Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Labour leader hopeful Johann Lamont tackles Scottish Government as Cadder ruling blamed as rape convictions plunge, Scotland is a corrupt country

Dear All

Rape is a serious crime; the effects on the victims are long lasting, that is why it is important to ensure that any police investigation and prosecution of anyone charged is done properly.

That is the only way to ensure justice, however like any crime there will be people who are guilty who get away with it and others who are innocent who get convicted.

The human element in trials produces perverse results something, but we need such due process to safeguard the system.

Government statistics released yesterday state there were just 36 rape and attempted rape convictions during 2010/11, compared with 54 in the previous 12 months.

Statistics are useful but justice we should remember isn’t a numbers game or treated as such.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) say the drop was a result of the Supreme Court Cadder ruling.

This could be looked at another way that the Fiscal Service and the Police aren’t effective enough in pursuing evidence.

Cadder cannot be the problem because Police interviewing a suspect would have to behave in exactly the same way as they would do if a solicitor was present.

Is the Fiscal Service saying Police use different techniques when interviewing suspects when a lawyer isn’t present?

This could possibly mean that Police use intimidation/bullying/oppressive tactics/threats etc.

The Cadder ruling whether some like it or not was essential and more important it was a human right because anyone accused is entitled under Article Six to a fair trial.

Questioning with a solicitor present upholds that principle and human right so long denied in Scotland.

The allegation made by The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is all about directing attention away from THEIR failure.

The Cadder judgment, published by the Supreme Court in October last year, ruled it was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights to allow an accused to be detained and interviewed by police without the right to a solicitor, this was standard in many EU countries and beyond.

Scotland operated a corrupt practice until it was stopped by the UK Supreme Court and the Scottish Government, the Appeals Court and Fiscal Service were all 100% behind denying ordinary citizens human rights.

Legal protection and a fair trial process are part of the glue which holds society together; we cannot allow unfair trials even if we thought someone is guilty.
The end can never justify the means in such cases.

The State have to prove a person or group is guilty using due process, following the letter and the spirit of the law exactly.

There can be no other way because allowing guilty people off on a technicality is an insult to victims of crime.

A COPFS spokesman said that Cadder meant that in many cases dealt with since then had "essential evidence" from police interviews lost and the Crown was unable to proceed with cases that would previously have gone to court.

This is the fault of The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, they conspired to deny justice then it backfired in their faces.

They should have addressed the problem but with the Appeals Court being so ineffective, they thought wrongly they could get away with it.

It was laziness, arrogance and stupidity on their part, they thought they were untouchable.

COPFS spokesman added:

"The Supreme Court ruling in the Cadder case has meant that in many cases essential evidence from admissions made by a suspect in police interview has been lost to the Crown. Given the nature of the crime of rape and attempted rape, admissions by the suspect were often essential to provide the necessary corroboration, especially of penetration. COPFS was therefore unable to proceed with cases that relied upon admissions made by the accused and which could have proceeded prior to the Cadder case."

If a person is willing to confess, the fact they have a solicitor shouldn’t change that, solicitors only advise their clients of their rights.

Rape should never be seen as a number games or that if a ‘quota’ isn’t reached that is somehow a failure.

Justice is and must be decided on evidence by using due process; there must be safeguards to ensure that both parties are treated correctly regardless of personal feelings on whether we think someone is guilty.

The Cadder ruling is an historic judgement by the UK Supreme Court which is a water shed moment in legal history.

It has caused problems, the chief one being that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Police were forced to obey the law.

Not by choice but forced.

That is why so many people have no faith in such a corrupt system.

As someone with an interest in law, the Cadder ruling is a totally correct interpretation of the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights, it demonstrates classical legal judgment.

It is very unfortunately that the result of the Cadder case has led to a situation where possibly the guilty have benefited.

The Cadder ruling had to be passed.

If independence is to be achieved, the justice system needs to be massively overhauled to be brought up to date.

At present, we should be grateful to the UK Supreme Court and people like Lord Hope who in my mind has the same stature as Lord Denning for doing what needed to be done in the face of such ill judged opposition.

We sorely need such wisdom north of the border, only then can we have justice as a bedrock of a new Scottish society.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said and correct