Today the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland appears to have failed to take a good opportunity to challenge the illegality of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system when it answered in the negative four questions set by the Lord Advocate in relation to the acquittal of the “Trident Three” by Margaret Gimblett.
The chair of the panel of three judges, Lord Prosser, gave a summary of the court’s judgement in a few curt sentences and then hurried out. On the face of it the judgement undermines the reasoning of the Sheriff in making the original acquittal but the full 76-page text of the judgement has still to be studied in depth. A preliminary scan suggests they have ducked the issue and have advanced a range of spurious arguments in defence of their position.
A Trident Ploughshares spokesperson said: “It was noticeable that Lord Prosser would not meet the eyes of the respondents as he gave his statement. His demeanour was in marked contrast to that he showed during the hearing itself. This may be because he knows in his heart of hearts that he has let the people of Scotland down. This week a System Three poll showed that a majority of the people of Scotland support the direct action campaign against Trident. The legal system has some catching up to do. Trident is still out there and still threatening mass murder. We will be back at Faslane on the 7th April at 11.a.m. to get on with the work.”
Member of the Scottish Parliament Tommy Sheridan said: “Every progressive change in history has been brought about by the people. Nonviolent and peaceful civil resistance must be renewed.”