In September 2020, protestor Sean Clerkin was arrested after displaying a banner at Edinburgh Airport reading “England Get Out of Scotland”. He was charged with a racially aggravated breach of the peace and displaying a banner without permission on Edinburgh Airport property. The banner had previously been displayed by him in other locations during 2020, including at the England-Scotland border at Berwick and outside Glasgow Central Station, all reportedly in protest at the border not being closed given the rise of Covid-19 cases. He denied it was an expression of any anti-English feeling.
Take a pause, have a deep breath, and ask yourself: how are you really feeling? If you aren’t doing well or if you are struggling, remember that is okay. It is okay not to be okay, you have gotten through one of the toughest years in modern history.
International Workers’ Memorial Day is marked on 28th April to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of work related disease or injury, or in accidents at work. For many, this conjures up images of the dangerous industrial work environments of the past, rather than a current and relevant issue, but that does not reflect the reality. The theme of IWMD this year is health and safety as a fundamental workers’ right, and over the course of the past year, the importance of this has hit home for everyone.
Another session of the Scottish Parliament has ended without legislation being passed to tackle the glaring failure in our criminal law that has been well know to everyone for decades. It is a failure that is of course felt most acutely and heartbreakingly by those families who have lost a loved one to gross negligence or recklessness, particularly on the part of organisations, but who did not see justice done through a conviction for Culpable Homicide. It is a failure that puts us all at risk. It is a failure that if anything ought to be a priority for our politicians at Holyrood it is surely one. In fact, it ought to be at the very top of their list.
In the first case of its kind, a victim of sexual assault has been awarded £35,000 in compensation for the inhumane treatment she received when in the witness box. Lord Carloway condemned the behaviour of solicitor Andy Aitken and refusal to intervene from Sheriff Hammond as a ‘serious failure in the administration of justice.’ Shannon brought a case against the Lord Advocate after seeking legal advice and being told that a previous case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that judges must ensure victims of sexual crimes are protected during proceedings.
As the political parties return to the campaign trail, we at Thompsons are launching our 2021 Scottish Parliament Election manifesto.As Scotland’s leading firm of Solicitors dedicated to representing trades union members, victims of workplace injury and mistreatment and survivors of historical sexual abuse we have first-hand experience of the deficiencies in our current laws. We see daily the extent to which the law currently fails to fairly balance the relationship between employer and employee, between victims of accidents and insurers and between the individual and the state.
This is world autism awareness week and is understandably a great time to learn a little about autism. Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition. It is a disability and it affects how people experience the world through their senses but also how their brains process that information and how they communicate. The thing about autism is that how it presents is vastly different dependant on the individual and the impact it has on both their life and the lives of their family can be hugely different. This is where you might have heard of the phrase ‘the spectrum’ before. The ‘spectrum’ is best thought of these days as about different support needs: so at one end of the spectrum you might need considerable support and be unable to communicate or process information and require 24 hour support compared to those that appear to require very little support in their day to day lives.
On Monday of this week the findings of an extensive independent review were published which highlighted significant failings in infection prevention and control, governance and risk management at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The review was carried out by a panel of independent external experts led by Professor Mike Stevens. The review was commissioned by the Scottish Government as part of a wider investigation into the ventilation system, water supply and drainage system at the hospital.