Boris Johnson and Priti Patel at this year’s Conservative Party Conference.

Published 28 October 2020

Benjamin Bestgen: Law in science fiction and fantasy

In the thirtieth article in Scottish Legal News' jurisprudential primer series, Benjamin Bestgen takes a look at fictional legal systems. See his last entry here.

Published 28 October 2020

Shirley Wyles: A matter of time

Where do you see yourself in five years? When this question is asked at a job interview or work appraisal, no clarification is needed on the starting point for the five years. The words “from now” go without saying. The starting point of a crucial five year period for certain claims in Scots law may not always be so clear.

Published 26 October 2020

Our Legal Heritage: Black History Month – Henry Dundas, lofty hero or lowlife crook?

Chris Holme looks at the life of Henry Dundas, a controversial figure who has come under scrutiny this year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Published 26 October 2020

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