‘Shetland’s Future in your hands'
Udal Law Review Meeting, Clickimin Centre, Lerwick 26 April 2003
1. The definition of ‘udal’: There is an increasing awareness that under Shetland Udal Law, the Shetland Community owns the Sea and Seabed, directly from God, from Spring Low Ebb to the edge of Shetland’s Continental Shelf. Just like Faeroe, Iceland, Norway and the United States.
2. International Law: When Scotland took over the Western Isles, by the Treaty of Perth, it was agreed that Scots Law would replace local Norse Law. When the Danish Crown pawned the Shetland and Orkney Royal Estates to the Scottish Crown, Shetland’s Laws, Rights and Custom were left intact.
3. Parliamentary Recognition of Udal Law:. In 1569, the Scottish Parliament reviewed the situation, recognised that Shetland and Orkney were different from Scotland & directed that they should be governed by their own native, Norse Udal Laws. That guarantee still stands. It can now be called in.
4. Annexation. In 1471, by an act of naked aggression, the Scottish Crown annexed Shetland and Orkney as the first Scottish Colony. This was the beginning of the British Empire. ‘De-annexed to Robert Stewart, the Isles were re-annexed following the execution of Patrick and Robert Stewart, junior. The significance of this is that
4.1. Shetland and Orkney are the only parts of the British Empire to be denied Self Determination and Return of their own Laws.
4.2. Like Shetland annexed to Scotland, Faeroe is an annexed territory of Denmark. European Non-Discrimination and Human Rights legislation requires Shetland to enjoy the same maritime rights and protection as Faeroe.
5. Illegal imposition and the illegal status of Scots Feudal Law in Shetland. Mary, Queen of Scots, gave her illegitimate brother Robert Stewart, the Shetland Royal Estates and made him Sheriff. Using the Estates like Hitler used the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, Robert Stewart took over Shetland and Orkney as Scotland’s first colony. He ignored the Scottish Parliament’s directions and imposed his own feudal laws as it suited him. After the execution for treason of his son and grandson, his henchmen, such as the lairds Bruce in Shetland and the Traills in Orkney continued to oppress Shetland’s people and suppress Shetland’s Laws and Rights. This Legal Imperialism, the illegal imposition of one legal system on another, continues today. Even British Guiana regained her own laws in 1916. The present responsibility of the Scottish Parliament is to exercise its own decisions and end the illegal imposition of Scottish Feudal law in Shetland and Orkney.
6. Illegality of the denial of the Shetland Community’s ownership of Shetland’s Seas and Seabed. At no time has the Crown ever owned Shetland and Orkney’s Seas and Seabed. Under Shetland and Orkney Law these belong to the Community. Exclusive use of sea or seabed requires a Billet from the Ting. In the 1962 Crown Estates Acts, the Crown, in error, presumed feudal ownership (as in Scotland and England) and gave Shetland and Orkney’s Seas to the Westminster Parliament in return for an annual payment. This was, is fraudulent conversion. Selling to another what is not one’s own. The Crown’s defence is ignorance and that Jo Grimond, Shetland’s MP did not object. Ignorance, real or suggested is no defence. Likewise the Crown gave Shetland and Orkney’s Seabed and Continental Shelf to Parliament in the Continental Shelf Act, 1964. Again no objection from Shetland and Orkney’s Scottish Lawyer MP. On this basis Harold Wilson, followed by Edward Heath included Shetland’s Seas and Fishing in the European Common Market. Harold Wilson gave half Shetland’s Continental Shelf with half of Shetland’s Oil and half Shetland’s Fishing to Norway. Would Faeroe stand for such treatment? The illegality and falsehood, on which the 1962 and 1964 Acts are based, are open to challenge, both in the House of Commons and by the Scottish Parliament. .
7 Abolition of Scottish Feudal Property Law. The Scottish Parliament abolished Scottish Feudal Property Law on 1 April 2003. This leaves Shetland Udal Law as the Property Law of Shetland – as guaranteed by the original Scottish Parliament sitting in Edinburgh. As the 1963 and 1964 Acts are based on prior feudal ownership, this means that the Shetland Community own Shetland’s Seas and Seabed and that the Crown Commissioners have lost their last shred of legality in Shetland and Orkney.
8. European Acceptance of Udal Law. David Heathcoate-Amory’s Amendment to the Convention on the new European Constitution achieves European Recognition of Udal Law. The ‘Udal Amendment’ has been extended to preserve Sami Rights, English Common Law and now Scots Law. Scottish law, which for 400years has been used to suppress Shetland Law, now depends for its very survival on the success of Udal Law.
9. Scottish Law Commission support for Udal Law. Having been determined to destroy Udal Law, following European Acceptance of Udal Law, the Scottish Law Commission has followed its own interest and done a U-Turn. The Commission now supports Udal Law. This removes the Justice Minister, Scottish Executive and former MSP’s last excuse to obstruct the restoration of Udal Law.
11. What’s in it for Shetland? It is Life or Death for the Shetland Fishing, Aquaculture and Salmon Industries. Under Udal Law, Shetland can flourish like Faeroe and Iceland. Udal Law means Shetland can control, manage and benefit from Shetland’s own waters and seabed.
12. Is this realistic? It is real and obvious in Faeroe and the rest of the Nordic Ring, realistic for Europe and the Scottish law Commission. It only needs Shetland public support to turn the realistic into reality.
Formation of the Shetland & Orkney Udal Law group to regain Shetland’s Udal Law and Rights. SOUL will pursue them through SIC Councillors, MSP, MP, MEPs and the European Institutions. Recourse will be made to Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Law as necessary.
S.O.U.L. is a non-profit, non-political voluntary organisation working on behalf of the people of Shetland and Orkney.