Law Reform after World’s End – Scottish Law Commission, Report on Crown Appeals

The Scottish Law Commission has today published its Report on Crown Appeals (Scot Law Com no 212), including an eight section draft bill, the Criminal Appeals etc. (Scotland) Bill.  The report follows the reference from Scottish ministers (no 703) following the acquittal in the World's End murder trial  (nos 679, 681, 684, and 685). 

The project involved consideration of the upholding of a submission of “no case to answer” in a case involving a jury (Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 s 97); the common law submission that a jury should not convict; and rulings on the admissibility of prosecution evidence that so weakens the prosecution case that the case is abandoned.

The Commission has (by a majority, with the chairman and Professor Gretton in the minority – see para 2.25 n 58) recommended an extension to the current right of the accused to make a no case to answer submission at the end of the Crown case.   Currently the provision as interpreted only allows a successful submission where there is no corroboration on at least one of the essential elements of the offence.  The majority recommendation will allow the accused to submit at the end of the Crown case that "on the evidence led by the Crown, no reasonable jury, properly directed, could convict of the offence charged." (Para 2.25, recommendation 1)  The majority (this time with Professors Thomson and Maher in the minority – para 2.25, n 59) rejected a proposal to allow the charge to be amended at the end of the Crown case.  Given the restricted remit of the reference to the Commission the recommendation is limited to solemn cases, although the Commission notes (para 2.25, n 60) that the recommendation could be extended to summary prosecutions.

The Commission has also recommended that on conclusion of hearing the whole evidence in the case a submission can be made by the defence dealing with any of the following:

"(i) an insufficiency of evidence to support a charge;
(ii) an insufficiency of evidence to support the charge libelled, together with a contention that an alternative charge should be substituted;
(iii) in matters where corroboration is not required,89 a lack of evidence to support part of a charge;
(iv) a contention that, on the evidence led, no reasonable jury properly directed could convict of the charge libelled." (Para 2.42, recommendation 2 (a))

and that the Crown will have a right of reply in relation to any such submission.

On the matter which prompted the reference, whether the Crown should have a right of appeal against a judicial ruling to acquit without the consideration of the jury, the Commission recommends that there should be a general right of appeal in at least some of the cases (para 3.11, recommendation 3) if the judge's ruling was wrong in law (para 3.14, recommendation 4).  The Crown right of appeal would be available following a successful no case to answer submission (para 3.27, recommendation 7) provided the appeal is lodged within seven days of leave to appeal being given (para 3.28, recommendation 8); and would also be available against decision resulting from the new statutory right of challenge that could be made at the close of the whole of the evidence in the case (para 3.38, recommendation 9).  Any application for leave to appeal in such a case would have to be made "forthwith" (paras 3.39 – 3.41, recommendation 10) and the appeal would have to be lodged within 7 days of the grant of leave to appeal (para 3.41, recommendation 11). The Commission also consider that the Crown should have a right of appeal against evidential rulings made during a trial (para 3.52, recommendation 12).

Given that an appeal would typically be some time after the original decision appealed against the result of a successful Crown appeal would at best for the Crown be a re-trial (para 3.20, recommendation 5) – although it is recommended that the Appeal Court should only permit the Crown to bring a new prosecution where it is not "contrary to the interests of justice" (para 4.9, recommendation 14).  With the support of consultees no examples are given of when a new prosecution would be "contrary to the interests of justice" (para 4.7).  While a retrial will be the typical result the Commission note that expedited appeals may be possible in some cases allowing the trial to continue (para 3.20, recommendation 6) but it is stressed by the Commission that "such expedited appeals would not be the norm." (para 3.19)

Further recommendations on the rules relating to leave to appeal are made in Part 4, as well as a recommendation that a judge be permitted to order reporting restrictions where the Crown is given leave to appeal – to reduce the risk that prejudicial publicity may render a re-trial impractical (para 4.38, recommendation 22).

On the publication of the report Lord Drummond Young, the chairman of the Commission, said,

"The trial judge rightly has the power to bring the prosecution to an end where the Crown does not present sufficient evidence against the accused; but, at present, the trial judge's decision cannot be reviewed. In rare cases, this may result in a well-founded prosecution being wrongly dismissed and the accused person not being properly held to account. We recommend, therefore, that the Crown should be able, with leave of the trial judge, to challenge a number of judicial rulings, including a ruling that there is no case to answer."

The report is a substantial well-argued and well-researched document, particularly given the time pressures faced by the Commission.  These time pressures are acknowledged by the Commission at para 1.2 – where it is noted that the consultation period on the discussion paper was a compressed six weeks – and at para 1.15 (where concerns we had expressed here on Scots Law News (subsequently published in more detail at (2008) 12 Edinburgh Law Review 293 are addressed)).  The Commission writes in relation to this project

"We have already referred to the restricted timescale that has been available for the preparation of this Report. This has attracted comment in certain academic circles. We would emphasise that this has been a narrowly focussed project, concerned with certain very specific issues of criminal procedure. We are satisfied that in the time available it has been possible to carry out all the research that is necessary; indeed, we do not think that any other research would be useful. In this connection, although we have made reference to comparative material, we have not used this to suggest procedures that Scots law might adopt; it is rather designed to set Scottish procedure in context. As we point out above, Scottish criminal procedure has its own history and its own distinctive forms. These are largely grounded on the requirement of corroboration, a requirement which is unique to Scotland in jurisdictions where criminal cases are decided by the verdict of a jury alone. In other jurisdictions it is quite possible that comparative material will be of much greater importance; this applies in particular to England and Wales and the various systems whose law is based on English law. For this reason we do not think that it is appropriate to draw comparisons with the timescale adopted by other law reform bodies in undertaking similar projects. Likewise, it is not appropriate to make comparisons between this project and other projects that we have carried out; this project is unusual in its tightly focussed nature. Consequently the timescale that we have been able to meet in this project should not be regarded as a precedent for other projects."

The Commission now turns its attention under the World's End reference to double jeopardy, with a report due in 2009.

Where will you find solar panels and a ground source heat pump?

A riddle for our regular readers:  Where will you find solar panels and a ground source heat pump?

The roof of Glasgow sheriff court is now home to 700 square metres of solar panels (with a working life of 40 years), and Lochmaddy sheriff court will soon be home to a ground source heat pump.  It is anticipated that the introduction of the Glasgow solar panels will save £20,000 in energy expenditure and offset nearly forty tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Yes, with rising energy prices and concerns about climate change the drive for energy efficiency has reached the Scottish Court Service.

Eleanor Emberson, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Court Service, said:

"Even with the Scottish weather, the system can generate enough electricity at the outset to cover our out of hours usage. We are planning further investment on building and energy management systems to significantly cut the Court's energy consumption, which will mean the solar panels can contribute even more of our power requirements."

We leave it to readers to make up their own jokes in relation to other energy saving or recycling mechanisms that could be used in the courts – all in the interests of conserving the energy of Scots Law News contributors, of course.

Words and pictures – of planning disputes and servitudes of shop frontage

For a long time J.A. Mactaggart v Roemmele 1907 SC 1318 has held a special place in the affections of law students, not just because it contains the ever-fascinating subject of real burdens and personal bar (a perennial student favourite), but lurking in the case report is something unusual: a picture.  This picture is a map (opposite p 1318 for the enthusiasts among Scots Law News readers) identifying the various properties referred to in the case.  The map aids the understanding of the case but seems to have been a one-off experiment for virtually a century.  However, the use of the internet for the publication of judgments has seen at least one judge recently further the cause for pictures among the words of the decisions.

This month an Extra Division decided a planning case, Bellway (Scotland) Ltd v Stirling Council [2008] CSIH42, where local developers were challenging the zoning of an area in the local plan.  The opinion of the court was delivered by Lord Carloway who at para 7, 8, 16, and 19 reproduces plans from the Local Plan to illustrate some of the factual background – the changes in the plan during the consultation process – and explain some of the arguments put to the court. 

Later in the month Lord Carloway decided a property dispute relating to 203 – 5, and 209 – 13 Buchanan Street, Glasgow in the Outer House in Romano v Standard Commercial Property Securities Ltd [2008] CSOH 105.  The case involves a tenement property where (as was common, but misguided) the external walls of a property were co-owned by all flat owners and every owner was prohibited from erecting business signs.  Some years after the original prohibition in 1962 one owner allowed another to erect a shop front on the wall and purported to grant a servitude to that effect – and signage was found in front of the property.  The pursuer sought a declarator of servitude of the right to attach a shop frontage.  The defenders argued that such a right was not in the usual fixed list of servitudes (e.g. the sheriff court case of Mendelssohn v The Wee Pub Co Ltd 1991 GWD 26-1518 (not Meldelssohn as quoted at para 13 of Lord Carloway's opinion) had held there was no servitude right to erect a signpost, although the pursuer noted this was contrary to Cunningham v Stewart (1888) 4 Sh Ct Rep 255 – ignoring the doubts Sheriff Cusine and Professor Paisley attach to this decision in Servitudes and Rights of Way (1998) para 3.22, n 17); and any servitude could not be granted by one co-owner of a property without the assent of the other co-owners.

In reaching his decision Lord Carloway gives useful judical support to the rationale behind the closed common law fixed list of servitudes (at para 23),

"The critical feature of servitudes, as distinct from other real rights, within the feudal system of tenure as existed at the time of the relevant conveyances and related deeds is that they could be constituted without being referred to in any writing (cf s 75 of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 9)). They derive from the Roman Law as interpreted by the Institutional Writers and applied over time by the Courts. Because they do not necessarily appear in title deeds, a prudent principle developed whereby, in order to be constituted, they had to be of a known type."

And Lord Carloway upholds the reasoning of Sheriff Poole in Mendelssohn in his opinion at para 26 where he quotes the sheriff

"Shop signs would seem to have been known in classical times. They were certainly known in the Old Town of Edinburgh where [the close] is situated and are, I think, no new response to the needs of a changing society. I have concluded that had such a servitude right existed, as is claimed by the defender[s] in this case, it would have been recognised by the authorities centuries ago". [The existence of shop signs in classical times is of course evident from perusal of the historical pictorial records of Goscinny and Uderzo].

and at para 28 disagrees with the suggestion of Lord Scott in Moncrieff v Jamieson 2008 SC (HL) 1, "that any right of limited use may be capable of being created as "a servitudal right in rem" (para 47). "

Having effectively reached a conclusion to the case Lord Carloway goes on to consider an argument based on positive prescription and in this makes reference to plans and photographs which illustrate his decision.  A plan at para 1 indicates the layout of the relevant flats; and photographs at paras 6 and 9 indicate the shop fronts during the 1980s and 1990s.  These photographs make clear that there was no prescriptive possession of a shop front for the basement property in the 1980s and 1990s and accordingly "any case based upon the assertion of a prescriptive servitude right to use that part of the external wall as a shop front for the basement is doomed to failure. " (para 31).

The use of plans and photographs in judicial opinions – when these plans and photographs were submitted in evidence and helpful to the court in reaching a final decision – is a welcome one – and we at Scots Law News trust that Lord Carloway's pioneering work is adopted elsewhere on the bench.

Law Society of Scotland falls victim to property downturn

The Law Society of Scotland has abandoned plans to sell its Edinburgh Drumsheugh Gardens headquarters and relocate to more modern offices in the Haymarket area of the city.
Ian Smart, the Society's vice president, said: “The recent downturn in the property market means we haven’t secured the kind of deal which would make it prudent to move at the moment. We do still believe a move to new premises in Edinburgh is essential for the future development of the Law Society and while we are continuing to look at new offices and will continue to talk to potential buyers, we are not now planning to move before the end of the year.”

When the Society announced its plans to move as recently as April this year, a price of £5.5 million was being talked of, with prospective purchasers said to include hotel companies and residential developers.  Scots Law News is not a financial journal, but even here such numbers seemed rather to ignore months of media coverage of "credit crunches" and consequential falls in property prices.   On the other hand it might have been, and may still be, a bit of a buyer's market for more modern office property.

Drumsheugh is a category B listed building, a terrace of three former townhouses dating from the 1870s, and Scots Law News has always liked its slightly fusty, wood-panelled and rambling interior, while recognising its definite limitations as a location for business or administrative activity.  The Law Society has been there since 1969.  Previous occupiers included HM Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings and the Forestry Commission. It was also an officers club for American forces in the First World War. The Last Battle?

Pull up a silver chair, take a handful of turkish delight, and let us tell you a story. We have referred in earlier posts (here and here) to the chronicles of, the domain name registered by Mr Saville-Smith and Gillian Ferguson nearly two years before it was to be given as a birthday present to their son.

The weekend before the decision from ICANN Ms Ferguson wrote in Scotland on Sunday "Lions versus Lawyers" which explained some of the background to the case and that a number of domain names were purchased by her husband and herself for e-mail addresses.  She wrote

"Baker & McKenzie [lawyers for the estate of C.S. Lewis] presents as its only "evidence" a holding page created for any unused domain name – without our knowledge; claiming we had some revenue-sharing arrangement. Sheer fantasy fiction (maybe that's why they represent the CS Lewis Company), as easily proved. We didn't even know such holding pages, not registered with any search engine, existed, but some found this the footprint of a dastardly plot."


"Victory should be certain; we've done nothing wrong or illegal. Though a late "Supplemental Filing" by feverish Baker & McKenzie now wildly attempts to cast us as shady domain speculators, despite the fact we have never sold one. Seemingly based on our numerous domains registered, such as for our start-up internet poetry business, supported by Scottish Enterprise, my online poetry project, and a new children's charity.

"Will justice win out against wealth and power?"

Well, ICANN pronounced.

It was noted that,

"The disputed domain name resolves to a parked web page provided by Sedo, containing “sponsored links” to commercial websites, including links to websites offering for sale merchandize and apparel related to “The Chronicles of Narnia” books and movies.

"Between September 28 and 30, 2006, the Respondent also registered the following domain names: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, and <>. With the exception of <>, all of these domain names resolve to parked websites provided by Sedo."

And the Lewis estate argued that this parking with Sedo could generate advertising revenue through pay-per-click advertising, a claim disputed by Mr Saville-Smith (supported by an e-mail from Fasthosts Internet Ltd).  Oh, and after the dispute arose:

"On June 17, 2008, two weeks after the filing of the instant Complaint with the Center, the Respondent registered the domain names <> and <>."


Referring to previous decisions the panel found in favour of the Lewis estate and said,

"For the reasons discussed under the preceding heading of this decision, the Panel cannot envision any plausible, good faith basis upon which the Respondent could have concluded that he was free to appropriate the Complainant’s distinctive and widely known NARNIA mark for use as a personal email address. The Respondent was well aware of the Complainant and the Complainant’s mark, and the Respondent clearly had notice that the Policy was applicable to domain name registrations in the dotMobi registry. Equally disturbing to the Panel at this point is the Respondent’s registration of the <> and <> domain names subsequent to the filing of the Complaint in this matter, and the implications these registrations hold both in terms of the good faith requirement implicit in paragraph 2 of the Policy and, ultimately, the Respondent’s motivation in registering not one but three domain names appropriating the Complainant’s mark.

"In addition, while the Respondent denies that he registered the disputed domain name with the aim of profiting from and exploiting the Complainant’s mark, there are circumstances in the record that call into question the Respondent’s motivation in registering the domain name. The Respondent registered the disputed domain name on September 29, 2006. There is no indication in the record that the Respondent had used or made any preparations to use the disputed domain name as an email address before being placed on notice of this dispute by the Complainant some twenty (20) months later in May 2008. The Respondent’s email communications with the Complainant on May 5, 2008, clearly reveal that he knew the disputed domain name had been parked by Sedo. Further, at or near the time of the registration of the disputed domain name, the Respondent registered a dozen other domain names, all but one of which were redirected to Sedo parking pages. Five of these additional domain names, like the disputed domain name, implicate third-party trademark rights. All of the Sedo parking pages generate pay-per-click advertising revenue, even if the Respondent asserts not to receive such benefit himself. The Respondent as acknowledged by the Respondent himself is not a novice in the area of domain name registration. Finally, as noted above, since the filing of the Complaint the Respondent has registered two additional domain names appropriating the Complainant’s NARNIA mark.

"In view of all of the foregoing, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name in bad faith. Accordingly, the Panel concludes that the Complainant has satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy."

At  the end of this last battle – the Lewis estate stands triumphant.

How firm is a prosecution of a dissolved firm?

On 25th July 2008 the High Court of the Justiciary gave judgment in the case of Balmer v HMA 2008 HCJAC 44, a petition to the nobile officium.  In this case the High Court had to decide whether a dissolved firm could be prosecuted for breach of statutory offences.

The prosecutions related to a fire at Rosepark Nursing Home in 2004 which resulted in the death and injury of a number of the residents.  An earlier attempt to prosecute the partners as individuals was unsuccessful, the indictment being irrelevant in the view of Lord Hardie because the firm was the employer for the purposes of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

A new indictment was prepared in the name of the firm, which had itself been dissolved in February 2005.  The court therefore had to consider whether the dissolved firm had any continuing personality subsequent to dissolution.

This topic was canvassed by the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission in their joint consultation paper on Partnership Law in 2000 (paras 8.8 – 8.28), and the general issue of continuing personality was considered elsewhere in this paper (paras 2.34 – 2.35).

The petitioners argued that the dissolution of the firm meant that the legal person had ceased to exist, and consequently could not be prosecuted.  And if this argument was unsuccessful it was argued that any ongoing existence of the firm was solely for the purposes of winding up the firm, and prosecution was not possible.

Argument for the Crown relied on the common law of partnership prior to 1890 (still relevant in interpreting the Partnership ACt 1890 as this was a codifying statute) and a policy argument expressing concern if a firm could escape criminal liability by dissolution – pointing out potential consequences if the firm was to dissolve during proceedings.

The High Court gave a full consideration of authorities, both pre- and post-1890 Act, and concluded that dissolution extinguished the legal person that was the firm.  The Court notes at paras 80ff,

"we have great difficulty with the notion of varying or limited degrees of juristic personality. While it is no doubt possible for a person, whether natural or juristic, to have limitations on his or its powers of or capacities, the notion of some limited degree of personality is not readily understandable in juridical terms and, importantly, has no support in any of the authorities to which we were referred. In our view, in principle, there is either a person or there is not a person. Personality, whether natural or juristic, is not created or extinguished in slices or instalments.

"[81] The suggestion that personality might exist for some purposes but not others underlay a further aspect of the submission for the Crown, namely that for what might shortly be termed policy reasons, the Court should hold that a dissolved partnership retained a limited separate persona for the purposes of criminal prosecution. While naturally acknowledging the existence of the policy reasons to which the Advocate depute referred, we did do not consider that the structures and principles of the law relating to the creation and extinction of legal personality can lightly be departed from on the simple ground of expediency so as to enable one to say that a person in all respects having died or ceased to exist, is yet deemed to be alive or extent extant as a person who can receive and accept service of an indictment and instruct entry of a plea and conduct a defence. The present positions petitions are in some ways an exemplification or reflexion of the fundamental juridical difficulty of this indictment, namely that it bears to accuse a person who does not exist.

[82] We are of course very conscious of the undesirability of prosecution of the commission by a partnership of a criminal offence being frustrated by the partnership's ability to dissolve itself, or by its susceptibility to dissolution by other events, particularly if by dissolution the partners are also to be exonerated. However, we would observe that, as was pointed out by counsel for the petitioners, matters are not as stark or extreme as might appear at first sight. In the case of most common law crimes and many statutory offences the individual partner responsible for the act or omission will be readily identifiable and can be prosecuted in his personal capacity."

The indictment was accordingly dismissed as incompetent.

One final note.  The case was heard before Lord Macfadyen, Lord Eassie and Lord Wheatley, with Lord Macfadyen in the chair.  However, while he was preparing a draft opinion his illness accelerated and he sadly died.  Lord Macfadyen was replaced by Lady Paton in the case, and the opinion of the court acknowledge the work of Lord MacFadyen at para 86

"The finalised Opinion which we now issue is to a that material extent based on the groundwork of Lord Macfadyen, to whose valiant industry we are indebted."

Single surveys and surveyor liability

Earlier this month it was reported that in Scotland while year on year average house prices were continuing to rise there were concerns about a slow down in house sales. The slow down in house sales obviously give the ideal market conditions to introduce the new single survey (so successfully piloted with almost 74 sellers volunteering to participate in a 6 month study a few years ago).

Despite the market adapting to the problems of multiple surveys through the use of offers "subject to survey" in January the Local Government and Communities committee of the Scottish Parliament agreed to the introduction of the single survey later this year.  Part 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 will (generally) introduce compulsory Home Reports for properties marketed after 1st December 2008.  This report will include an Energy Report (which will contain an assessment by a surveyor of the energy efficiency of the home and its environmental impact); a Property Questionnaire completed by the seller (which will contains information on alterations, council tax banding, factoring &c); and a Single Survey.

The Single Survey will include a surveyor's assessment of the condition of the property and a valuation.  The Single Survey has generated much controversy, including correspondence in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.  One concern expressed in the past queried whether a purchaser could rely on the survey, and sue the surveyor if the survey was negligent. 

Such doubt as may exist has been addressed by The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2008  – passed at Westminster, and published last week.  This statutory instrument provides that if the surveyor's report is not based on an inspection of the house; or has not been prepared in a fair and unbiased way; or has not been prepared with reasonable skill and care then a purchaser who suffers loss as a result is entitled to damages. 

The passage of this instrument at Westminster attracted little publicity, but is a key element in the legislative framework supporting the Home Report scheme.


CCTV at Elgol – and on Seil!

Scots Law News has visited Elgol in Skye to check out the CCTV story noted earlier this month.

The presence of the camera looking down the pier was confirmed, and the Scots Law News photographer took an image of the offending object, albeit at considerable peril to his own life and limb.  It could be readily ascertained once one had achieved one's lofty perch that no private residence in Elgol is within the CCTV range, so claims of threats to privacy seem exaggerated.  And with regard to commercial competition amongst the providers of cruises around the south-western parts of the Misty Isle, Scots Law News can report lots of activity but nothing untoward.




A friendly local also drew our attention to a notice at the car park high above the pier, where you are warned of the presence of CCTV along with information about the harbour master's entitlement to collect dues for the use of the pier. 


There are possibly other crime control cameras on Skye – Scots Law News spotted speed camera signs at either end of the newly improved A851 Armadale-Broadford road, but despite proceeding cautiously within the speed limit was unable to see any actual cameras.  Note however the involvement of the EU in financing all this, so ca' canny is our considered advice.







The example set in Skye may be followed in Seil where, according to a Scotsman report on 26 July 2008, police are considering the installation of a CCTV camera system as a response to a recent outbreak of vandalism on the island.  However, as community policeman Kevin Moffatt is quoted as saying, "obviously there are human rights issues about where the CCTV cameras are going to be.  The community is looking into it and I am advising them."



Runrig Pension Bill becomes Europop Pension Directive (Draft)

The European Commission published a Draft Directive on the term of copyright for sound recordings on 16 July 2008.  The Directive proposes an extension in the term for sound recordings and performers from 50 to 95 years.

Scots Law News readers will recall from earlier posts (Nos 747 and 765) that something similar is proposed in the Private Member's Bill introduced in the Westminster Parliament by Pete Wishart, SNP MP and ex-member of Gaelic folk-rock group Runrig on 17 February 2008.  A check on the Westminster website reveals that the Copyright in Sound Recordings and Performers' Rights (Term Extension) Bill appears to have made no progress since its First Reading.  Presumably it will be allowed to lapse while the consultation on the draft Directive proceeds.

Additional measures in the Directive which look to deflect some of the criticism that its main provision is bound to attract include:

*        a proposal that record producers set aside 20% of all revenues for a fund for session artists and;

*        that if a record label is not releasing a track commercially that is over 50 years old, then the right in the sound recording will cease to exist and performers can request that the rights in the performance revert to them – a 'use it or lose it' clause;

*        a proposal to align the term of protection for the music and lyrics in a musical composition.


CCTV keeping an eye on Elgol

Well-known troublespot Elgol on the Isle of Skye has been put under CCTV surveillance by Highland Council.

The Council installed the fixed camera in June 2008 in a position where it could oversee the pier at the village in the Strathaird area of Skye.  The pier is the starting point for competing boat trips in Loch Scavaig to view the beauties of the Cuillins and Loch Coruisk.  The source of the trouble is alleged breaches by the boat companies of the agreed times at which each of them can pick up passengers from the pier.  But the installation of the camera is apparently giving visitors the impression that Elgol is a crime blackspot, and residents are worried that tourism will suffer in consequence.  So numbers of the residents are now petitioning the Council for the camera's removal, also alleging that it intrudes upon their privacy.  To date the Council has declined to act, and it says that "no-one is monitoring the CCTV, it is on a permanent recording system, and would only be checked if the Council had been notified of any incident."

Scots Law News is planning a visit to Skye, including Elgol, and looks forward to recording an image on the camera of law-abiding behaviour.  Meantime, here are some photos from previous visits to show hesitant readers why they ought to get there and keep the tourist numbers up.


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