Winging it like Icarus?

I could be wrong. I could. This is not my field but has Wings misunderstood who the Faculty of Advocates is aiming their criticism at?

He writes:

When the Faculty Of Advocates – the most senior body of lawyers/QCs in the country – is handing out barely-veiled smackdowns like this to the First Minister, then you know you’re in some pretty uncharted jungle.

They write:

The Faculty of Advocates is becoming increasingly concerned at the debate, both in the media and in parliament, in relation to the parliamentary committee into the investigation of harassment allegations.  The debate appears increasingly to be focussed on the courts and Crown Office. The Faculty wishes to remind all concerned of the importance of maintaining confidence in the judicial system and in the rule of law. Maintaining that confidence requires, amongst other things, recognition of the importance of the independent role of the Lord Advocate, the independent role of the courts and, perhaps most importantly, the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings. No one in public life is beyond reproach, and healthy public debate surrounding the justice system is to be encouraged. However, when the public discourse fails to respect the basic tenets of the independence of the system, it is in danger of leading to irreparable harm. Such harm is something which might be to the detriment of Scotland as a whole in the long term.

Who, just who has been casting doubt on the independent role of the Lord Advocate?

Yesterday in Wings:

The actions in the Alex Salmond case and related actions by the Lord Advocate and Crown Agent have called its independence into question.

It’s the actions of the Lord Advocate and a coterie surrounding him that are tarnishing the entire institution. Judgement, competence and even the role itself are now called into question.

The day before that, might this be the reason for their concern?:

[The Lord Advocate] Wolffe’s stuttering, breathless performance, constantly licking his lips like a nervous lizard, had all the convincing character of a small child with a chocolate-smeared face denying any involvement in a half-eaten Black Forest Gateau – a surprising trait in a senior QC used to presenting cases in serious criminal trials.

Correct me if I’m wrong but is the smackdown for Wings and not the First Minister?

35 thoughts on “Winging it like Icarus?

    1. Undoubtedly Wings should be subject to scrutiny and criticism where appropriate. In part, that may have been the intention of the Faculty of Advocates.
      However I cannot see how the comments by the Faculty of Advocates relating to “debate….. in parliament” and “the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings” can be fairly described as directed at Wings. Stuart Campbell is neither a member of parliament, nor I believe, has he criticised the verdict of the jury.
      On the other hand, the First Minister amongst others, continues to refer to the women complainants in the criminal case against Alex Salmond as victims despite the verdicts of the jury.
      Finally, perhaps doubt regarding the independence of the Lord Advocate would not arisen had it not been for his controversial dual role as head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and also a government minister and its principal legal advisor.

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  1. The Faculty of Advocates is talking about some bloggers.. A complete lack of self awareness. They should put their house in order. Lesley Evans, the feminist, abuses other people. From a position of unelected rank and privilege. The hypocrisy, lies and intransigence. Costing over a £Billion which could have been better spent on abused women. .

    The Law should be changed to give co habiting women, the majority, equal rights. Instead of having to sue through Courts. (1/3). Costing £thousands. They can lose their house. Rental agencies (solicitors) demand upfront six months rent + deposit. Even from women with good credit ratings and funds. Illegally. There is little legal aid. It has to be paid back in any case. It has been changed in England to help women sue for their rights,

    The Faculty of Advocates should be doing something about that. Kerrching. They do not lose out. Raking it in. Abused women have to stay in unhealthy abusive situations without support. Instead of leaving because of the unequal, unfair Laws. Affecting many children. There is a consultation that has been going on for years. Just do it. Get on with it.

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  2. Lets hope that this whole sorry affair is put to bed by the end of next week.
    Getting very tired of trial by media and those who think they are above the rule of law.
    Only those who oppose Scottish independence have a vested interest in keeping the pot boiling.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “However, when the public discourse fails to respect the basic tenets of the independence of the system, it is in danger of leading to irreparable harm. Such harm is something which might be to the detriment of Scotland as a whole in the long term.”

    This could apply to Ms Sturgeon’s outburst yesterday when she suggested Salmond, though acquitted, might have been guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. It was a clear attack on the integrity of the jury.

    This certainly looks to be aimed at the FM.

    “and, perhaps most importantly, the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings. No one in public life is beyond reproach, ”

    “Who, just who has been casting doubt on the independent role of the Lord Advocate?”

    The Lord Advocate has been casting doubts on his independence. He wears two hats, being part of government, and his behaviour is mighty odd. Here is what Bernard Ponsonby says, with his usual clarity.

    https://news.stv.tv/opinion/why-is-the-lord-advocate-being-left-to-mark-his-own-homework?top

    Again, Ponsonby.

    “James Wolffe QC told MSPs the other week some prosecutions related to the administration of Rangers FC in 2012 were ‘malicious’. The public purse has haemorrhaged tens of millions of pounds in damages to citizens Wolffe says should never have been prosecuted in the first place.

    Lord Tyre in another civil case last week said the prosecution of Mr David Grier proceeded without ‘probable cause’. This, the biggest scandal ever to hit the Crown Office in my lifetime, occurred in one of the world’s oldest legal systems in 2021.”

    Mark Hirst, accused of contempt of court, was found to have no case to answer and his case dismissed in under an hour.

    Back to Ponsonby

    “And if that wasn’t enough, the intervention of the Crown Office on Monday night led to the Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body redacting evidence from Mr Salmond that he was meant to speak to today at the Holyrood committee.

    This is despite the fact the contents of his submission has been in the public domain and indeed has been widely published. I am tempted to ask why the Crown Office chose to have the Corporate body redact passages freely published elsewhere?

    The constitutional optics don’t look good. The Lord Advocate is a member of the Cabinet which is of course a political body. When the devolution legislation made its way through the House of Lords in 1998, the late Lord McCluskey warned of the dangers of having a Law Officer being seen to be too attached to the Executive arm of Government.

    That Law Officer was ultimately responsible for giving legal advice to the Government on the harassment procedures. That Law Officer was also ultimately accountable for Mr Salmond’s prosecution and for the subsequent attempts to have his views redacted before a Parliamentary Committee. Censored is another word.

    For the avoidance of doubt I make no charge of impropriety against Mr Wolffe. Having known several Lord Advocate’s I know that they take their independence very seriously in the prosecution of crime and in making decisions free from political interference.”

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      1. It may be referring to her answers to reporters at the Covid briefing. I must admit I was shocked that she didn’t answer them in the way she did at a previous briefing where she said the question was not Covid related and gave that reporter several opportunities to put a Covid question to her. Instead she answered not just by giving a straightforward denial but by turning her answer back on to Alex Salmond’s behaviour. No matter what one’s views on the whole debacle, this was not the place for her to express them.

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      2. She has been saying the same thing every time she speaks about the matter. Every time. The Blair ‘he was a bad man so it was OK to frame him’ argument except this time he was found innocent in a court of law.

        Mandarins talk in code. Seem to remember one of the heads of one of the Iraq enquires (Butler or Chilcot) was amazed that no one was asking Blair tough afterwards. Turned out the press couldn’t understand his mandarin speak understatements. By the time they realised, it was too late. Now we live with the consequences that leaders in british isles can get away with absolutely anything. There are no limits any more.

        Sheriff Drummond said that the civil service was being “brought into disrepute” by the whole affair.

        Retired judge Lord Hope, a former deputy president of the Supreme Court, suggested the House of Commons would not have been pressured in the same way. He said: ‘I am, to say the least, very surprised that the Crown Office can tell the Scottish parliament what it can and cannot do.
        ‘That could not happen at Westminster. Perhaps there is weakness here in our parliamentary system’.

        AS paid £600,000. Rangers millions.

        But of course this is nothing to do with NS.
        After protecting Leslie Evans for years only now is she going to get made the scapegoat and afterwards she will no doubt get a massive pension or promotion and end up in the House of Lords. Ditto all the rest of them.
        This is all perfectly OK in the land of sandy holes.

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    1. “This could apply to Ms Sturgeon’s outburst yesterday when she suggested Salmond, though acquitted, might have been guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. It was a clear attack on the integrity of the jury. ”

      What she really said in response to the usual hostile MSM was:

      “The behaviour complained of was found by a jury not to constitute criminal conduct and

      Alex Salmond is innocent of criminality,

      but that doesn’t mean the behaviour complained of didn’t happen and I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that”

      AS has admitted some of the behaviour complained of did happen.

      Some of the women were groomed/conned into testifying to behaviour not deemed criminal..

      No attack on jury.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. ‘This could apply to Ms Sturgeon’s outburst yesterday when she suggested Salmond, though acquitted, might have been guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. It was a clear attack on the integrity of the jury.’

      This is so wrong. I saw none of that.

      At this stage in the proceedings, I don’t know what has happened and that’s where I’m ahead because some don’t know that they don’t know. They ‘decided’ as neuroscience has shown, in milliseconds, based on what deep down they want to be true, in the past, and they work now to retrospectively justify what was an intuitive leap.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it matters. He is a SNP MP saying this:”The cost and reputational damage to it from the Rangers FC case are of a magnitude never seen before, and the actions in the Alex Salmond case and related actions by the Lord Advocate and Crown Agent have called its independence into question.:”

        It may also matter if, as I have seen mentioned, the line manager of the Crown Agent, Mr Harvie, is, or was, Linda Evans, the Permanent Secretary. Ms Evans claimed a number of times to the inquiry committee that she had sent the complainers evidence to the police before later stating she had sent it to COPFS.

        COPFS is in the position of seeking to redact material that was published in the Spectator while, it seems taking no action against that magazine.

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  4. You’re not wrong.
    It is interesting to see Wings using the same deflection tactics as the Unionists and Westminster Tories.
    Liam Fox, Andrew Neil- not good company to be in.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Advocates beef has a faint hint of ‘murmuring judges’ a term fallen into desuetude, I believe- McCaskills points re. the many& various failures @ Copfs are valid- the Evans-Harvie-Salmond criminal case link has never been explained/excused.

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  6. John, the person who has been casting doubts on Alex Salmond’s innocence in recent comments has been – The First Minister.

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    1. NS said

      “…but that doesn’t mean the behaviour complained of didn’t happen and I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that”

      AS has admitted some of the behaviour complained of did happen.

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      1. Mr Salmond did not admit anything of a criminal nature. The complaints made were allegations of criminal behaviour. Stop trying to mix those things together.

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      1. Of course he does, so what?
        So does Michael Russell. Called him an honest man when to me he was lying through his teeth. Couldn’t even tell us who made the decision to retract the 5 paragraphs implicating NS. No one even asked. This is the chaos that happens when leaders are corrupt.
        We can’t deal with it.

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    1. and here

      The good thing is that the media has been lying and smearing Scotland fot so long no one notices that this time they are being honest.

      When Hancock is found guilty of corruption nothing happens and Starmer defends him. Johnson is still ahead in the polls.
      Trump causes an insurrection and is not impeached. He is talking about a come back.
      In Scotland the leader frames someone and lock someone up for the rest of his life.
      Used to be that when these things happened we would despair at the state of the world. When it is us we are happy that polling figures are still high.
      This is how all the corrupt countries around the world think. This is Nationalism and Populism. When the polling in other corrupt countries is high we don’t say, wonderful.
      I am MORE worried that the polling is still high.

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    2. Sorry ‘tries to’.

      There is an awful lot of shoot the messenger right now.
      Alex yesterday you shot down Sillars but ignored his detailed complaint.
      John is doing the same.
      It is strange days indeed when the only people holding Johnson to account are people like Piers Morgan.
      This is what chaos looks like.
      This is Sturgeon. She allowed this to happen. No one else.

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  7. It also needs to be said that the person who decides what material the committee of inquiry gets to see and what elements of it are redacted is the person at the centre of allegations made by Mr Salmond – Linda Evans, Permanent Secretary.

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  8. So far the committee has been denied access to the external legal
    advice offered to the SG regarding the Judicial Review.

    Geoff Aberdein’s written evidence has not been published by the committee after he gave it to the committee. This means it can’t be considered as evidence although it is relevant to whether the FM has lied to parliament. There is no legal reason evident as to why it should not be published and considered.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I now give you a nod that most definately not only winks but points a finger at a certain individual within wings who obviously has been TURNED by certain dark forces
    The key to what i speak is the repetitive deployment of the word CERTAIN
    Once upon a Certain time not that long ago
    In certain lands not far from our shores
    When it was certain that the times were far from normal
    A certain organisation would have made upon
    A certain individual a visitation
    To carry out a certain knee operation upon said certain person
    Informing him for certain that should they ever have to return
    Then for certain that would be the last one
    Know what I mean
    All this for CERTAIN has no malicious intent
    Just using a certain word to switch the torch on and upon a certain type

    Like

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