‘When the dust settles, there should be reflection on the fact that creating new broad criminal offences in society without political or legal consensus is extremely problematic. Further targeting of one group in society for criminal sanction – in this case football supporters – is difficult to justify’.
The fact that Gormley had direct oversight of undercover policing at the Met before he became Scotland’s chief constable just adds another curious twist to the ongoing Police Scotland saga. Now his resignation puts to rest one long-running element of what many consider a damning indictment of Scotland’s centralised police force. But lack of institutional reform and the blurring of accountability means further problems will surely not be far away.
‘As 2018 begins, policing in Scotland is in crisis: no chief constable, a justice minister facing political and legal challenges over his behaviour and a national police authority forced to re-establish its reputation and define its role. A close examination of the structures is urgently needed if this crisis is to be resolved’.
‘The question now seems to be why are these fundamental issues of governance and accountability only now are being exposed, and with such serious consequences? This debate should have occurred before a centralised police force was established four years ago’.
‘Strangely, the most internal domestic matter for any state – the democratic formation of its government – in the UK now could have implications in international law. Just one of the many unforeseen consequences of the 2017 general election.’
There is a strong sense in Scotland that the EU referendum result can be challenged here if Holyrood refuses to give its consent to repealing laws binding the country and UK to Europe. But that may well be untrue. A constitutional law expert examines the case.