Thanks to Scott Wortley for drawing my attention to the case and written answer canvassed in items (a) and (c).
Today’s word of the day, from Mr Duff’s initial writ in Duff v Strang, is “skaithless” (Mr Duff having asked that the defender be ordained to find caution “that the Pursuer be harmless and skaithless in his body and property”). The Dictionary of the Scots Language defines “skaith” as “damage, hurt, injury, harm, mischief”.
(a) Lawburrows in the High Court
The remedy of lawburrows – allowing a person to apply for another to find caution not to harm him, his family or property – has been described as “a method of primitive law enforcement in the absence of an effective police force and system of public prosecution” (JM Thomson, Delictual Liability, 3rd edn (2004), 5).
But as Thomson notes, “there is no doubt that the action is still technically competent”, and Duff v Strang  HCJAC 4 is a recent example. The point here is a procedural one: after the sheriff held that Mr Duff’s application was incompetent and irrelevant, Mr Duff attempted to bring his decision under review in the High Court by way of stated case. In a detailed opinion, the court rejects that argument, reserving opinion on whether an appeal to the sheriff principal or the Court of Session would be competent in such a case.
(b) Top marks for sheriff’s tough love
An earlier post on this blog noted a deferral of sentence by Sheriff Foulis on Wednesday 19th December last year. Sentence on Richard Mullen, 15, described as “responsible for a crimewave in Blairgowrie” was deferred until the end of January on the condition that he did not approach or contact his father or brothers. Yesterday’s Scottish edition of the Metro reported as follows (p21):
“A one-boy crimewave has been a model citizen since a sheriff banned him from seeing his family,
(c) Emergency workers, again
I have posted earlier about the extension of the Emergency Workers (
Margaret Curran (Glasgow Baillieston) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what consultation was undertaken in relation to the extension of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005.
Shona Robison: The extension of the Emergency Workers (
The manifesto commitment was somewhat broader than suggested here. It was in the following terms:
“Those who work in the NHS do
It is easy to understand why this has not (yet) been done, however: given the terms of section 8 of the Act, extending it to all NHS staff would probably not be competent by way of statutory instrument, but would instead require primary legislation. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the commitment was ever meant to be quite as broad as a literal reading would suggest: was it really intended to cover NHS staff (even lawyers, perhaps?) who do not come into contact with the public as part of their jobs?