Despite this, the furore-in-waiting may not entirely have been dispelled. Although generally speaking, there is no criminal appeal from Scotland to the House of Lords (as was) or the UK Supreme Court (as is), because human rights are involved, there is a devolutionary twist that lends the Supreme Court jurisdiction. The Scotland Act 1998 provides in section 57(2) that “A member of the Scottish Executive has no power ... to do any ... act, so far as the ... act is incompatible with any of the Convention rights. ...” The Lord Advocate, who indicts accused persons, is a member of the Executive. She is thus constrained to act in accordance with the Convention. If she doesn’t, she is going beyond her powers (for the Latin-lovers amongst you, ultra vires) and acting unlawfully. The new Supreme Court thus has jurisdiction, on the basis of the Scotland Act, to get involved in the controversy and potentially reverse the decision of the Scottish court. It remains to be seen whether they will hear the case or not.
Nevertheless, at least for a moment, I imagine that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and his senior civil servants are breathing a sigh of relief.