Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Row over interference of UK Supreme Court in Scotland's legal system

Scottish Government sets up a group of experts to look into the impact of UK court overruling Scots court cases.

Scottish Government sets up a group of experts to look into the impact of UK court overruling Scots court cases.

The controversy started in May 2011 after the London-based court overruled the conviction of a man found guilty of murder by the Scottish courts.

In a previous case known as the Cadder judgement, the UK Supreme Court had also ruled on criminal convictions in Scotland, forcing the Scottish Government to enact emergency legislation to prevent compensation payments worth hundreds of millions of pounds to nearly 3,500 conviction cases.

Despite the Union of the kingdoms of Scotland and England in 1707, the Scottish legal system retained its independence as a separate legal system with its own courts governed by Scots Law. The UK is the only state within the EU that has more than one legal system.

The ruling of the UK Supreme Court on a Scottish criminal case prompted a row between the Scottish Government and a number of senior legal figures, and a split within the legal profession over the UK Supreme Court's authority to overrule the Scottish courts.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said "Scotland is renowned for its distinct, independent and entirely separate legal system, so my own view is that we simply cannot ignore a situation where a court in another UK jurisdiction is intervening so aggressively in our judicial system."

In June, the Scottish Government decided to set up an expert legal group to address concerns that the UK Supreme Court is undermining the independence of the Scottish legal system.

The expert review will publish a final report by the autumn with advice on possible options for reform.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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