Dr Donald Trump, coincidentally an honorary graduate of my university, dislikes windmills, and he is taking a case to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stop them being put up in sight of his golf course in Aberdeenshire. To get to take the case, he has been able to take advantage of a certain laxity in the rules about what is, or is not, an important point of law. The Court of Appeal has already decided that his arguments have no legal merit.
While this is going on, I’ve been trying to get information to back up the case to allow benefit claimants better access to judicial review in the Scottish Courts. Poor people are subject, in the UK, to arbitrary and secret decision making with no effective redress. Justice delayed is justice denied, and the effect of mandatory delays, failures to make decisions and taking actions on decisions without informing people even that the decision has been made has had a devastating effect on people’s welfare. The primary obstacles to access are the requirements to fund senior lawyers, the complexity of the law and the length of time needed to act.
Unfortunately it seems that, regardless of the merits of the respective cases, access to law is still the prerogative of the very rich.