When a court judgment is released by the Court of Session, it is now given a “neutral citation”. This begins with the year [in square brackets], either “CSOH” or “CSIH” (depending on whether it was the Outer or Inner House), then a positive integer (which integer increases by one with each judgment). So the first Inner House judgment of 2015 can be cited as [name of parties]  CSIH 1.
So what was  CSIH 1 about, I hear you cry?
It was the last judicial word in the extended Salvesen v Riddell saga. This regarded the award of (some) expenses against the Lord Advocate, in a case about the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 and Article 1, Protocol 1 of the ECHR. Previous blogs by me on the topic can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
In a succinct judgment (with which his two colleagues agree without addition), Lord President Gill awarded expenses against the Lord Advocate (who represented the Scottish Government) for the element of the case that related to the human rights compliance of the legislation.
Lord President Gill makes some useful remarks to remind us about the “offending section” of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 and why it fell foul of A1P1, referring back to the earlier Supreme Court judgment. He notes the section “applied in relation to a random period of time…; that it was essentially retaliatory…; that there was no intellectual or principled justification for it…and that there was no convincing justification for the differential treatment of the group of landlords to which the appellant belonged…and of other landlords.”
Barring separate compensation claims that may be working through the system (from other landowners and farmers who were interested observers to this litigation), that should be the end of this protracted matter.
As for the law of agricultural holdings in Scotland more generally, that is another matter. The Final Report of The Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group will be analysed very closely in due course.