(190)  First civil wedding outside a register office – in Gretna

Joanne Shine and Nick Drummond from Cheshire, both 27, who had eloped to Gretna to get married, found themselves in the newspapers as apparently the first couple to take advantage of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 2002, which enables civil marriages to take place in approved locations other than register offices.  They were married on 6 August 2002 at the Mill Hotel, Kirkpatrick Fleming (near Gretna), the ceremony being performed by Noeline Bourne-May.  Dumfries and Galloway Council is the only local authority to have approved venues under the Act so far.

(188)  Lockerbie: Libya ready to pay compensation

Following a meeting in Tripoli on 7 August 2002 between Colonel Gaddafi of Libya and the British Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien, the Libyan Foreign Minister stated that regarding compensation, yes, we are going to do something on that topic.  Regarding responsibility, we are discussing this issue – we are ready to get rid of this obstacle.  The objective is the normalisation of relations between Libya and the USA, and the lifting of sanctions against Libya.

(187)  Ay aye

The Scotsman and The Times for 20 August 2002 both report Sheriff Lindsay Wood at Stirling Sheriff Court telling Ryan Seath (18) of Stirling not to use the word aye when seeking to answer questions in the affirmative.  Sheriff Wood told Mr Seath (who is accused of vandalism and breach of the peace, and has pled not guilty): Next time you appear in court you don’t say ‘aye’, you say ‘yes’.  Do you understand that?  Mr Seath replied Yes.  He has now been bailed to appear for trial on 3 December 2002.  There have been previous reported examples of sheriffs insisting on the use of Yes rather than Aye: Sheriff James Nolan, also in Stirling Sheriff Court, in 1993, and Sheriff Irvine Smith at Glasgow in 1994, the latter pointing out that the word ay in Scots means always, making oral use of the word ambiguous.  For discussion of these and other linguistic difficulties in court see H L MacQueen, Laws and languages: some historical notes from Scotland, Electronic Journal of Comparative Law, vol 6(2) (2002), http://www.ejcl.org/62/issue62.html.

(186)  Fox-hunting Act not contrary to ECHR

On 31 July 2002 Lord Nimmo Smith held in the Outer House of the Court of Session that the Protection of Wild Mammals (S) Act 2002, which bans fox-hunting with dogs (see Nos 153, 165 and 166), was not contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (Adams v Lord Advocate, The Times 8 August 2002; 2002 GWD 26-879; see also No 180).  The Scottish Countryside Alliance has indicated that the decision will be appealed.