The Scottish judges who handed Boris Johnson a massive Brexit headache

One of three senior Scottish judges who ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was unlawful once called Brexit ‘a very onerous task’, it has been revealed.

Lord Carloway, 65, made the comments during a speech in March 2017, where he also said that separation from the European Union would ‘be a task of mammoth proportions’. 

In a shock ruling in Edinburgh this morning, he and Brodie and Drummond Young decided that prorogation was unlawful because the Prime Minister’s intention had been to ‘stymy’ scrutiny of his Brexit policy – not to pave the way for a new legislative programme as he claimed. 

But now it’s been revealed that Lord Carloway previously said: ‘EU law has become so closely intertwined with our domestic law that separation, if that is what is to be done, will be a task of mammoth proportions.’ 

Adding that, as reported by The Times: ‘Scotland has a strong tradition of having lawyers steeped in the Europe context.’ 

The shock decision by the trio of judges sets the stage for a titanic showdown at the Supreme Court in London on Tuesday – with the risk that the Queen will be dragged into the constitutional crisis.

So who are the men who made what could end up being a profound decision that could alter the course of Brexit? 

Lord Carloway

The Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, he is the head of the Scottish judiciary. 

The 65-year-old became the most senior judge north of the border in 2015. 

He studied law at the University of Edinburgh and he became a QC in 1990. 

He led a major review of Scotland’s justice system after a UK Supreme Court judgement stopped police questioning suspects who had not been offered a lawyer. 

The so-called Carloway Review called for criminal law to be ‘re-cast’ for modern day Scotland. 

He is married, has two sons and reportedly plays bass guitar in a band called The Reclaimers.

Lord Carloway earns £220,000 a year as Scotland’s most senior judge after being nominated to the role in 2015 by Nicola Sturgeon. Prior to his appointment he had publicly attacked the ‘depressing influence’ of the London-based supreme court on justice north of the border.

Lord Brodie

The son of a senior Church of Scotland minister, Philip Hope Brodie is a Senator of the College of Justice – the name given to the judges who sit in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary – a role he has held since 2002. 

The 69-year-old also studied law at Edinburgh University before attending the University of Virginia in the US. 

He is a qualified barrister in both Scottish and English law and became a QC in 1987. He has sat on the Court of Sessions since 2002. He is married and has two sons and a daughter and is reportedly a keen fencer.

He is also a former chairman of the Cockburn Association, a charity which aims to protect and enhance the beauty of Edinburgh’.

He is also president of the Franco-Scottish Society, which promotes links between France and Scotland. Lord Brodie is also married with two sons and a daughter and is reportedly a keen walker.

Lord Drummond Young

James Drummond Young is in the headlines for the second time this week. 

Yesterday he was part of a panel which ruled that reduced the sentence handed out to a brutal child-killer.

Aaron Campbell was 16 when he abducted the six-year-old girl from her bed at her grandparents’ home on the Isle of Bute before raping and murdering her, on July 2 last year.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years at the High Court in Glasgow in March.

On Tuesday, the three judges ruled his minimum sentence should be reduced to 24 years on account of his age at the time of the murder.

Lord Drummond Young is also a Senator of the College of Justice, a role he took in 2001.

The 69-year-old used to be the chairman of the Scottish Law Commission. 

He studied law at Cambridge University and then at Harvard University in the US before becoming a QC in 1988.

He is married and has one daughter. 

He is reportedly a member of The Speculative Society in Edinburgh which is dedicated to public speaking.


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