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?
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.
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?