I NOTE your excellent report on my trial (“Nuclear protest pensioner found not guilty”, The Herald, February 10). However, you write that I claimed international law was higher than Scots law. I made no such claim. Far from belittling Scots law, I on the contrary extolled it. My actual words were: “It is inconceivable that the Common Law of Scotland tolerate the threat of mass murder as a permissible tactic in war. Even if there were no Geneva and Hague Conventions, no Nuremberg Principles, or any other of the vast corpus of International humanitarian law, I am happy to base my case on the Common Law of Scotland.”
I quoted the precedent of the Jamaican slave Joseph Knight, who was liberated in 1778 by the sheriff of Perthshire, on the grounds that slavery was not recognised by the law of Scotland. This was before slavery was abolished by Parliament until 1833. The court upheld basic justice against the government of the day then, and can do so again today.
Which leads to the crux of the matter. While I am relieved to have been acquitted, it is deplorable that the courts have never yet confronted the blatant illegality of Trident. As a weapon of mass destruction, it undoubtedly belongs to a prohibited class of weaponry. Yet these are regularly trundled along our roads.
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Scottish courts have not yet addressed this ongoing crime. Indeed, by their silence and passivity they are “art and part” of the criminal conspiracy.
The 1945 London Agreement on War Crimes, which led to the prosecution and conviction of the Nazis, enshrined the principle that no-one, of whatever office or rank, is above the jurisdiction of international law. All individuals are deemed to be personally responsible for their actions.
“Qui tacet vult consentire”. He who is silent, is giving consent. By their silence Scottish courts are complicit in this on-going criminal activity.
Brian M Quail,
2 Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow.