The only part of Celtic’s deserved victory in Trondheim that left a bad taste in the mouth was Stewart Regan’s reaction on Twitter. The audacity of this man, who went out of his way to appease Campbell Ogilvie and to deny Celtic their rightful place in 2011 CL qualifiers, to then congratulate CFC as if nothing had happened, truly takes one’s breath away. Regan’s SFA have done the square root of fuck all to assist Celtic. His assertion that it was good for Scottish football, and to bask in reflected glory, is the measure of this jobsworth. Should a judicial review proceed to a successful conclusion his position will be untenable. He deserves a cold shoulder as much as career criminal King.
However judicial reviews are not granted to everyone who agitates for one. There is a protocol:
If sleep is eluding you and counting sheep is not doing the trick then this document is for you. I stopped reading as I feared the onset of a Glasgow Scale Coma. Fortunately Tony McKelvie circumvented this problem by producing a Dummies Guide to a Judicial Review.
A Judicial Review is a process of supervising the decisions of public bodies, and in Scotland, this supervision extends in some circumstances to the decisions made by private organisations. In this context the decisions of the SFA and SPFL are subject to a challenge as to their legal validity, such as:
1) That the decision maker acted unlawfully;
2) That the decision was made using an unfair procedure;
3) That the decision was so unreasonable as to be irrational.
A Judicial Review can also be sought when a public body fails to act. Mr McKelvie further expounds on his thesis thus:
“First base then is defining the “decision” that the court will be asked to review. This is subject to a time bar, such that any application for review needs to be made within three months of the decision being made. It’s worthwhile noting here that the decision of the SPL’s Commission headed by Lord Nimmo Smith was made in 2013.”
The SFA’s inertia and the SPFL’s more detailed rebuttal may appear to have triggered the starting gun but one was under starter’s orders as soon as The Supreme Court’s decision was handed down. If we look at clause three and refer to Moynihan’s ludicrous ‘Double Jeopardy’ rebuttal (jj passim) one could easily make a case that his position is irrational. One cannot challenge the LNS Commission directly but one can undermine this kangaroo whitewash by going after Moynihan’s defence of its findings and recommendations.
Mr. McKelvie then writes:
“Once the decision subject to a proposed review has been defined, there is a formal process of “petition” to undertake before the court will agree to its review. The petition process has three tests which the ‘petitioners’ require to pass before a petition for Review is granted, being:
1) That the Petitioners have ‘sufficient interest’ in the matter at hand;
2) That the application has a real prospect of success, and;
3) Either – (i) the application raises an important point of principle or practice, or (ii) there is some other compelling reason for allowing the application to proceed
Only once the court is satisfied that the petition meets all three tests, is the petition granted, and a Judicial Review undertaken.”
As to point 1 it’s evident that the individuals who have instructed counsel are men of means. A managing partner in a solicitor’s firm will set one back £410 per hour plus VAT, with senior junior counsel charging £600 per hour plus VAT, with a flat fee of £1350 plus VAT for one day in court. Senior counsel will charge a minimum of £800 per hour plus VAT and a minimum of £3,500 plus VAT per one day in court or part thereof. It’s instructive to note that a series of calls from Mike Ashley to David Cavender QC racked up a bill north of £20,000.
One day at the Court of Session will typically run to six figures. One can double that amount if the costs of defending the petition fall due.
It would not be too much of a stretch to suggest that the leading lights in this campaign are CFC PLC stakeholders which satisfies point 1. Should the SPFL not have provision in their rules and regulations to deal with tax evasion, as they claim, 3(i) is satisfied. As to point 2 should the SPFL deploy Moynihan then one would anticipate that the retained counsel of the petitioners would wipe the floor with him.
Murdoch MacLennan, the new chairman of the SPFL, was sent the article that I published yesterday by someone in his confidence. The latter considered it a concise primer of an issue that will soon loom large in MacLennan’s in-tray. Murdoch kept his own counsel. Someone with MacLennan’s background in real journalism might have inquired why my acquaintance and much valued source had to go to the well of social media. Welcome to The Alba Dystopia Mr. MacLennan.