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Supreme Court again highlights Scottish failings

THE Scottish legal fraternity's instinct for the deployment of questionable reasoning was forensically exposed by the Supreme Court in the context of the Cadder and Fraser appeals from the decisions of the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

Your report suggests that the taste for deficient reasoning reflected in those cases has not diminished ("Holyrood is hit by new Supreme Court ruling", The Herald, November 29).

You reveal that Labour and SNP adminstrations (post-devolution) "failed to protect the rights of hundreds of mental health patients to appeal against the level of security imposed on them". The Supreme Court has condemned the failure since 2006 to pass the necessary laws that would allow patients in non-state hospitals to lodge an appeal against their condition of detention.

A test case before the Court of Session challenging that failure was dismissed. That kind of "fly in the face of the facts" legal reasoning prevailed in the Cadder and Fraser appeals – hence the successful appeals to the Supreme Court. Five Supreme Court judges have now overturned the reasoning of the Court of Session judges regarding the rights of mental health patients, thus opening the compensation floodgates.

The Cadder case, the Fraser appeal and the latest decision by the Supreme Court compels the question: What price justice in a post-independent Scotland, when the road to the Supreme Court could be blocked by the parochial mindset of the Nationalists?

Thomas Crooks,

1 Dundas Street,


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