It is currently a proposal, which will almost certainly go through, that the UK is to have a Supreme Court. The proposal will see the abolition of the post of Lord Chancellor. There will now be a Supreme Court of Justices, whose appointment will be in the gift of the Prime Minister.
The Supreme Court will take over the role of the House of Lords, as the Highest Court of appeal in the England and Wales and will hear civil appeals from Scotland. It will also be the final Arbiter in matters of devolution.
It would however appear that the people putting this in place have forgotten that Scotland has an entirely different legal system in place and has done so since the Act of Union. Many of the procedures in Scotland are different as are the status of the judges etc. Indeed since devolution, when Law and Order became an entirely devolved matter, the systems have moved further apart.
If I may quote fromThe Scotsman
"In a strongly worded paper, the Commons constitutional affairs committee expresses astonishment that when announcing the constitutional changes, the government failed to take into account that Scotland has a distinct legal identity."
"Lambasting the government for its lack of consultation, the MPs give a detailed list of the ways the proposals were put forward without regard for the separate Scots legal system.
The report says: "The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court over Scottish appeals and any changes will require legislation or a resolution of the Scottish Parliament. These issues are significant to the maintenance of Scottish law as a distinct entity.
"They were not addressed when the government first announced its proposals and the timetable for decisions on the Supreme Court needs to allow for proper resolution and discussion of them in the Scottish Parliament."
The committee says the plans, which have been derided by the Conservative Party as a "hotch-potch", have created "anxieties" among senior members of the judiciary. It says it should be made clear that the Supreme Court recognises the three distinct jurisdictions of the United Kingdom - Scottish, Northern Irish, and English and Welsh - and is not overtly sided towards the English legal system.
"The legislation establishing the new court will need to make clear the jurisdiction of the court. It will need to establish the extent to which it is a United Kingdom court as opposed to a final court of appeal serving each of the United Kingdom’s three jurisdictions," it says."
How wonderful it is, to live in an oversight.