MacCormick v. Lord Advocate

MacCormick v. Lord Advocate

MacCormick v. Lord Advocate (1953 SC 396) was a Scottish legal action in which John MacCormick (the Rector of the University of Glasgow) and Ian Hamilton then part of the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association contested the right of Queen Elizabeth II to style herself "Elizabeth II" within Scotland. This was perceived as a breach of the Act of Union 1707 between England and Scotland, since Queen Elizabeth I was Queen of England but not of Scotland. (A historic example of a numeric distinction is found in King James I of England, who was King James VI of Scotland.) The action was brought against the Lord Advocate, also known as Her Majesty's Advocate, the most senior legal representative of the Crown in Scotland.

The petition first came before Lord Guthrie, sitting as Lord Ordinary in the Outer House (the usual court of first instance in the Court of Session). He dismissed it; this was appealed to the Inner House, coming before the Lord President (Lord Cooper), Lord Carmont, and Lord Russell MacCormick. There, MacCormick and Hamilton lost their case: it was held that they had no title to sue the Crown, and also that the treaty had no provision concerning the numbering of monarchs — it was part of the royal prerogative. However, the Lord President, Lord Cooper of Culross, gave his opinion that "the principle of unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law". The case was thus constitutionally interesting as "the Lord Advocate conceded this point by admitting that the Parliament of Great Britain ‘could not’ repeal or alter [certain] ‘fundamental and essential’ conditions" of the Act of Union.

The outcome of this case has had continuing relevance, most notably in 1999, when the British parliament discussed the creation of the Scottish Parliament. It has been discussed in a number of later decisions of the courts, notably Gibson v Lord Advocate 1975 SC 136, and the English case of [ Jackson v Attorney General] , 2005 3 WLR 733.

Opinions of the Scottish courts are nominally crown copyright, but copyright is waived so long as quotation is accurate.fact|date=May 2007 The full opinion of the Lord President, with which the other members of the Court expressly agreed, has however been much misunderstood in some later commentaries and is not widely available.

It was subsequently decided [ Winston Churchill, House of Commons Official Report cols 199-201, 15 April 1953 ] that British sovereigns would use either the English or the Scottish number, whichever was higher. For example, as there has never been a King Henry of Scotland but there was a Henry VIII of England, a future King Henry of the United Kingdom would be Henry IX; but as there has been a James VII of Scotland but only a James II of England (the same person), a future King James of the United Kingdom would be James VIII.

ee also

*Style of the British Sovereign
*Constitution of the United Kingdom
*Pillar Box War
*List of regnal numerals of future British monarchs

External links

* Hansard for the House of Lords from 1999 discussing the case: [] , []


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John MacCormick — John MacDonald MacCormick (1904 ndash;1961) was a lawyer and supporter of Scottish independence.He began in politics as a member of the Glasgow University Labour Club, before deciding to help form the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist… …   Wikipedia

  • Neil MacCormick — Professor Sir Neil MacCormick QC, FBA, FRSE Member of the European Parliament for Scotland In office 1999–2004 Personal details Born …   Wikipedia

  • Douglas Johnston, Lord Johnston — Douglas Harold Johnston TD (1 February 1907 – 18 February 1985) was a Scottish Advocate, politician and Judge. He served as a Minister in the government of Clement Attlee and ended his career as a Senator of the College of Justice. Johnston took… …   Wikipedia

  • Constitution of the United Kingdom — British Constitution redirects here. For the card game, see British Constitution (solitaire). United Kingdom This article is part of the series …   Wikipedia

  • Ian Hamilton (lawyer) — Ian Hamilton QC (born 1925) is a lawyer and Scottish Nationalist. Biography Born in Paisley, Scotland in 1925, the son of a tailor, he attended the John Neilson Institution in Paisley before going on to the University of Glasgow to study law,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pillar Box War — The Pillar Box WarFact|date=May 2008 refers to a number ofFact|date=May 2008 politically motivated acts of vandalism against post boxes in Scotland during the early 1950s in a dispute over the correct title of the new British monarch, Queen… …   Wikipedia

  • Scotland — For other uses, see Scotland (disambiguation). Scotland  (English/Scots) Alba  (Scottish Gaelic) …   Wikipedia

  • List of leading Scottish legal cases — is a list of leading Scottish legal cases.Constitutional Law* Burmah Oil Co. v Lord Advocate [1965] AC 75 * MacCormick v. Lord Advocate * Free Church case * West v Secretary of State for Scotland 1992 SC 385Contract* Boyd Forest v Glasgow South… …   Wikipedia

  • Parliament of the United Kingdom — of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Type Type Bicameral …   Wikipedia

  • Monarchy of the United Kingdom — This article is about the monarchy of the United Kingdom. For information on the other countries which share the same person as monarch, see Commonwealth realm. For the current Queen of the United Kingdom, see Elizabeth II. British sovereign… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.