(116)  Article 6 and the use of Latin

In Robbie the Pict v MacDonald 2001 GWD 20-764, a Skye Bridge case, it was held that the use of a Latin maximum (omnia rite et solemniter acta praesumuntur) by the Sheriff in Dingwall Sheriff Court was not a breach of art 6 of the ECHR. Robbie claimed that he had a right for proceedings to be conducted in a language he understood. This was rejected by the Appeal Court on the basis that Robbie’s presentation of his arguments demonstrated that he had understood the Latin words.

(115)  Dean on the run

On 20 June 2001 Professor Neil Garrod (46), Dean of Law and Financial Studies at Glasgow University, completed the run from Rome to Glasgow with which he marked the 550th anniversary of the institution’s foundation in 1451.He began his journey on 23 April and ran the equivalent of a marathon every day.

(114)  Knighthood for Neil MacCormick

The Birthday Honours List published on 16 June 2001 included a knighthood for services to legal scholarship for Neil MacCormick, Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations in the Faculty of Law at the University of Edinburgh. Professor MacCormick is also a member of the European Parliament for the SNP.

(113)  Scottish Law Commission reports on diligence

The Scottish Law Commission published its Report on Diligence (Scot Law Com No 183) on 17 May 2001.  The Report recommends (1) the abolition of adjudication for debt which functions as a diligence against land and as a residual diligence used against moveable property; (2) the introduction of a new diligence called land attachment to replace adjudication as a diligence against land;  (3) the introduction of a new diligence called an attachment order to replace adjudication as a residual diligence against moveable property; (4) if goods are to be attachable for debt (see No 90 below), then money in the possession of debtors on their business premises should also be attachable;  (5) the retention of inhibition subject to reforms to clarify and simplify the law.  The Report can be read at http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk.  Unusually, the Report does not contain a draft Bill, because the Scottish Executive’s review of all aspects of the diligence system will involve a public consultation including the issues covered in the Report.

(112)  Reform of the law of charities

The Scottish Charity Law Review Commission, set up by the Scottish Ministers in 2000, published its Report, Charity Scotland, in May 2001.  Amongst the 114 recommendations made in the report are the following: (1) creation of a new body, to be called CharityScotland, with powers in relation to Scottish charities, in particular to determine eligibility as a charity; (2) adoption of a new legal form for charities, the Charitable Incorporated Organisation, following the recommendations of the DTI Company Law Steering Group; (3) creation of a Scottish Charity Register;  (4) obligations to provide annual returns, variable in weight according to the size of the charity; (5) public trusts as such to be considered apart from charities, while the concept of an educational endowment” should be abolished; (5) extension of charitable trustees’ powers of investment by a Trustees (Scotland) Bill.  The text of the Report is available at http://www.charityreview.com.”

(111)  Sponsiones ludricae and bingo winning agreements

On 15 May 2001 Lord Carloway upheld the existence and validity of an oral agreement between two bingo-playing friends that they would share equally the proceeds of any major win made by either party at the Mecca bingo hall in Drumchapel, Glasgow (Robertson v Anderson 2001 GWD 17-669).  One of the friends had won £108,000 in the National Game, the UK’s largest bingo prize, but had refused to split the money; the other’s claim to £54,000 was upheld, while the defender had also to meet the expenses of the action, estimated at £16,000.  On the application of the doctrine of sponsiones ludicrae in situations of this kind, see 93 below.