(209)  The Scottish judiciary and the Speculative Society

Proceedings began at the Court of Session on 18 February 2003 in a petition raised by Robbie the Pict, who argues that the Scottish judiciary cannot act impartially in litigation by him in connection with the Skye Bride tolls because many of them are members of the Speculative Society as are a number of other figures connected with the building of the bridge.  Judges who are members of the Society should therefore be barred from hearing cases in which he is involved.  The case is being heard by Lord Justice Clerk Gill and Lords Kirkwood and Wheatley, none of whom have been or are members of the Speculative Society.  At the outset of the proceedings, however, Robbie asked the judges whether they belonged to a Masonic order.  Lord Gill indicated that the judges would consider answering this question when delivering their opinions.  After debate on the issues, it was announced that a written judgment would be delivered later.  The Speculative Society first met in Edinburgh University in 1764 and has rooms still in the University’s Old College building.  Its membership is current and former Edinburgh university students, but only of the male gender, and it meets for debates and the reading of papers.  A membership list is available at http://www.firstfoot.com/scotchmyth/ssoemembers.htm.