(305) LORD ADVOCATE PRESENTS THE CASE FOR A SUPREME COURT
A modern solution for a modern government was how the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC summed up proposals for the establishment of a UK Supreme Court on 21 January 2004, presenting the case for the establishment of a Supreme Court at a Law Society of Scotland event focusing on proposed constitutional reforms. Speaking to an audience of around 60 lawyers, the Lord Advocate emphasised the need for everyone involved in the legal system to be forward thinking in considering this issue, and underlined his belief in the need for continued modernisation. He said:
We need to develop a modern system to reflect the institutions and challenges of modern government, especially the public’s expectations of transparency and accountability. In my view, the creation of a Supreme
Court is the way forward. There is no future for this country, and this legal system, in looking to the past. Our legal ancestors did what they thought was right for them. Times have changed. Scottish lawyers and legislators must now look to what is right for us, what will work for us, what will best reflect the interests and the genius and the spirit of Scots law in the United Kingdom in the 21st century. Through debate and discussion of these proposals, Scots lawyers and legislators can shape changes to the legal system, which will endure well into the 21st century.
The Lord Advocate has dismissed claims that the proposals are not compatible with the provisions of the Treaty of Union, saying: It is unsound in law and judgement to argue that the Supreme Court would be incompatible with the Treaty of Union. The Lord Advocate will also participate in the Scottish Parliamentary debate on this issue that has been scheduled for 29 January. The Lord Advocate’s speech can be viewed and printed from the News page of the Crown Office website at http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk.