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Minister quiz on judges' interests.

A parliamentary debate has been demanded to discuss a bid to force Scotland's judges to come clean over their interests.

MSPs on Holyrood's public petitions committee want Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to be quizzed in the main chamber.

The committee's call marks an escalation in the clash between cross-party MSPs and the judiciary, headed by Lord President Lord Gill.

Scotland's most senior judge twice refused to attend the committee to discuss Peter Cherbi's call for a judicial register of interests.

Lord Gill agreed to meet two committee members behind closed doors.

He has now agreed to publish details of when judges recuse themselves - stand down - due to conflicts of interest.

Judicial complaints reviewer Moi Ali said it was "a step in the right direction towards greater transparency".

But he added: "It doesn't go far enough."

A register could disclose hospitality, gifts, property plus personal or financial links to outside bodies.

SNP MSP John Wilson called for judges to be accountable to the public.

He said: "Without a register of interests, how would anyone dealing with a court understand or realise when a judge would have to recuse themselves?"


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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 9, 2014
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