Monday, July 22, 2013

Elish Angiolini says that Corroboration rule could be open to human rights challenge at Strasbourg, how many juries are going to convict when reminded that instead of evidence in a trial, they are to judge the best story, what kind of justice is that?

Dear All

It seems that Elish Angiolini has become all warm and fuzzy since leaving the Procurator Fiscal Service.

Her latest piece of warmness is to say Scotland’s centuries-old law of corroboration could be subject to a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights.

Should corroboration be kept?

I believe that it should, two sources of evidence, in my opinion are a vital safeguard in the Court system.

The SNP have picked the emotional subject of rape as a basis of why change is important, it isn’t about finding justice; it is all about improving conviction rates.

I would have thought that the numbers game should play no part in justice; does having effectively having a quota mean more justice?

To be blunt a conviction can simply hang on who is the better story teller in a Court.

Elish Angiolini says in the future a victim whose case has failed to get to court could mount a legal challenge at Strasbourg against the Scottish system.

I have previously blogged that Holyrood needs two Deputy Justice Ministers, one tasked with general law review and the other on special projects to tighten up the law.

Proper government requires proper structures to make the best possible outcomes, sadly the current system is broken, and the ‘fix’ by Scotland’s Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill is a botched job.

Piecemeal doesn’t work.

Last month saw the SNP Government introduced their disastrous Criminal Justice Bill, when it comes to law the SNP don’t do well, Chewing gum, parking, and the awful Fitba Bill are plainly evidence on the lack of vision.

Many Lawyers quite rightly are opposed to this change, with the Law Society of Scotland leading the way; they have described corroboration as a “fundamental principle” of the justice system.

I don’t favour change for change sake, this Criminal Justice Bill is another badly thought-out piece of junk.

Raymond McMenamin of the Law Society said removing corroboration agrees with me and many others that this Bill would result in a “contest between two competing statements on oath” and an increased risk of miscarriages of justice which would follow suit.

He said:

“The requirement for corroborated evidence is not an antiquated, outmoded legal notion, but is a fundamental principle of our justice system.”

Understandably, this Bill has backers, such as Police Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House and groups including Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland.

How do they feel about miscarriages of justice?

You see everyone likes to climb on the bandwagon of populism, but when presented with a miscarriage, these people don’t want to be the same room as the people who suffer, apparently too busy, but sorry… obviously, but quickly followed the old standby ‘we thought we were doing the right thing’.

This might be a Bill that creates more problems than it actually solves, so far this term of the SNP has been a complete shambles.

And we are seen the results of the last term weren’t so spectacular as previously promoted, particularly the health portfolio which was managed by Scotland’s unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The big three areas, Law, Health and Education all have major problems, but the SNP Government is all out chasing the independence dream rather than doing their jobs.

Kenny MacAskill should have been sacked years ago, this is just another awful piece of work to try and remove the stigma of Al Megrahi from his record; the shambles he creates in Justice however can never remove this stain.

It goes too deep.

If I am sitting on a jury, I want to see facts, I want hard evidence, a story really doesn’t do it for me at all.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only this Right Wing SNP Government would look to strip it's citizens of their rights.
Now we're down to simple storytelling in the courts.
Grudges,envy, jealousy and down right hatred will provoke a lot of false accusations.
Shame on this right wing dictatorship.