News and Events from August 2014

News Archive August 2014

Legal Heavyweights Gear Up For Referendum Bout

Some of Scotland's top lawyers will battling it out in a referendum debate to be held in Edinburgh on 9 September just 9 days before the crucial vote on independence. The debate will feature academics, advocates and solicitors from both sides of the debate and consider the consequences for the law, legal system and legal profession if Scotland becomes independent. Confirmed speakers include in the Yes camp Joanna Cherry QC Convenor of Lawyers for Yes, Aileen McHarg Professor of Public Law at the University of Strathclyde and solicitor advocate Brandon Malone. Across the table speaking for Lawyers Together are Professor Adam Tomkins who holds the John Millar Chair of Public Law at the University of Glasgow, Advocate Claire Mitchell and Mike Dailly Principal Solicitor at the Govan Law Centre.The debate will be chaired by Advocate Niall McCluskey.

Joanna Cherry QC said “Lawyers for Yes relish the opportunity to discuss the legal benefits that would accrue to an independent Scotland, including the chance to participate in the development of a written constitution, continued membership of the EU, and a Parliament with full powers to legislate in the best interests of Scotland in contrast with the risks of remaining in the UK which include the repeal of the Human Rights Act promised by the Tories, the threat to EU membership posed by an in/out referendum, and continued uncertainty over what, if any, further powers will be devolved to Holyrood.”

Mike Dailly stated “"Significantly, the debate takes place at a time when the Scottish Human Rights Commission has expressed serious concerns to the United Nations on a wide range of issues within Scotland's legal system. For example, the fact 70% of police searches have no apparent basis in our law; the policy of firearms being commonplace on our streets, and by-passing any democratic scrutiny; the desire to remove ancient principles of Scots criminal law such as the principle of corroboration; and the fact we now have Scottish legislation which removes a citizen's liberty for singing at a football match.There is much to discuss. And underpinning all of this debates must be economics. If the numbers don't add up we get cuts to public spending - what will that mean for Scots law?". 

For details of how to register to attend email Niall McCluskey at