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Faculty of Advocate Investigation: 'boys club' accused of closing ranks to protect their own

Timeline:

  • March 29th 2020: Video released of Jackson seen to be discussing case details, calling Alex Salmond a ‘bully’ and a ‘sex pest’ and naming complainers in high profile sexual offences trial. Jackson is recorded stating that “all I need to do is put a smell on her” in relation to one of the complainers.
  • March 30th 2020: Jackson refers himself to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) following the publication of the footage
  • April 2nd 2020: Rape Crisis Scotland make complaint on behalf of complainers to the SLCC
  • April 3rd 2020: Jackson announces that he will resign as Dean of the Faculty with effect from the 30thJune, and earlier if the SLCC refers the complaint about him to the Faculty
  • August 10th 2020: SLCC (after four months) assess that there was sufficient merit to the complaint for it to be referred for investigation by the Faculty of Advocates on two of the three complaints
  • August 20th 2020 Rape Crisis Scotland write to SLCC to express disappointment at length of time taken to reach decision and decision not to uphold assertion that Jackson saying “all I need to do is put a smell on her” undermines confidence in the Faculty of Advocates
  • September 2nd 2020: Faculty confirms correspondence from SLCC received and gives Rape Crisis Scotland 14 days to submit additional material
  • September 4th 2020: Faculty communicate that Jackson has requested an extension, new deadline of 2nd October 2020
  • September 25th 2020: Faculty communicate Jackson has requested another extension, new deadline of 30th October 2020.
  • October 16th 2020: Faculty communicate Jackson’s request for extension, new deadline of 27th November 2020.
  • 24th November 2020: Faculty communicate Jackson has requested yet another extension, deadline new deadline 18th December 2020.

Sandy Brindley, Chief Executive of Rape Crisis Scotland said:

“It’s hard to see this latest move by the Faculty as anything other than a boy’s club closing ranks to protect one of their own. Gordon Jackson’s behaviour in the aftermath of the Salmond trial was completely inappropriate and unprofessional. At the time he made these comments, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. It is unacceptable that over 8 months later he has still faced absolutely no sanction for recklessly and publicly naming two complainers, whose anonymity was protected by a court order, and talking about details of the case on public transport.

Gordon Jackson is a powerful public figure, he is a QC, the former Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and has a legal team representing him in this process. The ten women from the case have no legal representation, with representations being made by Rape Crisis Scotland. This feels like an imbalance that Jackson is using to his advantage to delay the process.

The Faculty of Advocates have a huge role to play in upholding law in Scotland but they are not above it. Like all of us, Jackson must be held accountable for his actions. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Jackson is being allowed to pull the strings in his own investigation, fobbing it off until he is able to retire in peace. This is unacceptable, and in our view undermines public confidence in the Faculty of Advocates."

Read: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/rape-crisis-charity-accuses-alex-23112800

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