So the US Senate has postponed its hearing on whether BP influenced the release of Megrahi from a Scottish prison. I wrote about this last week here.
As I have written at length, I disagreed strongly and fundamentally with the decision of the Scottish Executive (aka 'Scottish Government') to release Megrahi, a convicted criminal, on grounds of 'compassion'. However, I have always accepted that it had the right to make that decision in accordance with its interpretation of Scots Law, even though that decision was entirely discretionary and wrong in my view.
Scots Law, and I am no 'Scottish nationalist' (that hardly needs saying - Ed), is not subordinate to the English 'Common Law' any more than it is to US law. Scotland has always had its own legal system, prior to and since the Act of Union with England and the fact that since 1999 there has been a devolved Scottish Parliament has not fundamentally changed anything, except that many domestic Scottish matters are now dealt with by the Scottish Executive (aka 'Scottish Government') rather than the Secretary of State for Scotland within the UK government.
What is really laughable, though, is that a few US Senators seem to think that their writ extends beyond US borders and that they can effectively coerce governments of foreign countries to appear before their committees. The posturing of a few US Senators ahead of their mid-term elections this November is of no moment to me or anyone outside the US, however interesting and indeed important (in some respects) US domestic politics may be in the wider world. I think Senator Menendez of New Jersey is playing to an audience in his home State ahead of elections, and good luck to him - but it is of absolutely no consequence to our Scottish devolved administration, nor indeed to the UK government, which has, as politely as they can, told he and his colleagues to 'get knotted'. I do not agree with the decision to release Megrahi, but I agree completely with the decision of the Scottish Executive to decline Senator Menendez's 'summons' as completely outrageous. The US Senate can of course hold whatever hearings it cares to, and Senator Menendez can verbally 'stamp his feet' in frustration all he likes, it really is none of my business, but neither he nor the US Senate can compel or coerce the government of a foreign country to submit to its authority; it really is that simple.