The new Department of Constitutional Affairs published its consultation paper, Constitutional Reform: A Supreme Court for the United Kingdom (CP 11/03) on 14 July 2003.  It is available at




The paper proposes the replacement of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords with a Supreme Court which would also subsume the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.  The Court would not however be a constitutional court with power to overturn primary legislation, nor is it proposed that the Court should have jurisdiction in Scottish criminal appeals.  It would be separated completely from the legislature and the executive.  Consultation is sought on issues of appointment, including ensuring representation from Scotland and Northern Ireland, and on the titles of the Court’s judges.  One possibility canvassed is a recommending commission, with representation from all three jurisdictions.


On 9 July 2003 it was announced that the Black Cuillin range in Skye, which had been put on the market in March 2000 by John MacLeod of Macleod, 29th chief of his clan, in order to finance the renovation of his ancestral home at Dunvegan Castle (see No 80), was no longer for sale and would instead be given to the nation.  In return, the repairs at Dunvegan would be funded by a variety of public and charitable bodies, such as Highland Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise, and the John Muir Trust.  On the same day it was confirmed that negotiations for a community buy out under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 were under way in relation to a number of estates in South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula, which thus join the estate of Galson in North Lewis in this respect.