SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE VOTE 18 SEPTEMBER 2014
Vote for independence under the Law Society controlled SNP and you're even more likely to
be made homeless and penniless. Ask Salmond's law society minders MacAskill and Sturgeon.
Second legal watchdog says Scottish judges' refusal to support register of interests looks suspicious
Scotlands head of the judicial mafia Lord Gill wants to protect FREEMASON judges from a register of interests.
NEW judicial complaints reviewer Gillian Thompon has given backing for register despite protests from Scotland's top judge, Lord Gill.
A LEGAL watchdog who quit after supporting a register of interest for judges has been backed by the woman who replaced her.
Moi Ali was appointed as the country’s first judicial complaints reviewer in 2011 but resigned last year claiming she had no power and got no co-operation from law chiefs.
She was also criticised by Scotland’s top judge, Lord Gill, over her support for a register of interest for judges.
But her successor Gillian Thompson has also given her backing for a register.
Holyrood’s petitions committee are considering a submission by legal
campaigner Peter Cherbi for a judicial register of interests which could details gifts, hospitality and links to outside bodies such as law firms.
In a letter to the committee, Thompson wrote: “We live in an age in which transparency about interests and activities of those in the public eye is regarded as good practice.
“There is a perception that anything less is the result of attempts to hide things.
“In the case of judges, it is clear that court users and the public more widely seek reassurances of fairness and impartiality.”
Lord Gill has repeatedly dismissed calls for a register of interests.
But Cherbi said: “Two judicial complaints reviewers in a row have supported a register while Lord Gill suspiciously clings to secrecy and refuses to accept transparency must be applied equally to judges as it is to everyone else in
New Labour chief in Scotland Jim Murphy backed Orange walks of 'HATE' (from 4.00) VIDEO
would he be claiming it's there 'democratic right' if it was anti-homosexual marches?
Clash over probe into allegations of bullying in Scotland's (in)justice system
Moi Ali who recently stood down from her post as judicial watchdog.
She did her best to expose some of the crimes of Scotland's judicial mafia but had
little power to do anything to rein in Scotland's crooked freemason judges from
stealing mens estates with impunity
TWO of Scotland's key legal bodies have clashed over an investigation into a member of the judiciary.
The fight is between the Judicial Office for Scotland (JOS) - headed by the country's top judge - and the watchdog responsible for holding it to account.
The legal watchdog attacked the JOS for its handling of a probe into claims a judicial office-holder was guilty of bullying and of making covert recordings.
Complaints against judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace are handled by the JOS, which provides support to the Lord President.
The investigations are carried out by fellow members of the judiciary.
If a complainant is still unhappy, the Judicial Complaints Reviewer (JCR) can examine whether the probe complied with the rules.
Moi Ali, who recently stood down as the JCR after saying she did not have adequate powers, published her final annual report last week.
She produced details of an extraordinary case in which the JOS dealt with allegations of impropriety by a judicial office-holder. An unnamed organisation that "works closely with the courts" complained of bullying by a member of the judiciary, adding that the same figure had made secret recordings.
The organisation was not satisfied with the JOS probe into the case and contacted Ali.
On the bullying allegation, Ali said she was hampered after the "nominated judge" who carried out the first investigation failed to put all correspondence in the complaints file.
After the complainant asked for all tapes and transcripts obtained during the probe, the request was initially rejected.
Ali described this response a "an unnecessary lack of transparency that could damage external confidence in the investigation process".
She also described as a "lack of even-handedness" the fact that the judicial officer-holder under investigation received an apology for delays in the case, but the complainant did not.
The organisation's witnesses were also not interviewed.
The original complaint was not upheld by the JOS, but Ali concluded: "I was concerned about how the conclusion was reached that the allegations could not be substantiated in light of the evidence that I saw in the complaints file."
On the recordings allegation, the judicial office-holder under investigation had said the tapes were not made "in any secret way", although permission was not sought.
Ali believed this complaint should have been included as part of the other probe, or referred anew to the JOS, but she said: "Neither path was followed. The complaint was never investigated. No explanation was offered as to why not."
In the two reviews Ali carried out, she found seven rule breaches.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: "In almost no other walk of life do you have an organisation which is only accountable to itself in instances like these.
"The public expectation is that - when there's a case to answer - an independent or separate authority should be asking the questions."
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "Moi Ali has previously reported weaknesses in the systems through which the public can complain about the conduct of the judiciary and seek redress.
"Some of the incidents reported suggest that those involved in the complaints process were more concerned with stopping Moi Ali from doing her job than behaving responsibly and responding to the issues that had been raised."
A spokesperson for the Judicial Office said the recordings were made in court, not during meetings, adding: "The Judicial Office does not comment on individual complaints as the information is confidential. All complaints are fully investigated in accordance with the relevant rules.
"In respect of recording in court, it is open to the court to have proceedings recorded where it considers it to be appropriate."
Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson for Justice, Graeme Pearson, has called for justice for the survivors of Child Abuse in Scotland, saying:
“Theresa May has apologised this week to survivors for resignations relating to her Public Inquiry into historical child abuse.
“Meanwhile the Scottish Government continues duck and weave on the issue, refusing our demands to hold a public inquiry to enable us all to know what is the situation here in Scotland, and how can we protect vulnerable young people in our care today.
“Survivors have bravely fought for years to be heard and Scottish Labour has supported their calls for an inquiry. The SNP declare they stand for social justice in Scotland – if so why don’t they initiate a public inquiry now into historical child abuse?
“The buck has been repeatedly passed in Scotland between Mr Macaskill, Mr Russell and Ms Cunningham in the Scottish government. The time for justice is now. It is time someone in government acted in this matter.”
The UK Government is holding a public inquiry into child sex abuse. This inquiry will not extend to Scotland because these issues are devolved.
The Scottish Government has not committed to holding a public inquiry. Rather, Mike Russell at the end of last month said there should be “a review of the added value of carrying out a national inquiry into historic abuse” – no commitment to an inquiry at all.
Scottish Labour have repeatedly called for an inquiry and held a member’s debate led by Graeme Pearson on this on 30th April this year.
The motion Scottish Labour brought forward for debate was:
“That the Parliament acknowledges the continuing efforts of survivors of historic institutional child abuse, including those in South Scotland, to access justice; recognises that many survivors continue to suffer from the legacy of the abuse that they experienced; believes that, while some steps have been taken to address historic child abuse, much more needs to be done; notes the deliberations of the Public Petitions Committee in its consideration of Petition PE1351.
Time for all to be heard, since it was lodged in August 2010; welcomes the publication by the Scottish Human Rights Commission of its Action Plan on Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care; notes that the main aims of the action plan are to achieve acknowledgement and accountability for historical institutional child abuse; further notes that a number of options exist for improving accountability, including a full public inquiry, the establishment of a survivors' support fund and tackling the barrier of the time bar in allowing survivors access to justice, and notes calls for action to improve support for survivors of historic institutional child abuse and allow them access to justice”
Top freemason Stephen House behind arming police prior to devolution vote
One very good reason for stopping SNP lawyers taking control of Scotland
Police chief Sir Stephen House has far too much power
ADVOCATE General speaks out after senior officers within Scotland's new unified force bring in armed police policy without consulting MSPs.
ONE of Scotland’s top lawmen has warned that Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has too much power.
Advocate General for Scotland Jim Wallace spoke out days after Police Scotland were forced to reverse their decision to put armed officers on the beat.
Senior officers were slated for bringing in the policy without consulting MSPs or the police watchdog or even telling them.
Lord Wallace, who as Liberal Democrat justice secretary was responsible for eight forces between 1999 and 2003, said: “When I was justice minister, I rejected proposals put to me for a national police force.
“Many of us predicted a lack of proper accountability and I fear that has been borne out.”
In May, we revealed House had secretly authorised 275 firearms officers to carry their handguns in a holster while on normal duties, even when there was no obvious threat to them or the public.
Previously, officers had to collect weapons from a locked safe in an armed response vehicle under authorisation.
In the face of criticism, last week House reversed the policy and said armed police would only be used in firearms incidents and where there was a threat to life. Edinburgh human rights lawyer Niall McCluskey branded the situation a “fiasco”.
In an article for today’s Sunday Mail, he accuses the force of “heavy handed” policing.
Sunday Mail front page in May highlighted how armed officers were routinely on the streets
McCluskey – who works with human rights group Amnesty International – criticised policies such as stop and search – 640,699 of which were carried out in the year to March. The figure was three times higher than that of by London’s Metropolitan force.
Police Scotland’s wave of raids on Edinburgh’s sex saunas was also accused of endangering trust between law enforcers and women in the trade. A former goverment advisor added to the pressure by calling for a review of Police Scotland.
Professor of criminology Peter Squires, 60, was a member of the Home Office Firearms Consultative Committee.
He said: “The Scottish Government needs to establish the exact powers of the new force and its chief constable and to say how much control Parliament has. It is clear the new force was set up without any clear idea of its powers.”
But David O’Connor, former president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents defended the firearms policy.
He added: “I thought the original policy to deploy armed response officers on routine patrols was proportionate and a sensible use of resources.”
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “We have balanced our duty to keep people safe with consideration of the views expressed about the perception of armed officers supporting policing activities.”
Petition to force Scotland's judicial mafia to come clean on interests affecting impartiality VIDEO
SNP lawyer MacAskill pressured to resign over arming Scotland's freemason thug cops
Lawyer MacAskill with his cop buddies. ONE very good reason for Scotland NOT getting independence under the
law society controlled SNP
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill faces demands for his resignation after police climb down over arming officers
SNP ministers came under fire himself after announcement that officers will no longer carry guns on routine patrol.
JUSTICE Secretary Kenny MacAskill was in the firing line yesterday amid demands for his resignation over the armed police shambles.
The SNP minister came under fierce attack at Holyrood just 24 hours after a humiliating climbdown that means officers will no longer carry guns on routine patrol.
Police Scotland announced that from now on, armed officers will only be deployed when “firearms offences are taking place, or where there is a threat to life”.
There had been growing concern in recent months as more police with guns were spotted on our streets after Chief Constable Stephen House decided to arm officers without consulting MSPs or the public.
The saga proved a major embarrassment for MacAskill, who had previously said there was public support for the move.
Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
And yesterday Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie - who led the campaign against armed police - demanded his resignation.
To gales of laughter in the Holyrood chamber he asked soon to step down First Minister Alex Salmond: “When you go, can you take Kenny MacAskill with you?”
A stony-faced Salmond simply replied: “No.”
But Rennie pressed the SNP leader further and stressed it was just the latest in a long line of blunders from MacAskill in the justice brief.
MacAskill has also been criticised for plans to scrap the law of corroboration, close courts and his decision to release the Lockerbie bomber from jail early.
Rennie said: “Surely [Salmond] has had enough of defending the Justice Secretary?
“The First Minister said that he was comfortable with stopping and searching children just before the policy was abandoned.
“He rallied to his (Mr MacAskill’s) defence on the abolition of corroboration before it was put on hold.
“He stood on that very spot lecturing me that it was for public safety reasons the police were armed routinely: now that has gone too.”
Scottish Labour also called for MacAskill to be fired.
Justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said: “Kenny McAskill’s charge sheet of incompetence is growing longer than some of the people he used to represent in court.
“The people of Scotland can corroborate that he is not up to the job and Alex Salmond should show clemency and give him early release from ministerial office.
“If Alex Salmond doesn’t sack him, then Nicola Sturgeon surely will.”
But Salmond dismissed Rennie’s calls.
He said: “Crime in Scotland is at a 39-year low. That’s why this Justice Secretary is on a high.”
The controversy over armed cops erupted earlier this year after officers with Glock 17 semi-automatic pistols were seen on the city’s Argyle Street despite no reports of anything more sinister than the driver braking too sharply.
In the same month, shoppers in Inverness were shocked to see officers with holstered weapons mingling with people out enjoying the summer sunshine.
A review by House has now concluded that the 275 officers attached to armed response vehicles will retain the standing authority to carry arms but will be not be dispatched to routine incidents.
Opposition MSPs also attacked the oversight of Scotland’s single police force during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood yesterday.
Pearson said the civilian oversight body, the Scottish Police Authority, should have examined the options for armed policing before any decision was taken on the controversial issue.
The former senior police officer argued that in the absence of that, MacAskill should have stepped in and called on SPA members to “take steps at a much earlier stage to allay justified public concerns”.
But Salmond defended how the episode was handled.
“I think the process that we’ve gone through on this issue has been a very good one,” he said.
“I think when a police service responds to public concern in a constructive way, I think it should be applauded for doing that and I would have thought that this process has come to a conclusion which I hope and believe that people think is satisfactory.
“Therefore, I think protecting the operational independence of the chief constable and his ability to deploy the resources he has to best effect to keep the people of Scotland safe from harm is something that should be strongly protected.”
Senior Scottish nationalist warns BP it could face nationalization in case of split VIDEO
Paedo's dumped in deprived areas putting children from poor backgrounds at higher risk
There would be an
outcry if these perverts were housed in posh areas of towns
Fury as sex offenders are dumped in our most deprived communities.
A housing chief has quit in protest at a policy that dumps dangerous sex offenders in the most deprived communities.
Outraged Michael Carberry says it is a scandal poor estates are being flooded with an unfair quota of sex offenders and has warned it is only a matter of time before a child is killed as a result of the policy.
He has walked out of his key role with a housing authority in disgust at what he sees as a terrible social injustice forced on Scotland’s schemes.
Other disgruntled colleagues look set to follow his lead and quit too.
In his hard-hitting resignation letter Mr Carberry accused the authorities of taking a “softly-softly” approach which is putting children at risk.
And he warns that a youngster could lose their life simply for growing up under the wrong postcode – just as eight-year-old Mark Cummings was murdered by a sex offender in a Glasgow high-rise 10 years ago.
At present the Scottish Government’s strategy for housing sex offenders in the community urges social landlords to sign a deal which sees them swap information with police and social workers, so volatile criminals can be found a home without giving away their identity.
However fears are growing over the way it is implemented to the extent The Sunday Post understands scores of disgruntled housing chiefs are expected to join a rebellion against them.
And leading disquiet against the strategy is Mr Carberry.
He says: “Our tenants, our communities, are carrying an unreasonable risk. While professional officers develop a culture of ‘Defensible Decision Making’, one of our communities will suffer the same catastrophic event that affected Royston in 2004 [the Mark Cummings killing].
“A victim, or a victim’s family, will challenge the process that placed the offender in that community.
“The process is being extended to include accommodating violent and mentally ill offenders, as well as sex offenders. Trying to protect the interests of our communities with a softly, softly, diplomatic approach is not appropriate.”
He added: “Our concern is about dangerous offenders being placed into the poorest communities.
“It’s about the process being fundamentally flawed and unable to protect our tenants. It’s about our tenants living with that risk every day.
“And it’s about our officers, who have knowledge of these arrangements, carrying that with them every day.
“With every decision we should ask the question: What is in the best interests of the people who live in our communities?”
Mr Carberry has stood down from the board of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF), an influential umbrella group which represents 69 social landlords with 60,000 tenants across the region.
Most of its members have signed up to a new information sharing protocol which means they will work more closely with police and social services to secretly accommodate sex offenders in the community.
But Mr Carberry’s Blochairn Housing Association and more than a dozen others have refused to co-operate – and more resignations may now follow. A GWSF source revealed: “This row has been festering for some time. The fact is that disadvantaged areas are being used as a dumping ground for the worst type of offenders.
“Glasgow and the west of Scotland have a lot more of these neighbourhoods so it’s no surprise a rebellion’s kicked off here first, but you can imagine other housing associations in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh asking the same questions and refusing to accept what they’re given.
“Nobody’s pretending there are easy answers but it’s time Scottish Government ministers confronted this problem instead of pretending it will go away. It won’t – it will just come back to haunt us again and again.
“Why should a child from a poorer background be put at greater risk simply because of their postcode? And why should that child’s family be kept in the dark ?
“These are not values that the majority of Scots will recognise or accept.”
Last night, Mr Carberry’s stance won support from campaigner Margaret-Ann Cummings – mother of murder victim Mark. She said: “The system didn’t protect my boy and it’s still failing now. It needs pulling apart and a fresh start made.
“The Government strategy says sex offenders should be housed in a way that will safeguard children.
“It says sex offenders should be prevented from creating networks, yet they house them in the same areas.
“Poor areas are the very worst places to put these people. There are more children and schools packed into small districts.
“In the holidays, there are kids playing out all the time because their parents don’t have the money to go away for breaks.
“And there are families moving in and out of the area all the time so youngsters aren’t as wary of strangers. Sex offenders are allowed to hide in plain sight.”
Mrs Cummings, 38, added: “Thank God Michael Carberry had the guts to speak out.”
Tory housing spokesman Alex Johnstone said it is clear “sex offenders have to be housed somewhere”, but he said “it’s concerning that someone so prominent has raised such serious fears about the process”.
He called on the Scottish Government to examine the scandal “as a matter of urgency”.
He said: “The situation appears to be that normal, law-abiding tenants are being placed side-by-side with dangerous individuals and that is an appalling situation.”
GWSF director David Bookbinder admits poor neighbourhoods are bearing the brunt.
He said: “I think that is true and there’s a simple reason for that – when the authorities look to house sex offenders they reach a realisation there is more chance of doing deals with councils and housing associations than with private landlords.
“And council and social housing is predominantly situated in more deprived areas. Michael’s right. But the question is whether sex offenders should be housed in the community. If you don’t make other arrangements then this is the policy we have to live with. Nothing is risk-free. But if they are housed in a particular place then you know where they are and you’ve got half a chance.
“We have suggested to the Scottish Government that as yet there is not enough clear evidence of the benefits of sex offenders being housed in the community.
“The general view of ministers is that this is the best approach. Is that a source of frustration for us? Yes – and we would welcome more evidence so the research picture becomes more convincing.”
Last night, Mr Carberry said: “I can confirm that I have resigned from the forum board, but I cannot comment further at this time.”
Last night the Scottish Government defended its position. “The Care Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland are working together to review how well the public is protected from RSOs,” their spokeswoman said.
“This forthcoming study during the summer of 2015 will provide a valuable opportunity to reassess where improvements in public protection can be made.”
The Facts: Framework to monitor offenders
Scotland had 4,032 Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) at the last count in 2013, of which 3,335 were living in the community and 494 were subject to additional monitoring because of the extra risk they pose.
The police, council social workers and the prison service co-ordinate their efforts through a set of procedures called Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
These rules, introduced in 2007, are supposed to ensure that officials are properly prepared and swap crucial information and intelligence so that RSOs are effectively monitored.
Part of MAPPA is the National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders (NASSO), which gives guidance on how to safely house sex offenders when they are released from jail while still keeping their identity a secret.
Under NASSO, so-called environmental scans are meant to pick up on any vulnerable people living nearby the target property along with local schools, play parks and other RSOs.
Council housing officers and housing associations are expected to sign an Information Sharing Protocol (ISP) which sets out how they will play their part in the process.
But critics claim that MAPPA is so complex and creates so many duties that it’s impossible for officials to perform them properly, so corners are cut and
potentially-lethal lower-level offenders go unmonitored.
Darling (law society lackey) and Salmond (controlled by law society)argue over independence VIDEO
Darling a lawyer and Salmond (with his two lawyers Sturgeon and MacAskill) argue over which law society arm
will control Scotland. Meanwhile under both these bastards men continue to lose their homes and livelihoods