Medical Negligence and Scottish Law

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It seems that the United Kingdom has three distinct legal systems as it has three areas of jurisdiction. There is the English law that governs the cities and regions of England and Wales setting out rules and regulation that the English and welsh people should abide too. Northern Ireland law or Northern Irish law which was separated from English law by jurisdiction in 1921 and operates on a legal system of statue and common law. Scots law which refers to the legal system of Scotland which has a system that contains parts of both civil and common law and some parts can be dated back many years to medieval times.

All three jurisdictions share huge similarities and often interconnect with different laws but they to differentiate in certain parts of their rulings. There is no one single legal system in the United Kingdom as it was designed by the political union of previous countries. The creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain goes as far back 1707 but through Acts of Union it was stated that Scotland remained to have a separate legal system. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom reigns over all 3 jurisdictions as it is the appellate court in the United Kingdom.

Scottish Law

Before the 11th century Scots law is quite vague to say the least and it largely consisted of ideologies of the different groups of people and their beliefs that occupied Scotland and its Highlands. It wasn’t until Scotland established itself as the Kingdom of Scotland that the roots of the law began to take shape. Such laws reflected the Continent of Europe which is also referred to as mainland Europe. Many believe that Roman law around this time had influence over the Scots ruling but it wasn’t until the 15th century that saw Roman law have a direct impact on the Scots law. Upon the Union with England Act of 1707 Scotland then shared legislation with England and Wales.

Scots Law and Medical Negligence

In itself medical negligence does not constitute as an act of serious misconduct but its fall out or the consequences of medical negligence could lead to professional misconduct. Scottish law believes that if a patient suffers gross neglect then they are the victim of an act of gross negligence. It has been widely cited as is very often used at the beginning point of many medical negligence’s cases and that is of Lord Clyde’s statement,

‘true test for establishing negligence in diagnosis or treatment on the part of a doctor is whether he has been proved to be guilty of such a failure as no doctor of ordinary skill would be guilty of such failure as no doctor of ordinary skill would be guilty of if acting with ordinary care’.

It is the court who have the final decision and authority to determine the validity of any case and to award if necessary the compensation that is required.