What should happen

“Clara [Ponsati] respects the fact her fate now lies in the hands of Scotland’s independent judicial system. That is what should happen in a democracy.” – Aamer Anwar

clara_ponsatiResort to lawful protest in the face of injustice is a defining feature of functioning democracy. Actively protesting injustice is not only a right, but a responsibility. It is gratifying to know that, with the notable exception of Murdo Fraser and his despicable ilk, the people of Scotland are prepared to accept this responsibility and exercise the right to demonstrate their support for Clara Ponsati.

But it is important to recognise and accept that such protest is not an alternative to due process of law but, rather, a supplement to and augmentation of formal procedures. Proud as I am that the people of Scotland are demonstrating their readiness to stand in defence of justice and democracy, I am prouder still of the fact that Clara Ponsati feels able to put her trust in our justice system.

The test of a functioning democracy is its capacity to deal with injustice as a matter of course, rather than by exceptional means. If we cannot be confident that Scotland’s courts will afford Clara Ponsati the justice that is her due, then our democracy is failing us just as surely as Spain’s is failing the people of Catalonia.

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