Success of Tumbling Lassie Day “exceeds expectations”

30 Jan


A highly impressive provisional figure of £16,400 has been raised for charity by The Tumbling Lassie Ball and Seminar.

The events were held in aid of International Justice Mission (IJM) and Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) which fight modern day slavery and human trafficking at home and abroad.

The seminar, in the Faculty’s Mackenzie Building, featured three leading speakers in the human trafficking field, Alison Di Rollo, QC, the Solicitor General for Scotland, Parosha Chandran, a human rights barrister, and Pam Bowen, CBE, a senior policy advisor at the Crown Prosecution Service.

The closing panel session prompted lively comment from a wide-ranging group of legal professionals, representatives of NGOs, students and others with a keen interest in trafficking issues.

The ball was held in St Paul’s and St George’s Church, York Place, Edinburgh, and attracted around 190 people.

“All in all, the day exceeded our high expectations and was as worthwhile as it was enjoyable,” said Eric Robertson, Advocate, organiser of the seminar and member of the Tumbling Lassie Committee.

Belle Turner, an English barrister, attended the seminar and said: “It was a fantastic event and I felt enormously privileged to have had the opportunity to attend such a gathering in Scotland and with such a great range of speakers. It was so interesting to me, as an English qualified practitioner, to understand better the nuances of the position south and north of the Border and to be both encouraged about the developments in Scotland and challenged about whether there is anything I can do to help going forward.”

Pam Bowen stated: “I very much enjoyed the seminar and was really pleased by the enthusiasm of everyone to do more for victims; I met so many wonderful people, too.”

An inaugural ball and seminar in 2015 raised £14,000 for IJM and TARA, and with the provisional figure of £16,400, the organisers are confident that it will be a greater sum this year.

A nameless girl, known as “the tumbling lassie”, featured in a 17th Century case in the Court of Session.

She had been “bought” from her mother and used by a travelling showman as a performing gymnast until she fled and was given refuge by a couple.

The showman went to court and demanded damages from the couple, but the judges dismissed his claim, and the official report of the case stated: “But we have no slaves in Scotland, and mothers cannot sell their bairns.”

In honour of the girl, and to raise awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking, the Tumbling Lassie Committee was formed by a group of advocates, and it was supported by the Faculty in organising the ball and seminar