Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill 2010 needs fixed, anyone know a plumber in the Scottish Government?

Dear All

It seems that ramifications of the Peter Cadder Case go on and on.

Giving people the right to a fair trial has cause so much trouble, a twist to the tale of woe flagged up by recently retired Strathclyde superintendent George Barnsley.

He says that the Scottish Police maybe operating in “a legal grey area” when they detain suspects in other parts of Britain.

And because of Cadder, he thinks that serious new hurdles have come into play to cross border operations.

It should be obvious that the clock for the new time limits should start ticking not on detention outside Scotland but when booked into a Scottish Police Station.

Recently the Scottish Government brought in emergency and temporary legislation which has caused the human rights community and some MSP’s to speak out against.

The emergency legislation was rushed, ill thought-out and stupid, in trying to be clever, they only proved they weren’t.

Now a piece of crap sits on the Statue books which wasn’t properly securitised and was pushed through in a single day.

The law now has to be amended because of a lack of foresight regarding time limits.

If a person is detained outside Scotland, then the jurisdiction of that country must apply regarding rights.

Under the old regime, Scottish officers didn’t have to worry about getting a Scottish lawyer for a suspect in custody in England.

This is a red herring because did the English Police since 1984 bring English Lawyers to Scotland with them?

I suspect not.

Wannabe Labour Politician Graeme Pearson from the human rights abusing Glasgow University said:

“George is making a valid point about a thorny issue. Cross-border detentions have always been problematic and the Cadder decision does raise some new hurdles.”

Pearson, now a professor at Glasgow University, he wrongly thinks in my opinion that allowing a suspect held by English Police access to a Scots lawyer by internet or phone will fly.

Access to a lawyer means face to face access.

This poorly thought-out idea will raise further problems because there is an ongoing debate whether or not to use intercept evidence. In theory Police could tape or recover internet or phone correspondence of a suspect in custody.

And how does a suspect know for a fact he is actually speaking to a Scottish Lawyer?

The clock should start ticking on a suspect when he is booked into a Scottish Police Station.

And no formal interviews should be allowed prior to this.

This should have been made clear in the emergency legislation but then other problems exist in The Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill 2010 like section 1 (8). This section removes the human rights of suspect to access to a lawyer based on “exceptional circumstances” decided by a Police Officer.

Someone should be fixing that problem.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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