It was announced on 24 November 2005 that The Queen had been pleased to approve the appointment of The Right Honourable Lord Hamilton as Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland in succession to The Right Honourable The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk.


Arthur Campbell Hamilton (63) was born in Glasgow and attended Glasgow High School.  He studied at Glasgow, Oxford (BA) and Edinburgh (LLB) Universities, completing his studies in 1967.  He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1968 and became QC in 1982.  He was an Advocate Depute (1982-85), Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunals (1988-92) and President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal (Scotland) (1992-95).  Over several months in 1992 and 1993, during the indisposition of the Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central and Fife, he acted as a temporary Sheriff Principal in that sheriffdom.  From 1988 to 1995 he was a Judge of Appeal of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. 


In 1995 he was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice.  Between 1997 and 2000 he was a full-time commercial judge dedicated to commercial business and responsible for oversight of that aspect of Court of Session business.  In January 2002 he was appointed as a judge of the Inner House where he sat principally on appellate business.


See previously No 516 (it is now understood that the essay there referred to was on the challenges facing the Scottish legal system over the next 10 years); and also No 249, for an earlier appearance of Lord Hamilton in Scots Law News as a defender of World Heritage sites in Edinburgh against the ravages of giant wheelie bins.




According to the Naked Rambler website (http://www.nakedwalk.org/), Steve Gough was released from Saughton Prison in Edinburgh on 3 November 2005, having served the sentence for breach of bail conditions that was imposed upon him at Dingwall in October (see No 509).  However, since he once again refused to depart the embrace of the prison cell in clothes, he was immediately re-arrested and remanded in custody.  He was brought before Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 15 November, but refused to comply with Sheriff Gordon Liddle’s order that he appear clothed.  He was thereupon jailed for a further three months, this time for contempt of court.  

With weather forecasters looking forward to the coldest winter in Britain since 1963, Scots Law News wonders if not all is as it seems.  Are police, fiscals and sheriffs really taking pity on Mr Gough; or is he provoking them into taking him in out of the cold for a while?  Reference back to the first naked ramble in 2003 reveals that it was at a very nearly parallel time of the year that Gough was put away for three months in Porterfield at Inverness (see Nos 286, 287, 290, 302).  Upon release then, within a matter of days he had made it to John O’Groats without further interruption.  Time, then, to wish all concerned a merry Christmas and a happier New Year?




Martin Hogg has drawn our attention to the excellent work of the Northern Ireland Court Service in ensuring the accessibility of the courts in the languages of the people.  Thus there are guides to the courts published in Ulster Scots (Anent the Court Sairvice: A guide foir uisears o the Norlin Airlan Court Sairvice) and in Gaelic (Maidir leis an tSeirbhís Chúirte: Treoir d’úsáideoirí Chúirte Thuaisceart Éireann).  These can be accessed at http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/en-GB/AboutUs/.  Pursuing the matter further, Scots Law News finds that the NICS also produces Codes of Courtesy for the use of Ulster Scots and Irish in official business, which can be tracked down at http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/en-GB/Publications/Using_the_Court_Service/.  True, the Scottish Courts Administration provides translations of some of its leaflets in Gaelic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Cantonese (see http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/translate/index.asp), but nothing at all in Scots.  Time for reflection again on the implications of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages for the courts (see No 345), and for a debate in the Scottish Parliament again about the use of Scots as well as other languages in Scotland (see No 187 and follow links therein, and No 201)?