Dear Scottish Government,
Can you tell me what does the scottish government do to assure the public that not only our courts are independent and free from being abused by people in power such as politicians and very rich business people, but also from the judiciary its self and legal system it self.
Dear Mr Jones
The independence of the judiciary is a cornerstone of a democratic society
and a safeguard for the freedom and rights of the citizen under the rule
of law. It means that judges should be free to make impartial decisions
based solely on fact and law, without interference, pressure or influence
from the state. For this reason the Scottish Government cannot seek to
influence the decisions of judges and does not comment on decisions when
they are made.
The independence of the judiciary is also guaranteed by statutory
provision, namely section 1 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act
2008. I copy it in full below:
1 Guarantee of continued judicial independence
(1)The following persons must uphold the continued independence of the
(a)the First Minister,
(b)the Lord Advocate,
(c)the Scottish Ministers,
(d)members of the Scottish Parliament, and
(e)all other persons with responsibility for matters relating to—
(i)the judiciary, or
(ii)the administration of justice,
where that responsibility is to be discharged only in or as regards
(2)In particular, the First Minister, the Lord Advocate and the Scottish
(a)must not seek to influence particular judicial decisions through any
special access to the judiciary, and
(b)must have regard to the need for the judiciary to have the support
necessary to enable them to carry out their functions.
(3)In this section “the judiciary” means the judiciary of—
(a)the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,
(b)any other court established under the law of Scotland, and
(c)any international court.
(4)In subsection (3)(c) “international court” means the International
Court of Justice or any other court or tribunal which exercises
jurisdiction, or performs functions of a judicial nature, in pursuance of—
(a)an agreement to which the United Kingdom or Her Majesty's Government in
the United Kingdom is a party, or
(b)a resolution of the Security Council or General Assembly of the United
I should also add that The Judicial Office for Scotland will consider any
complaint about the personal conduct of judicial office holders, but
cannot deal with complaints about judicial decisions or the way in which
cases have been handled.
I hope this if assistance.
Courts Reform, Justice Directorate
0131 244 4222
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