Home Reports boosting the housing market?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors thinks that the newly introduced home reports (seller’s surveys) are tempting house buyers back into the market, the BBC reported on 31 May 2009.

Regular readers will recall that precisely the opposite effect was predicted by the Scottish Law Agents Society in the dark recessionary days when the system was introduced in December 2008, the Society’s concern being that sellers wouldn’t want to put their houses on the market.

Are willing buyers meeting willing sellers out there?

Pleural plaques legislation; judicial review proceedings begin

The full-scale judicial review of the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009 began before Lord Emslie on 26 May 2009. 

A novel aspect of the case is that pleural plaque victims’ associations have been allowed to intervene in the process, led of course by solicitor-advocate Frank Maguire.

Scots Law News understands that the case is likely to go on into September, and that another attempt by the petitioners to have the Act's coming into force on 17 June delayed pending the outcome of the proceedings was rejected by Lord Emslie.  It is nonetheless not clear how all the sisted pleural plaque proceedings in the Court of Session will be handled once the magic date occurs when a non-damage becomes a damage for the purposes of the Scots law of delict. 


Lockerbie bombing appeal: to be or not to be?

After three weeks of legal arguments in the latest stage of Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi’s appeal against his conviction in the Lockerbie bombing case, a five-judge Court of Criminal Appeal retired to consider its decision on 20 May 2009.

During the arguments it became public that Libya was seeking the return of Mr Megrahi under a prisoner transfer agreement made with the United Kingdom.  Under this Mr Megrahi would serve the remainder of his sentence in Libya.  But the Scottish Government at least was clear that before any transfer could take place Mr Megrahi would have to abandon his appeal.

None of this was referred to during the appeal arguments, judgement on which is expected in July.  Meantime it appears that Mr Megrahi’s health continues to deteriorate as a result of his prostate cancer.


‘Ello, ‘ello; or should that be, Evening all”: Sergeant Eros again”

Another Sergeant Eros trial got under way in Peterhead Sheriff Court on 19 May 2009.

This time Stuart Kennedy, aka “Sergeant Eros”, is charged with impersonating a policeman and using a flashing strobe light attached to his car to pull over and question other drivers.  When arrested, Mr Kennedy was found to have two police-style batons and body armour in the back of his car. 

The evidence in the case to date suggests that on each occasion a car was pulled over by Mr Kennedy he kept his clothes on.  See the BBC reports here and here.


Gael force checks RBS

The Royal Bank of Scotland rescinded a decision not to accept cheques drawn in the Gaelic language following protests from Western Islanders and their nationalist MSP during April and May 2009.

RBS apparently has long been in the practice of issuing chequebooks printed in Gaelic as well as English, but their customer, Mr Michael Drummond of Stornoway, wanted to draw his cheques entirely in Gaelic, and the bank initially refused to accept this.  The bank’s reasoning was that a cheque had to be written in English so that everybody and anyone could understand it.

However, the protests of Mr Drummond and his MSP, Alasdair Allan, brought Bord na Gaidhlig into play, and RBS backed down on 15 May 2009 after discussions with the Bord.  The pressure is now on RBS and the other banks to allow not only Gaelic cheques but also to provide other services, especially online ones, in that language as well.


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