Fair Trial - The Lord Advocate's Wife.

Summary

  • The Lord Advocate is the chief public prosecutor in Scotland. He is a member of the Scottish Government and all criminal prosecutions are performed in his name and under his instructions. His wife, Lady Wolffe QC, is a senior Scottish judge.
  • This means that each time a criminal trial takes place in Scotland the prosecution is taking place in front of the prosecutor’s wife or one of her colleagues.
  • The law requires a judge to be free from bias. It is obvious that Lady Wolffe QC will be biased in any case that involves the Lord Advocate or the Scottish Government.
  • But what about the other judges, will they be biased when the prosecution is controlled by the husband of a colleague? The answer to this is clearly yes! In the sense that all judges in the judicial hierarchy will know or know of Lady Wolffe QC and when her husband appears in front of them either by himself or represented by some other, it is possible that they will subconsciously favour the husband of a senior colleague.

The Lord Advocate’s Wife.

Introduction

 

  1. The Lord Advocate, Lord Wolffe QC, is married to Lady Wolffe QC, who is a Senior Judge. This paper will briefly explain why this means that no one in Scotland can receive a fair trial.

 

The Basic Facts

 

  1. The Lord Advocate is the chief public prosecutor in Scotland. He is a member of the Scottish Government and all criminal prosecutions are performed in his name and under his instructions. His wife, Lady Wolffe QC, is a senior Scottish judge. This means that each time a criminal trial takes place in Scotland the prosecution is taking place in front of the prosecutor’s wife or one of her colleagues.

 

The Law

 

  1. The law requires a judge to be free from bias. It is obvious that Lady Wolffe QC will be biased in any case that involves the Lord Advocate or the Scottish Government. But what about the other judges, will they be biased when the prosecution is controlled by the husband of a colleague? The answer to this is clearly yes! In the sense that all judges in the judicial hierarchy will know or know of Lady Wolffe QC and when her husband appears in front of them either by himself or represented by some other, it is possible that they will subconsciously favour the husband of a senior colleague.

 

  1. This situation also affects civil matters as the Scottish Government are either a party or a potential party in all civil cases.

 

  1. The law requires anyone involved in a criminal prosecution or a civil case to disclose anything that puts the fairness of the trial or hearing in doubt. Therefore, all judges have a duty to disclose their link, via their colleague, to the prosecutor and the Scottish Government. All prosecutors, all lawyers, the police and the staff of the Scottish Court Service have a similar duty.

 

  1. The Fair Trial Project contends that the failure to disclose these facts is a) contempt of court; and b) civil and criminal fraud. No one can receive a fair trial or fair hearing in Scotland while a senior judge is married to the Lord Advocate.

 

What can I do about this?

 

  1. If you are or are involved in a criminal trial or civil case, then instruct your lawyer to raise this matter. If you have been involved in any legal matter and this situation was not disclosed, then please contact the Fair Trial Project. You may be entitled to compensation.

 

  1. We are considering making a criminal complaint against the Lord Advocate and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for their failure to disclose these facts. Sign up to the Fair Trial Project’s newsletter to keep up to date with news on this campaign.

 

A fully referenced paper will be available early in 2021…