Justice Committee Convenor replies

Published on Friday 16th September, 2011 by Celtic Trust

The Celtic Trust has today received a reply to our letter to Christine Grahame, the Convenor of the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament.  In our letter, as outlined earlier in the week, we asked her for clarification of some remarks she made in exchanges with Professor Tom Devine who was giving evidence to her Committee.

In her reply, Convenor Grahame says that 'it would not be appropriate for me to provide a substantive response to the points you raise as that would amount in effect to my providing a 'running commentary' on the evidence that the Committee has received on the Bill before evidence-taking has concluded' and that this would be 'contrary to the good practices of Parliamentary committees'. 

Convenor Grahame did clarify that she does not consider that 'Catholic' and 'Celtic supporter' and 'Protestant' and 'Rangers supporter' are the same thing.  She also said that she considered the points in our letter 'very carefully' and 'will reflect on them as I continue to evaluate the evidence'.

She 'challenged the assumption' that in the exchange with Professor Devine she was 'expressing a view for or against the current law' or about what she 'hoped the Bill would do if it were enacted'.  She further states:  'I have not yet formed a concluded view on it'.  She said that she was 'advancing a hypothesis that challenged (Professor Devine's) argument in order to test how strong it was.' and in doing so, she was 'rigorously and responsibly dispensing (her) duty as a Parliamentarian scrutinising legislation'.

Trust members who are also registered on the site will have an opportunity to see the full text of the letter shortly.


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