Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communites
Judgement in the contempt of court case against Glasgow human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar will be given at Edinburgh High Court on Tuesday 1 July. The court session will begin at 10am. Supporters of Aamer Anwar will be gathering outside the court from 9.30am.
The proceedings against Aamer Anwar followed statements he made last September after a client, Mohammed Atif Siddique, was convicted of "terrorism." The case was heard by three judges at Edinburgh High Court on 29 April.
The case is seen by many in Scotland's Muslim community as a litmus test of their freedom to speak out on issues connected with the "war on terror."
It is set to make legal history on at least three counts:
It is the first time that charges of this sort have been brought against a lawyer in the UK.
It is the first time that a "third-party intervention" has been put before a Scottish court (though such interventions have been made in cases of major public interest south of the border). Lawyers from London-based human rights organisation Liberty were allowed by the court to present their view that Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom of expression, is applicable to Aamer Anwar's case.
Finally, and most importantly, the case is one that will clarify the relationship between Scottish law and the European Convention on Human Rights. It is certain to become a key reference point in Scottish and European law.