From Martin J Keatings:
As you will recall from my email last week, we opposed the motion to sist (pause the case) for 3 months and the Court found in our favour, denying the request for an extension on the basis that the Governments could lodge a "skeletal" defence in the first instance and then use the standard 8 week adjustment period to refine their arguments there-after.
As part of our opposition to that motion, we extended on an offer of increasing the period for lodging defences in the case by 1 week to the other parties, bringing us to yesterday, the 20th of May 2020. In addition, we expressed that we'd be willing to consider reasonable requests for a small extension at the end of the 8 week adjustment period if it transpired the current climate had caused issues with meeting court deadlines. The court agreed with our assessment.
Now, throughout this process, I have wanted to give you all insight into the inner workings of the court and to detail for you, the intricacies, pitfalls, processes and complexities. If for nothing else, but to show you that the judiciary are a critical part of our society, despite the demonisation that the UK Government currently partakes in by trying to brand the judiciary as "enemies of the people" for their own political gain.
So it is with heavy heart and also a bit of frustration that I must inform you that because the case is in its early days, although both the Scottish and UK Governments lodged their defences between 4 and 5pm, on time, we have been unable to gain their permission to publicly release the defences they have lodged, a requirement to be able to do so.
It had been my hope to give you an in-depth update tonight, but unfortunately, that is not going to be an option. Which is a shame considering the substantive public interest with this case and also the massive backing from all you guys (all 1900 of you). Alas, at the moment it is not to be.
We're not quite sure why consent to publish is being denied, but we're giving them the benefit of the doubt at this stage, that because they were unable to obtain the 3-month extension last week, and therefore have lodged only skeletal defences, they would rather not have their defences released until such time as they have had an opportunity to revise, expand, adjust and refine their arguments over the coming weeks.
At this stage we are now in limbo, it will be an 8 week adjustment period where correspondence is exchanged and arguments refined. There may, of course, be some procedural hearings or administrative motions etc and if there are, I shall, of course, refer back to you with an update.