General Law: Sheriff Holligan

Sheriff Holligan is one of the most cerebral judges on the Shrieval bench today. Read his judgment in the case of MRG v MD 2017 SC Edin 70 (Edinburgh Sheriff Court, 11th August 2017), found on the Scottish Courts website, sheriff court. Ignore the issue of Christmas contact and answer the following questions on the other issue:

1. What were the relevant facts of this case? (NB: do not simply repeat the sheriff’s findings of fact – identify and explain which are crucial to an understanding of the legal dispute.) 

2. What was the legal dispute that the sheriff had to resolve (other than the Christmas contact dispute)? 

3. What use did the sheriff make of the applicable legislation?

4. Why was the case law referred to by the sheriff unable to provide an answer to the question with which he was faced?

5. How was Wilkinson and Norrie’s Parent and Child treated in this case? 

6. Referring to, but not repeating, your answers to the previous questions, describe the outcome of the case and explain how Sheriff Holligan reached his conclusion. 

7. You are the Scottish Government and have decided to legislate to create a rule as to when and how children’s names can be changed. List the various options for such a rule, decide which is best, and explain what amendments to the legislation will be required to give effect to the rule you decide upon. 

This is a Legal Methods Law Analysis assignment.

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