George Gregory Anderson v. the United Kingdom
The regular meeting of SKAT held August 21 in the Skye Gathering Hall heard from Treasurer Andy Anderson that he had received a communication from the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe about his case: 'it is expected that the case will be examined by the Court in October 1999.' He was advised that he 'will be informed in due course of any decision taken by the Court in regard to the application.'
Andy was first to the Scottish Court and now first to the European Court. He applied to the European Court in November 1998 and his application was registered there on 15th December, 1998. Andy states that there are three essential circumstances in his case corresponding to Articles 6.1, 7 and 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms where his human rights have been infringed.
The first is concerning his arrest on 5th December 1997 for non-appearance at a Dingwall intermediate trial of which he was not properly notified and which led to his imprisonment in Porterfield in Inverness for eleven days. Lord Cullen in March 1998 (Vannet v Milligan) ruled that the common use of multiple intermediate diets to continue a case was illegal. Andy contends that the Government by enacting retrospective legislation 'The Criminal Procedure' Intermediate Diets (Scotland) Act 1998 allowing Skye Bridge cases to continue is in direct contradiction of the terms of Artlicle 7. Under Article 6.1 he directs his complaint to the reasonable request made by himself to be shown proper authority by a private company who are demanding a toll when refusal to pay was made a criminal offence and whether he received a ' fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law'. Thirdly, he contends that under Article 8 there was ' interference by a public authority with the exercise of the right of everyone to respect for his private and family life, his home..'
Andy commented that "if they (the Court) find in my favour that I have a right to claim for compensation then I will be claiming compensation for every aspect of my case: three separate arrests and detentions overnight in police cells, my eleven day stay in prison, trips to Dingwall, the detriment to my health down to the cost of post and telephone. I assume that on specific aspects of my case which affects many others, then those others would have an equal claim to compensation."
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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1999.
Most recent revision, 27 August 1999