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Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 2nd February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Cameron of Lochbroom Lord Cameron of Lochbroom Crossbench 6:15 pm, 2nd February 2012

I shall speak briefly because I look at the matter not in particular detail but, like the noble and learned Lord, Lord Boyd, from a philosophical view. Scottish criminal law and procedure has developed in an entirely different way from that in the other jurisdictions in the United Kingdom, but it has now had placed above it a Supreme Court with a particular mandate. It seems to me that that is the court which at the end of the day can determine whether what is being brought before it, whether with leave or without it, is a matter with which it should be concerned, looking to its universal jurisdiction in order to provide consistency in a very special area of law.

That being so, notwithstanding my having no reason to doubt that in general the court below will be capable of determining whether a point of public law importance arises, there are special cases where that might not be perceived by the court below and no harm is done by leaving out the certification procedure which is available in a different form in the way of leave, and by adopting the path in these matters suggested by the noble and learned Lord the Advocate-General.

I do not intend to deal with any of the other matters, because this seems to me the real nub point in the relationship between the High Court of Justiciary and the Supreme Court which arises out of the other amendments which have been proposed.