(32)  The business of peace and unincorporated bodies

On 6 April 1998 at Greenock Sheriff Court Sheriff Simon Fraser refused to grant an eviction order sought by Argyll and Bute Council against the Faslane Peace Camp. The campers are protesting against the Faslane nuclear submarine base, and were granted a lease of a plot of land off the A814 at Helensburgh by Strathclyde Regional Council (now deceased) in 1982. The Argyll and Bute Council, successors to Strathclyde, now want to terminate the lease. The action was dismissed as incompetent because the eviction writ described the campers as an unincorporated body. Sheriff Fraser held that the campers could only be described as an unincorporated body if they were carrying on a business at the site, and although there was a caravan used as an office at the site, he found that there was no business activity conducted there. Sheriff Fraser’s judgment was over-turned on appeal by Sheriff Principal Robert Hay on 1 July 1998, the Council’s writ having been amended to call on the campers’ solicitor to identify the parties whom he represented. It remains to be seen what steps the Council will now take to evict the campers.