Friday 16 July 2010

ECHR application following Walls v. Santander

An application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has been made following the decision in Walls v. Santander UK plc, a copy of the 15 page judgment is available here (opens as a PDF).

Part of the pursuer's objection to the bank's application to remit from the small claims court to the ordinary sheriff court centered on article 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998, and relevant caselaw from the ECHR.  The court was not persuaded on this head of objection, and section 37(3) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 prohibits any review of the sheriff's decision. 

Accordingly, the pursuer now seeks to bring proceedings against the United Kingdom under article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The Scottish Government has responsibility for access to civil justice in Scotland as a devolved matter in terms of the Scotland Act 1998.  It is hoped that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice will reconsider his refusal to look at a law reform solution to prevent a class of persons, such as the pursuer, being limited in their ability to determine their civil rights before the Scottish courts.

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