Both Sides of the Tweed
In a stark reminder that at least two different sets of laws and legal systems exist in the UK, in the recent tax case of Taylor Clark Leisure plc v HMRC, the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh decided that a QC from the English Bar did not have rights of audience to argue an appeal before it.
In fact, the Court of Session held that its own judges did not have any discretion to hear the English QC on a one-off or ad hoc basis, however knowledgeable he might be on taxation law. The underlying premise of the law was that significant rights and duties held the Court of Session together and maintained standards of conduct in the justice system.
This is a surprising decision to see arising in the first place. Although the commercial mergers of many of the larger English and Scottish firms of lawyers may have muddied some legal waters, the significance of the River Tweed clearly remains.