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Further Judicial Review legal advice released

Published: 05 Mar 2021 14:40
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Public sector

Documents assist Inquiry into handling of complaints

A further document release of key legal advice received about the judicial review brought by Alex Salmond against the Scottish Government has been published today.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that the public can have confidence that the information further disproves allegations made against the Scottish Government’s handling of the judicial review.

Mr Swinney said:

“Today the Scottish Government has released further legal advice documents to provide a clear picture of the key legal advice received about the judicial review brought by Alex Salmond.

“This addresses the unfounded and unfair criticism that the Scottish Government was seeking to suppress information about advice received during November 2018. We are publishing two written notes form Counsel from early November, after which a process of adjustments to grounds and answers continued during November and into December 2018.

“I am completely clear that these documents, taken in their entirety, utterly disprove the conspiracy theory that the Scottish Government delayed the concession of the judicial review or ignored advice from counsel, or that there was a plot against Mr Salmond.

“These documents demonstrate that the case became unstateable in late December and the Scottish Government conceded quickly afterwards in early January.

“The information in the documents is consistent with what has been shared with the Committee in evidence sessions and during arrangements made to let them see key legal advice earlier this year.

“The Scottish Government has now disclosed all of the formal written advice notes received from external Counsel during the judicial review which we have identified, as well as a number of other relevant previously legally privileged documents.

“This includes two advice notes from external Counsel from November 2017. These are in addition to the November ‘pleadings’ that we have already provided to the committee and formed the outcome of the consultation meeting with lawyers that were held on 2 and 13 November 2018. 

“I trust that when reading these documents in full, the public will have confidence that these allegations are simply not supported by the evidence.”