UK Supreme Court website: some tweaking needed
The UK Supreme Court will begin sitting in October 2009, but already its website is in place. While this looks to be a great improvement in general on its House of Lords predecessor, our West of Scotland correspondent Ross Anderson has pointed out that it needs some tweaking to get rid of basic errors about the Scottish legal system.
Go to the site's "UK Judicial System" section (the title is already a misnomer and should read "Systems", we suggest), and you will find a diagram rather faintly presenting the court structures for England & Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with, of course, the UK Supreme Court atop them all.
The map and key of the Scottish courts is littered with mistakes: according to it, the Court of Session hears criminal cases. It also mentions a number of “tribunals” which have criminal jurisdiction. Perhaps this refers to certain tribunals that take place under the Terrorism Acts, but who knows?!
Scots Law News noted for itself "the High Court of the Justiciary" (presumably a court in which judges accused of crime are tried), and that the Outer House of the Court of Session is non-existent – does the UK Supreme Court know something about the eagerly (and long) awaited Gill Review of the Civil Courts that the rest of us don't? Finally, we have not previously heard that the sheriff principal had a criminal as well as a civil appellate jurisdiction.
And James Chalmers points out that,
The England and Wales / Northern Ireland diagrams are also incorrect, due to confusion between triangles and circles (!) And the Sheriff Principal may not have a criminal appellate jurisdiction, but perhaps the newly created "Sheriff Prinicipal" (as the map has it) does?
A final irreverent thought with which to link this story to the week's earlier posts – is this perhaps where Mr Mueller of the FBI began his researches on the current Scottish legal system? Or have his agents been fiddling with the website to begin the undermining of this annoying little system with its tendency to follow its own sweet way?