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PE01458: Register of Interests for members of Scotlands judiciary


Petitioner: Peter Cherbi


Date Lodged: 08 December 2012

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to create a Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill (as is currently being considered in New Zealand's Parliament) or amend present legislation to require all members of the Judiciary in Scotland to submit their interests & hospitality received to a publicly available Register of Interests.

Petition History:


8 January 2013: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Lord President, the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland. Link to Official Report 8 January 2013 (474KB pdf)

5 March 2013: The Committee agreed to invite the Lord President to give evidence at a future meeting and seek further information on the proposed New Zealand legislation. Link to Official Report 5 March 2013 (361KB pdf)

16 April 2013: The Committee agreed to write again to the Lord President and seek views from the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and the Judicial Complaints Reviewer. Link to Official Report 16 April 2013 (472KB pdf)

25 June 2013: The Committee agreed to invite the Judicial Complaints Reviewer to give evidence at a future meeting. The Committee also agreed to write to Dr Kennedy Graham MP, New Zealand Parliament. Link to Official Report 25 June 2013 (499KB pdf)

17 September 2013: The Committee took evidence from Moi Ali, Judicial Complaints Reviewer. The Committee agreed to write to Dr Kennedy Graham MP, New Zealand Parliament, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Court Service and the Scottish Government. The Committee also agreed to consider the debate that took place during the passage of the Scotland Act 1998 on section 23. Link to Official Report 17 September 2013 (597KB pdf)

26 November 2013: The Committee agreed to defer future consideration of the petition until after the meeting between the Convener, Deputy Convener and the Lord President. Link to Official Report 26 November 2013 (515KB pdf)

28 January 2014: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the petition pending receipt of a letter from the Lord President. Link to Official Report 28 January 2014 (550KB pdf)

4 March 2014: The Committee agreed to seek time in the Chamber for a debate on the petition. The Committee also agreed to write to the Lord President and the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 4 March 2014 (403KB pdf) 

6 May 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Lord President and the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 6 May 2014 (434KB pdf)

9 October 2014: The Committee held a debate in the Chamber on the subject of the petition. Link to Official Report 9 October 2014 (accessible HTML)  

Written Submissions:

As in many other walks of life where public servants are required to disclose their interests, financial or otherwise, members of the judiciary who are highly paid and enjoy positions of key importance within the country where their decisions have a significant impact on public life, should also be required to disclose all interests in a regularly updated published register of interests available for public inspection at all times.

Not before time, but what about the freemasons.

rab alexander

18:18 on 22 Nov 2012

Scots are historically supreme, and they elect their leader. The Court should derive it's power from the people. People are accountable to the Court, so the Court should be accountable to the people. It is only fair.

Richard Quinn

20:02 on 15 Nov 2012

This could be a stepping stone to make judges more accountable, as promised, but as quickly and sinisterly abandoned, by the former Justice Minister. At the end of April 2001, the Scottish Executive Justice Minister Jim Wallace made a long-overdue proposal that the exemption of Scots judges and sheriffs from being disciplined for "performance" and "behaviour" discrepancies was set to be removed because under the present system only two sheriffs have been dismissed in 30 years, while a Court of Session judge has never been removed from office. Supporting this petition will be a warning to the judiciary that the eyes of the public are as justified to appraise the integrity of their members as they are with the public.

William Burns

15:49 on 14 Nov 2012

It is incredible that the Scottish Government has not insisted that this must be in place. It is even more incredible that the Government & Court have no intention to do so. Are we the Public supposed to take the Judiciary's word of mouth promise that they are acting according to the law? If we are then we the Public are leaving ourselves open to Institutional abuse of power. If the Scottish Public are to have any faith in the Judiciary in a climate when MP's, Police, the BBC and the Press have been shown to be liers then it must be MANDATORY for the judiciary to be able to show that they are fit for purpose and have characters beyond reproach as a minimum standard to be able to carry out their duties. Experience has shown, if a group is resistant against transparency then they have something to hide.

Keyser Sauzey

15:40 on 13 Nov 2012

Judiciary should declare all financial interests, including income sources, directorships, shareholdings and investments. Also membership of any organisations and associations.

Brian Steele

0:56 on 13 Nov 2012

If MP & MSP's interests are to be made public so should Judges.

William Gordon

20:54 on 10 Nov 2012

There has been a welcome movement in many countries for greater transparency over the backgrounds of those in positions of considerable power and trust. It is time that the judiciary were subject to such scrutiny, so as to avoid any possible suspicion over any conflict of interest issues

Robert Green

16:52 on 10 Nov 2012



19:25 on 08 Nov 2012

We should know as much as possible about the interests (pecunary and fraternal) of our decision makers. I would go further and call for a ban on judges holding directorships of companies that their decisions have affected. It cannot be right that a judge can waive prosecution of big businesses such as oil companies whose employees are killed by corporate manslaughter and then the judge goes on to the board of the oil company.

Tom Minogue

16:56 on 08 Nov 2012

Yes, I completely agree. If we, the people, are to continue to ask judges to make, on our behalf, huge decisions which affect our fellow citizens we have a duty to find out much more about them than we presently know. In matters of justice we can never have too much transparency.

Arthur Mc Farlane

13:00 on 04 Nov 2012

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