Independence campaigners who set up camp outside the Scottish Parliament have lost their appeal against a ruling that they are not entitled to remain on the Parliament's land.
Three judges chaired by Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, upheld a decision by Lord Turnbull (click here for report) that individuals claiming to represent the "Sovereign Indigenous Peoples of Scotland" were not entitled, as they claimed, to occupy the land as of right, it being owned by the common people of Scotland, and did not require permission to do so.
The camp was set up with the intent that it be maintained until Scotland declared itself an independent country.
Stratagems adopted by the campers before the appeal court included attempting to have a jury hear their case, and calling on the court to recuse itself for having refused that attempt and for being deficient in authority.
In challenging the Lord Ordinary's decision they argued variously that the Parliament could only hold property in trust for the Scottish people, who could not be excluded from it; that the decision undermined the principles of free speech and freedom of assembly; and that a more limited order would have sufficed.
Lady Dorrian, who sat with Lord Menzies and Lord Glennie, said in refusing the campers' appeal that Lord Turnbull had given thorough consideration to all the issues raised by the campers and full reasons for rejecting their arguments. He had taken full cognisance of the fact that they were not legally qualified or represented and the court court detect no flaw in his reasoning.
Many of the appellants' arguments were "untenable", and any interference with their human rights under the European Convention would not "deprive them of the essence of those rights". They had been shown "considerable indulgence", and had had ample opportunity to seek to obtain representation had they wished to do so.
The decree granted allows for immediate steps to be taken to enforce it.