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More Lockerbie Oppression
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: More Lockerbie Oppression  Reply with quote

MOJO Conference Today Monday 21 April 2008

It emerged from one of the key speakers at todays MOJO conference that the appeal of Megrahi (Lockerbie Bomber) has had a major setback.

It has (in spite of recent laws and current practices) emerged that the High Court of Appeal are trying to limit his appeal to exactly what the SCCRC referred his case on.

The big test case for SCCRC and our courts was The Campbell and Steele case which accepted that once the SCCRC make the referral it is up to the defence team to then lodge grounds on behalf of any appellant.
Indeed this is the way it has worked since SCCRC inception in 1999.

SCCRC Rules of referral can be seen here:

http://www.sccrc.org.uk/onceacaseisreferred.aspx

which quite clearly state:

Although the Commission has referred your case to the High Court on the specific grounds contained in its statement of reasons, you are permitted to raise other matters at appeal which have not been referred to by the Commission.

It should then proceed as if Leave Has Been Granted:

Your appeal will be treated by the court as if leave to appeal has already been granted.

Is this latest an attemp at Damage Limitation or what ?


Last edited by Big Wullie on Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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PeterCherbi



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 167


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigWullie

Surely that is a very dangerous turn of events.

I thought it was normally the case the SCCRC made recommendations for appeal then it was left to the individual and their Counsel to get on with the business of lodging the appeal and determining the precise grounds etc ?

Given many of the problems you have highlighted with the SCCRC and their lack of attention to many of the most important details of cases before them, coupled with their apparent policy to avoid looking at issues such as 'defective representation' which may well be the determining factor in a lot of cases, I don't think I'd feel very safe with the court limiting an individual's terms of appeal based only on the SCCRC's investigation or recommendations which we now know in several cases to be lacking at the very least ...
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: More Attempts To Suppress Lockerbie Reply with quote

Peter

I also found a report here:

http://scottishlaw.blogspot.com/2...peals-court-may-try-to-limit.html

Where you will see Robert Black has pointed out it is Crown Office that is attempting to persuade the court that Lockerbie should be treated differently from all the other cases referred before him by SCCRC.

I seen this coming a while back as the only way for SCCRC to save face for not referring on other Competent and Stateable grounds which are at least arguable.

Again this proves my theory that SCCRC and Crown work hand in hand in attempts to defeat the ends of justice, and uphold as many contoversial decisions as possible, SCCRC are not as independent as they profess.

Lets hope the appeal courts see right through their plots and stifle this attempt at bending the Law to suit their own needs

Lets wait and see
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Iain McKie



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 938


Location: Ayr, Scotland.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It goes without saying that if these allegations are true then everyone fighting for justice in Scotland is faced with an extremely serious situation.

That the terms of an appeal should be limited to those identified by the SCCRC would create an extremely dangerous precedent and would in itself create the possibility of a miscarriage of justice.

The SCCRC is an extremely important organisation – in many ways the last hope for justice in our fallible system. However while I remain one of its biggest supporters it has been shown over the years that its decisions can be fallible and almost impossible to appeal.

This fallibility does not I believe lay in any internal or external conspiracy or inherent personal flaws in the SCCRC members or management but in the structure, decision-making processes and financing of the organisation.

When the SCCRC identify a potential miscarriage of justice they are not coming to some immutable decision but stating that given the enquiry they have made, which for the above reasons could have been limited, a miscarriage is a possibility.  

What the SCCRC has done in the past, having highlighted such a possibility, is to then leave it up to the established appeal procedures to resolve the issue.

Once a potential miscarriage has been identified it makes no sense to limit the case examination to strictly defined limits. A miscarriage is a miscarriage and once the possibility has been signaled then the defence should have the freedom to bring forward related issues that the SCCRC might have failed to identify. If anyone abuses this procedure then the Appeal Court has the power to deal with them.

In looking at this latest move by the Lord Advocate it is interesting to note that a short time ago she was content to put the responsibility for taking out a Public Interest Immunity Certificate to prevent documents being released onto the Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Now she seeks to limit the appeal terms of reference.

Consistent?

I don’t think so and the stuff of which conspiracy theories are made.

For further debate:   http://scottishlaw.blogspot.com/2...court-may-try-to-limit.html#links
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
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Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as my understanding of the referral proceedings Iain, Once the case is referred the defence team can even argue Grounds which have already been raised at any appeal beforehand.

So to deny only Megrahi this right is clearly unethical and not compliant with his human right to a fair hearing.

Why for instance did they not deny Raymond Gilmour or any before him this right ?

Why try and change a law that is and has worked well for years ?

The difference with Megrahi And Gilmour is clear, Gilmour was not bringing SCCRC and our Courts into disrepute whereas Megrahi's case was clearly not fully explored by SCCRC who found no fault with the Golfer etc etc, The rest is history.

At the end of the day Megrahi is entitled to the same rights as others who predate his hearing, Why should Crown be allowed to apply to change the law when they will be brought into disrepute

Quell this at source please Judges and gain the respect lost in this case already.

Do not let Crown Office bring our once great system into further decline for which there will be no return

Iain you are right in saying the SCCRC is an important organisation but i cannot agree with the way it is run.

They have a culture and reluctance to investigate Defective  Representation as a legitamate ground of appeal.

They have a culture to Ignore applicants proper Grounds.

They are allowed to do what they want without redress.

They are a Law unto themselves.

In their presently run state they are not fit for purpose.
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Iain McKie



Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 938


Location: Ayr, Scotland.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wullie,

You are correct in identifying  'culture' as an issue reducing the effectiveness of the SCCRC. As you state the reluctance to accept ‘defective representation' as a ground for appeal referral provides proof of an overly legally dominated culture within which decisions are made. Despite its being one of the commonest grounds for referral to the SCCRC only in about 2/4% of cases are these grounds allowed to go forward to appeal.

I am clear that ’defective representation’ is one of the major issues requiring to be addressed within our justice system and along with the cost of legal action and the inordinate time taken to pursue it is threatening to make our system no longer fit for purpose – or at least for the purpose of righting injustice.

I stick to my premise however that this is more a system/cultural issue that a question of ill disposed individuals within our justice organisations. Unfortunately that means it becomes much more difficult to effect change.

Best wishes,

Iain
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PeterCherbi



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 167


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wullie & Iain

I agree with you both, and I hope in view of the gravity of the Lord Advocate's apparent will to get the Campbell & Steele ruling overturned solely it seems on the basis of further obstructing the Lockerbie case, the media will further investigate the issue and draw the public's attention to what could indeed be a gross interference in access to justice which will inevitably hinder the work of the SCCRC and impact significantly on appeals made to it by those who are wrongly convicted.

This is certainly an unwelcome move against anyone who fights injustice, where it seems, the very organs of the legal system which have caused the injustice in the first place, are seeking to change the rules at will to prevent or hinder progress for actual cases before the courts, and further change, reform and reconciliation to prevent such things happening in the future ...

I would welcome a statement from the Justice Secretary or even the Scottish Government on this issue, given the impact the intentions of the Lord Advocate will have on the subject of miscarriage of justice and injustice in Scotland ....
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject: Damage Limitation or What ? Reply with quote

Peter

Please do not hold your breath awaiting a response from Justice Minister, He has previous for being non responsive to the issues of injustice.

You can probably bet on this law being changed to suit Crown Office.

As for the media         Well

In its present form SCCRC are not fit for purpose.
They sit with the following and discuss their policies:

The Commission has also set up a User Group Forum
whose members comprise:
The Commission’s Chief Executive, Director of
Administration and Senior Legal Officer;
Tom Higgins, Appeals Manager Justiciary Office;
Lindsay Anderson, Crown Office Policy Group;
Chief Superintendent Janette Joyce, Strathclyde Police;
Stuart Sproul, Prison Officer, HMP Shotts;
Graham Walker, Criminal Defence Solicitor;
William McVicar, Criminal Defence Solicitor; and
Clark Pearson, Scottish Executive Justice Department.

Quite clearly they maintain heavy links to the Justice Department


Here is a copy of exactly what Campbell and Steele means and from the SCCRCs annual report dated 2002-2003 page 24-25:

References under Section
194B of the Criminal
Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
Following the Commission’s reference of the cases of
Thomas Campbell. Joseph Steele and Thomas Gray in
2001, the High Court, during the current reporting
year, heard argument on a preliminary issue which
had arisen in the course of the appeal. The issue
concerned whether, at an appeal following a
Commission reference, an appellant should be
confined to the specific grounds advanced by the
Commission in its statement of reasons.
The Commission had previously understood that
once a case was referred to the High Court, an
appellant was entitled to raise any issue at his
subsequent appeal. This view was based upon a
number of previous decisions concerning the
interpretation of section 194B’s predecessor, section
124(3), which set out the Secretary of State’s power of
reference to the court.
After hearing argument, the court held that the
appellants in the case were indeed entitled to rely on
grounds additional to those contained in the
Commission’s statements of reasons.

Clearly Megrahi is being held to ransom and they wish to change the law to do so.

I agree with Peter this is dangerous but it would also require to be legislated by Parliament to change the Law surely ?

Page 10 at the following link also highlights the need not to ask for leave to appeal and bypass the sift panel process:

http://www.sccrc.org.uk/viewfile.aspx?id=98
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Big Wullie



Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 5125


Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Oppression

It is proposed that Megrahi be excluded from the hearing and a specially vetted Counsel Represent him at such a hearing.

The following is in todays Herald:

Lord Davidson told the appeal judges: "What is proposed on behalf of the secretary is that the material be disclosed to the court in a closed hearing."

In a written submission presented to the court, he said that a special representative could represent the interests of Megrahi and also "assist the courts in a fair hearing

I can agree to a closed court hearing but it must be representatives of Megrahi's own choice, Not ones substituted by Crown Office, This just simply cannot be viewed as Independent.

The whole article is here:

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/n...ring_in_lockerbie_appeal_case.php

The Scotsman:

http://news.scotsman.com/latestne...omber39s-legal-team-to.4124863.jp

Strange No Comments Allowed ?
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PeterCherbi



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 167


Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Wullie

I see BBC News are carrying an update of the situation, where today it is claimed the Crown would accept 'partial disclosure' of the documents the defence team require :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_of_scotland/7423789.stm

An attempt at compromise perhaps because the court may not be minded to replace Megrahi's Counsel with the Crown's own selection ?

At the end of the day surely what was proposed by way of replacing the defence team with security vetted lawyers possibly favouring the Crown's position over that of Megrahi cannot be allowed, simply because if such a ruling takes place, it will be used again & again in Scotland as the Crown feels appropriate.


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Injustice Scotland Campaign website : Injustice Scotland


Last edited by PeterCherbi on Thu May 29, 2008 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.