Judicial Review on Scottish census sex question refused

A judicial review Petition by Fair Play for Women Limited challenging the Scottish Census guidance to allow people to identify as male or female regardless of what is on their birth certificate has been refused at first instance and now on Appeal

Lord Sandison’s Opinion of 17th February 2022 said an answer given in “good faith and on reasonable grounds” should not be seen as false. Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, delivered the Inner House Opinion, published on 24th February 2022, endorsed all the reasoning of the Lord Ordinary.

News coverage from the BBC can be found here. Lord Sandison’s Opinion can be found here. The Inner House Opinion can be found here.

Ampersand’s Douglas Ross QC and Paul Reid, acted for the Scottish Government.

Back

Craig (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Advocate (for the Government of the United States of America) and another (Respondents) (Scotland) [2022] UKSC 6

The UK Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal of James Craig, a British citizen living in Scotland. In May 2017, the US Government made a request for his extradition to the US, where he is accused of committing an offence relating to securities fraud.

The process for determining whether a person should be extradited from the UK is governed by the Extradition Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act“). By the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act“), Parliament inserted into the 2003 Act a number of provisions referred to as “the forum bar provisions”. These provisions aim to prevent extradition where the offences could be fairly and effectively tried in the UK, and it is not in the interests of justice that the requested person should be extradited. Section 61 of the 2013 Act provides that the forum bar provisions will “come into force on such a day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint”. The Secretary of State brought the forum bar provisions into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in October 2013, but he did not bring them into force in Scotland.

Mr Craig wanted to rely on the forum bar provisions in the extradition proceedings brought against him in Scotland. He therefore issued a claim against the Advocate General for Scotland and the Scottish Ministers, arguing that the Secretary of State’s failure to bring the forum bar provisions into force in Scotland was unlawful. In December 2018, the Outer House of the Court of Session found in Mr Craig’s favour and made an order in which it “declared… that in its continuing failure to bring into force in Scotland the extradition forum bar provisions… the UK Government is acting unlawfully and contrary to its duties under section 61 of [the 2013 Act]”.

Notwithstanding that order, the UK Government failed to bring the forum bar provisions into force in Scotland until September 2021. In the meantime, the Lord Advocate continued to pursue extradition proceedings against Mr Craig. In July 2019, a sheriff decided that there was no bar to Mr Craig’s extradition under the 2003 Act and that his extradition would be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention“). The sheriff sent the matter on to the Scottish Ministers, who in September 2019 decided that Mr Craig should be extradited to the US.

Mr Craig appealed, unsuccessfully, to the High Court of Justiciary. He appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Lord Reed’s sole judgment, with which the other Justices agree, said:

Section 57(2) of the Scotland Act 1998 provides that a “member of the Scottish Government has no power to… act, so far as the… act is incompatible with any of the Convention rights” [25]. This means that the Lord Advocate has no power to conduct extradition proceedings against Mr Craig, and the Scottish Ministers have no power to order his extradition, if those acts are incompatible with Mr Craig’s rights under the Convention [37], [47].

There is no dispute that the extradition of Mr Craig would interfere with his right to respect for his private and family life, as guaranteed by article 8(1) of the Convention. Such an interference could, however, be justified under article 8(2), if it is “in accordance with the law”, if it pursues a “legitimate aim”, and if it is “necessary in a democratic society”. To satisfy the first of those three requirements, the interference must be in conformity with domestic law and the domestic law must meet the requirements of the rule of law, so as to afford adequate legal protection against arbitrariness. This is an absolute requirement. The executive is afforded no margin of discretion in meeting it [48]-[50].

The interference with Mr Craig’s rights under article 8(1) was not “in accordance with the law”, within the meaning of article 8(2) [52]. The order made by the Outer House in December 2018 was expressed in the present tense, making clear that the Secretary of State was “continuing” to act in breach of section 61 of the 2013 Act by failing to bring the forum bar provisions into force. The Secretary of State had a duty to act in conformity with that order, and his failure to do so was unlawful [41]-[42]. The extradition procedure followed in Mr Craig’s case did not therefore accord with section 61 of the 2013 Act [52].

It is no answer to this that the order made by the Outer House was merely declaratory, rather than coercive [43]. It is firmly established that there is a clear expectation that the Government will comply with declaratory orders, and it is in reliance on that expectation that the courts usually refrain from making coercive orders against the Government and grant declaratory orders instead [44]. This is one of the core principles of our constitution. It is vital to the mutual trust which underpins the relationship between the Government and the courts [46].

Accordingly, the extradition proceedings against Mr Craig were not conducted “in accordance with the law” and so were incompatible with his rights under article 8 of the Convention. It follows that the extradition order made against him is invalid [53].

References in square brackets are to paragraphs in the judgment

A new extradition hearing may be held before a different sheriff, at which Mr Craig will be able to rely on the forum bar provisions (in addition to any other arguments properly available to him).

Ampersand’s Aidan O’Neill QC, leading Fred Mackintosh QC, instructed by Dunne Defence, represented the appellant.

The judgment of the UK can be found here.

Back

UK Supreme Court allows appeal in James Craig US Extradition case

The UK Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal of James Craig, a British citizen living in Scotland. In May 2017, the US Government made a request for his extradition to the US, where he is accused of committing an offence relating to securities fraud.

The process for determining whether a person should be extradited from the UK is governed by the Extradition Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act“). By the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act“), Parliament inserted into the 2003 Act a number of provisions referred to as “the forum bar provisions”. These provisions aim to prevent extradition where the offences could be fairly and effectively tried in the UK, and it is not in the interests of justice that the requested person should be extradited. Section 61 of the 2013 Act provides that the forum bar provisions will “come into force on such a day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint”. The Secretary of State brought the forum bar provisions into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in October 2013, but he did not bring them into force in Scotland.

Mr Craig wanted to rely on the forum bar provisions in the extradition proceedings brought against him in Scotland. He therefore issued a claim against the Advocate General for Scotland and the Scottish Ministers, arguing that the Secretary of State’s failure to bring the forum bar provisions into force in Scotland was unlawful. In December 2018, the Outer House of the Court of Session found in Mr Craig’s favour and made an order in which it “declared… that in its continuing failure to bring into force in Scotland the extradition forum bar provisions… the UK Government is acting unlawfully and contrary to its duties under section 61 of [the 2013 Act]”.

Notwithstanding that order, the UK Government failed to bring the forum bar provisions into force in Scotland until September 2021. In the meantime, the Lord Advocate continued to pursue extradition proceedings against Mr Craig. In July 2019, a sheriff decided that there was no bar to Mr Craig’s extradition under the 2003 Act and that his extradition would be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention“). The sheriff sent the matter on to the Scottish Ministers, who in September 2019 decided that Mr Craig should be extradited to the US.

Mr Craig appealed, unsuccessfully, to the High Court of Justiciary. He appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Lord Reed’s sole judgment, with which the other Justices agree, said:

Section 57(2) of the Scotland Act 1998 provides that a “member of the Scottish Government has no power to… act, so far as the… act is incompatible with any of the Convention rights” [25]. This means that the Lord Advocate has no power to conduct extradition proceedings against Mr Craig, and the Scottish Ministers have no power to order his extradition, if those acts are incompatible with Mr Craig’s rights under the Convention [37], [47].

There is no dispute that the extradition of Mr Craig would interfere with his right to respect for his private and family life, as guaranteed by article 8(1) of the Convention. Such an interference could, however, be justified under article 8(2), if it is “in accordance with the law”, if it pursues a “legitimate aim”, and if it is “necessary in a democratic society”. To satisfy the first of those three requirements, the interference must be in conformity with domestic law and the domestic law must meet the requirements of the rule of law, so as to afford adequate legal protection against arbitrariness. This is an absolute requirement. The executive is afforded no margin of discretion in meeting it [48]-[50].

The interference with Mr Craig’s rights under article 8(1) was not “in accordance with the law”, within the meaning of article 8(2) [52]. The order made by the Outer House in December 2018 was expressed in the present tense, making clear that the Secretary of State was “continuing” to act in breach of section 61 of the 2013 Act by failing to bring the forum bar provisions into force. The Secretary of State had a duty to act in conformity with that order, and his failure to do so was unlawful [41]-[42]. The extradition procedure followed in Mr Craig’s case did not therefore accord with section 61 of the 2013 Act [52].

It is no answer to this that the order made by the Outer House was merely declaratory, rather than coercive [43]. It is firmly established that there is a clear expectation that the Government will comply with declaratory orders, and it is in reliance on that expectation that the courts usually refrain from making coercive orders against the Government and grant declaratory orders instead [44]. This is one of the core principles of our constitution. It is vital to the mutual trust which underpins the relationship between the Government and the courts [46].

Accordingly, the extradition proceedings against Mr Craig were not conducted “in accordance with the law” and so were incompatible with his rights under article 8 of the Convention. It follows that the extradition order made against him is invalid [53].

References in square brackets are to paragraphs in the judgment

A new extradition hearing may be held before a different sheriff, at which Mr Craig will be able to rely on the forum bar provisions (in addition to any other arguments properly available to him).

Ampersand’s Aidan O’Neill QC, leading Fred Mackintosh QC, instructed by Dunne Defence, represented the appellant.

The judgment of the UK can be found here.

 

Back

Fair Play for Women Limited for Judicial review of the guidance issued by National Records of Scotland to accompany the “sex question” in the 2022 Scottish census [2022] CSOH 20; [2022] CSIH 7

A judicial review Petition by Fair Play for Women Limited challenging the Scottish Census guidance to allow people to identify as male or female regardless of what is on their birth certificate has been refused and first instance and on Appeal.

Lord Sandison’s Opinion can be found here.

Inner House Opinion can be found here.

Ampersand’s Douglas Ross QC and Paul Reid, acted for the Scottish Government.

Back

Ian S. Forrester QC LLD

Ian Forrester QC was educated and trained in Scotland, Louisiana, New York and Brussels. He is a well-known practitioner in the field of European law, specialising in competition, intellectual property, customs, antidumping, pharmaceutical regulation, football, the precautionary principle, broadcasting, computer software and due process, being a member of the bars of Scotland, New York, England and Brussels. He argued a number of leading cases, including Magill, Bosman, Pfizer Animal Health, Microsoft, GSK, and Gibraltar, on behalf of large and small companies, the European Commission, private individuals,  political figures, and trade associations. He has written over 100 articles or chapters on a range of legal topics. In 2015 he was nominated by the UK to be the judge from the UK on the General Court of the European Union where he sat on about 200 cases concerning competition, access to documents, trademarks, plant varieties, public procurement, employment, and other European Union questions. He has been an arbitrator in proceedings under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, Court of Arbitration for Sport and has argued cases before courts in Scotland ,England, Belgium, Serbia and France, as well as the EFTA court, the ECtHR in Strasbourg, and the EU courts in Luxembourg.

Further detail about his practice, visit: ianstewartforrester.com.

Back

Ampersand Advocates welcomes Top Rankings success in latest Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2022

Ampersand has once again received top tier rankings across a number of areas of practice in the latest published guide to the legal profession, Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2022.

Ampersand received 68 listings across 17 areas of practice, ranking as top tier (band 1) in Clinical Negligence and Planning & Environmental Law as a Set, and band 2 in Administrative & Public law, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Real Estate Litigation and Restructuring/Insolvency as a Set. 5 members are noted as “star individuals”. There is wide practice for the clerking team and client service too.

Noted as a Band 1 set for Clinical Negligence, “Ampersand Advocates retains its reputation as a market-leading stable for clinical negligence matters. Its advocates continue to provide expert legal advice and representation to both pursuers and defenders in a wide range of disputes, including claims relating to birth and catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. Members are well versed in cases arising from alleged failures in diagnosis and surgical errors, and regularly appear at fatal accident inquiries. The stable also houses considerable expertise in multiparty actions stemming from the use of medical equipment, and several of its advocates have recently been involved in the Scottish Mesh Litigation, a class action in which over 500 claims were brought against the NHS in connection with allegedly defective vaginal mesh. Our rankings include 2 “Star Individuals”, Maria Maguire QC and David Stephenson QC, with 10 further silks and 7 juniors also ranked – Simon Bowie QC, Jamie Dawson QC, Simon Di Rollo QC, Una Doherty QC, Lisa Henderson QC, Vinit Khurana QC, Archie MacSporran QC, Geoffrey Mitchell QC, Graham Primrose QC, Lauren Sutherland QC, Fiona Drysdale, Mark Fitzpatrick, James McConnell, Paul Reid and Phil Stuart.

Ampersand’s new Band 1 listing in Planning & Environment states “Ampersand is a leading stable with a strong offering of advocates in both the junior and senior ranks.” and “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for the complex planning and environmental work undertaken by its advocates. Members of the stable regularly act in judicial reviews and challenges to planning permissions and frequently act on behalf of developers, objectors, public sector bodies and energy companies. Members are regularly engaged in high-profile matters, including those relating to large renewable energy projects. Rankings include Malcolm Thomson QC as “Star Individual”, Marcus McKay QC, Ailsa Wilson QC and new silk Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC.

Band 2 listings include Administrative & Public Law where Ampersand is praised “houses highly praised practitioners who are skilled at acting in public law cases involving significant constitutional and human rights issues. They frequently appear before the highest courts in the UK and the EU.” The rankings include “Star Individual” Aidan O’Neill QC, along with Douglas Ross QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Paul Reid and Usman Tariq.

In Civil Liberties & Human Rights Ampersand is noted as a “highly regarded civil liberties and human rights stable, known for representing both private individuals and public bodies in significant proceedings. Practitioners at Ampersand are regularly instructed by the government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.” The rankings include Aidan O’Neill QC, Douglas Ross QC and Usman Tariq.

In Commercial Dispute Resolution Chambers state Ampersand is “well renowned for its consistent involvement in high-profile commercial disputes. The stable offers a large team comprising highly rated advocates at the senior and junior level. The advocates are instructed on behalf of corporations and financial institutions and are involved in a variety of related areas of practice including intellectual property and insolvency.” The rankings include Robert Howie QCGraeme Hawkes QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Ross AndersonGiles Reid, Paul Reid, Usman Tariq and Tim Young.

Within Personal Injury “Ampersand Advocates is a highly regarded stable for personal injury matters and houses a number of dedicated senior and junior advocates. Members act for both pursuers and defenders, including several major insurers, in the full range of claims, and offer considerable expertise in the handling of catastrophic injury cases arising from road traffic and workplace accidents. The team is also well regarded for its expertise in complex product liability and occupiers’ liability disputes and matters involving accidents abroad. The stable’s tenants are regularly called upon to appear in fatal accident inquiries, where they have experience of acting for government agencies, health boards and local authorities.” Rankings include “Star Individuals” Maria Maguire QC and Graham Primrose QC with others ranked Isla Davie QC, Simon Di Rollo QC, Lisa Henderson QC, Euan Mackenzie QC, Douglas Ross QC, Alan CowanChris Marney, Jenny Nicholson, Louise Milligan.

A new Set ranking in Professional Negligence declares “Ampersand Advocates is recognised as a leading set for professional liability matters in Scotland. The advocates often advise and act in proceedings on behalf of and against a suite of professionals including solicitors, surveyors, architects and financial advisers.” The rankings include Chris Marney, Paul Reid and Usman Tariq.

In another new Set ranking area, Real Estate Litigation, it exclaims “Ampersand Advocates offers a strong bench of well-regarded advocates who are active across a broad range of real estate litigation topics. The set demonstrates strong expertise in areas of overlap between commercial and real estate disputes. Members are instructed at all levels from the Supreme Court down.” Rankings include Robert Howie QC, Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC, Ross Anderson, Giles Reid and Tim Young.

Within Restructuring/Insolvency “Ampersand Advocates is well regarded for its handling of a wide range of restructuring and insolvency matters. The stable’s advocates are frequently instructed to represent administrators, companies, banks and insolvency office holders in complex claims involving allegations of wrongful trading and breach of fiduciary duty, among other matters. Members have experience of appearing in both domestic and cross-border matters, and are regularly called upon to act for and advise their clients on both contentious and non-contentious insolvency cases.” Rankings include Robert Howie QC, Ross Anderson and Usman Tariq.

There are individual rankings in: Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Laura-Anne van der Westhuizen QC; Company for Tim Young; Employment for Aidan O’Neill QC; Immigration for Alan Dewar QC; Information Technology and Intellectual Property for Usman Tariq; Product Liability for Paul Reid; and Tax for Ross Anderson.

The Ampersand clerks receive wide praise across all areas of practice described as “fantastic and always very helpful… approachable and knowledgeable….Very efficient and pleasant.” The client service is also noted as “ahead of the curve in terms of its responsiveness and use of technology” and notes Ampersand “was the first Scottish stable to offer video conferencing.”

On the recent rankings, Practice Manager, Alan Moffat, said: “This is again wonderful recognition and praise for all of the excellent work our advocates and my team does on a continual basis. My thanks goes to everyone who took the time to provide Chambers with their views. We work in collaboration with the profession and it is pleasing to hear those that instruct our members recognise the value our members bring to the legal team. I am also proud of the excellent and hard work my team puts in daily and am pleased to see that appreciated too.”

The full rankings can be viewed on the Chambers and Partners website here.

Back