CULLED FROM THE COURTS: DREICH HOOSE IN DREGHORN?
Thanks to our literary critic Gillian Black for the following learned reference from the dreich hoose beside St Giles’ kirk in Edinburgh, per Lord Glennie on 13 September 2006:
The action concerns title to a property at 57 Main Street, Dreghorn (the subjects), which was valued by the pursuer, when this action began in 1996, at something over £50,000. The pursuer is the father of the first defender and they have been fighting over the title to the subjects in a series of six actions since the mid 1970s. The present action, the latest of those six, has already been to the Inner House on three occasions. In an Opinion delivered in January 1994, in the third of the actions between the parties, Lord Maclean observed that this family battle between father and son bore some resemblance to a version of Bleak House. Events since then have done nothing to invalidate that comparison. However, there is one difference, which Dickens could not have anticipated: both the pursuer and the first defender are legally aided, and this family dispute is, therefore, in the first instance at least, being conducted at the public expense.This Scottish Jarndyce v Jarndyce is Robert Bain v Andrew Bain: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2006CSOH142.html . Whatever happened to case management and/or mediation? We assume that the Dreghorn in issue is the one in Ayrshire rather than Edinburgh, but the opinion leaves us unclear on this. Finally, let’s keep it Scottish and remember the guid-gangand plea of Peebles v Plainstanes (see Scott’s Redgauntlet) when making literary references in our opinions.
On 8 September 2006 Scottish Borders Council failed to obtain from Selkirk Sheriff Court an interim anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) to require Mr Kenneth Williamson of Selkirk to prevent his cockerel Charlie from crowing in the garden of his house between 10 at night and 7 in the morning and disturbing neighbours, notably those in a nearby bed-and-breakfast establishment. A full hearing (of the case rather than Charlie’s vocal accomplishments) is to take place on 3 November, however, but Mr Williamson has meantime agreed to keep his fowl in a field 100 yards further away from the B&B. Charlie’s crow has apparently been recorded at over 30 decibels, the level at which noise can cause sleep deprivation, and he shares his living quarters around Mr Williamson’s house with his dogs, hens and a goat.
The Scottish Parliament approved the general principles of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill in a Stage 1 debate on 7 September 2006. The main features of the Bill are: (1) creation of a new independent Scottish Legal Complaints Commission to handle complaints of poor service against lawyers, empowered to make compensation orders of up to £20,000 (this would replace the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman); and (2) enabling the Scottish Legal Aid Board to fund non-lawyer specialist advisers. The Law society of Scotland, which will retain a disciplinary function in relation to complaints of professional misconduct, and the Faculty of Advocates have been vocal in their concerns about the independence of the new Complaints Commission, and the Scottish Executive has said it will move to meet some of these concerns by seeking amendments to the Bill in the later stages of its Parliamentary progress. While appointments to the Commission will be in the hands of Scottish Ministers, the process will be subject to oversight by the Scottish Commissioner for Public Appointments, while the Lord President will have a role in the removal of Commission members. The Commission’s membership will have a majority of non-lawyers. For the text of the Bill at the end of the Stage 1 process, see http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/bills/56-legalProfession/index.htm.