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Law Society urges MSPs to back Justice Committee majority view on corroboration

27 February 2014 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has called on MSPs to back the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee majority view that the Scottish Government should consider removing the proposals to abolish the requirement for corroboration from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill prior to the stage 1 debate on Thursday, 27 February.

Ian Cruickshank, Convener of the Law Society's Criminal Law Committee, said: "We would urge MSPs to recognise the serious concerns expressed by the Law Society and many others, and support the majority recommendation of the Justice Committee to remove the proposal from the Bill.

"We all want Scotland's criminal justice system to be one which is properly balanced and gives due weight to the interests of those facing criminal charges, to the victims of crime and wider society. There are many positive aspects to the Bill, particularly in relation to young or vulnerable suspects, however, to leave the detail on the proposal to abolish the requirement for corroboration to subsequent subordinate legislation is the wrong approach to this proposed controversial and fundamental change to the rules of evidence governing our criminal law.

"We are pleased to be represented on Lord Bonomy's review group on corroboration and will fully engage with that process, however, we firmly believe that removing section 57 from the Bill to allow for a statutory review examining how the corroboration requirement works with all other aspects of the Scottish criminal justice system, followed by a short Bill to give effect to any recommendations, is the best way forward."

ENDS                                                     

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884 or Julia Brown on 0131 476 8204. Email: valeriemcewan@lawscot.org.uk / juliabrown@lawscot.org.uk

27 February 2014

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