I wonder if the time hasn’t come now for the oath in court to be scrapped and replaced with an entirely secular equivalent. After all, the important thing surely is to remind people that giving evidence is a serious business, that it’s a crime to knowingly give false evidence in court and to warn them about the penalties for perjury.
Surely nobody these days thinks that “swearing by almighty God/Allah/Zeus/Obi Wan Kenobi” is really going to be deter people from giving false evidence.
Quite apart from anything else, we live in increasingly secular times and this would surely be an alternative acceptable to pretty much everyone regardless of their personal beliefs.
We could require witnesses to declare: “I solemnly declare that I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, that I am aware that it is a crime to knowingly give false evidence and that I have been made aware of the penalty for perjury.”
I’m now going to write to my MSP about this. Who’s with me?Al Gordon, A J Gordon & Co, Glasgow