Thursday, October 28, 2010

Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill restricts Human Rights, High Court gets right to reject referrals














Dear All

Yesterday is the Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill was rushed through Parliament.

And already Human Rights Lawyers and Activists feel the need to speak out against it.

The bill is completely rubbish.

The Peter Cadder Case didn’t just happen, it has been known about for some considerable time.

And it was patently obvious that the UK Supreme Court was going to find in his favour.

So, why a badly cobbled together rushed bill which has critics and members of Scotland’s legal establishment accusing the Government of introducing “legislation by stealth”?

Patrick Harvie said:

“We are fire-fighting while nothing is burning down.”

To Holyrood’s shame, the scrutiny stages of the Bill were condensed from several months to one afternoon.

Where were the checks and balances?

Are we supposed to buy into the shite as it was a lengthy session that was adequate?

Yet again another piece of legalisation finds its way on to the statute books which doesn’t enhance the protection of the individual.

Despite a last minute appeal to all MSPs from the Scottish Human Rights Commission to vote against the general principles to allow for “proper consideration” to be given to the issues, this was completely ignored.

Only two political parties were prepared to heed the call, the Lib Dems and the Green Party to vote against it.

Professor Alan Miller, chair of the commission, wrote to all Members of Parliament outlining the organisation’s “significant concerns” about the use of emergency procedure.

He added in his letter warning MSPs about the “danger of rushed legislation which has not been subjected to proper consultation and scrutiny by Parliament”.

The solution to a problem is not the creation of another problem.

Miller rightly highlights that changes to the criminal appeals procedure as outlined in the Bill would have a “chilling effect” on the role of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

And another damning point which should have set alarm bells going off that the bill could “undermine access to court for victims of miscarriage of justice”.

John McGovern, president of the Glasgow Bar Association, said:

“This is legislation by stealth. There is no emergency here at all”.

McGovern also said:

“There has been no public debate on a Bill that restricts centuries old appeal rights, fundamentally questions the role of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and will allow the police to refuse access to suspects being detained for questioning if they deem it necessary. I don’t think that is what the spirit of the judgment is. The wider agenda seems to have been to use this emergency legislation as a vehicle to restrict rather than reinforce human rights.”

What is now emerging is that stupidity is a poor substitute for intelligence.

Professor Alan Miller like others opined:

“The judgment of the Supreme Court in Cadder v HMA does not require emergency legislation”.

This tawdry piece of shit called the Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill will have to be redone in the future.

Miller as well as going through the general principles pulled out this nugget which gives the High Court the power to reject a referral from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Whose bright idea was that?

Miller said:

“The extension to the powers of the High Court will undermine access to court for victims of miscarriage of justice. It will have a chilling effect on the important function of the SCCRC to effectively review and address SCCRC alleged miscarriages of justice.”

In a single afternoon, Holyrood’s MSPs have shown just how much poor quality in depth sits on the benches drawing £55k a year.

Here is a word some of them may remember from uni:

‘Rewrite’!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

bad law, bad government sums up the SNP.

Anonymous said...

Hi George

Freethinker here. What's the gist of this as i've been 'out-of-action' for a wee bit?

Is it not the case that you get instant access to a lawyer... As I was a victim of the six-hour jobbies in a co-ordinated 'boiler-plating' op by you know who...

George Laird said...

Hi Freethinker

How are you keeping, hope you get back to writing.

The jist is the bill isn't great and is a dog's breakfast.

How anyone could think that the High Court should get the power to reject a referral from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is beyond me.

Whoever drew this up is shit at law and doesn't understand human rights at all.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Anonymous said...

The Nat's bollock's it up simples. they should have went to comparethefuckup.com and got a quote for the entire bill. MacAskill releases mass murderer of 270 innocent people now this. One fuck up bad enough, two should mean he is history but he is Alex's pal. All together now, chums.

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