THE UK and Scottish Governments have been accused of “passing the buck” in their failure to hold a public inquiry into undercover policing in Scotland.

Scotland’s highest civil court heard the decision not to hold an inquiry into undercover activities north of the Border was incompatible with human rights law and “the right to the truth”.

Environmental justice campaigner Tilly Gifford is challenging the UK Government’s refusal to extend an inquiry in England and Wales, led by Sir John Mitting. Her petition for a judicial review also covers the Scottish Government’s decision not to set up a separate inquiry in Scotland

Gifford, a member of the Plane Stupid campaign group, says she was targeted in Scotland in 2009 by officers who wanted to recruit her as an informant. Aidan O’Neill QC, representing Gifford, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: “Everyone is passing the buck on this one”.

The UK Government was “deaf” to concerns about activities in Scotland, he said, adding: “Cross the Border, at Berwick or Gretna, and suddenly ‘we’re not interested, we don’t care, it’s nothing to do with us’. It’s slightly odd that it should be carving out a bit of the UK when it’s clear that these forces were operating throughout the UK.”

He also criticised the reasons given by Scottish ministers not to hold inquiry as “insufficient”.

Advocate Andrew Webster, for the UK Government, urged judge Lady Carmichael to reject the petition. He said the action was effectively time-barred because it had been raised 15 months after the terms of reference for the Mitting inquiry – then under Sir Christopher Pitchford – were set in 2015.

Solicitor Advocate Christine O’Neill, for the Scottish Government, said it had not been demonstrated a public inquiry was necessary. O’Neill will conclude her case today. A ruling is expected in the coming months.