Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Scottish National Party shelve their Plans to scrap corroboration in Scots law, kicked into the long grass until after the independence referendum, sham Crime Bill is a disgrace to Scotland, Nationalist leaders Salmond and Sturgeon want to destroy human right to fair trial

Dear All

It seems that the SNP has taken a moment of pause over controversial plans to scrap Scotland’s centuries-old rule of corroboration.

This idea of scrapping corroboration hasn’t gone down well, like the failing independence campaign, this idea is seeing fierce opposition for everyone.

The SNP flagship policy is being pushed back until a review of safeguards has been carried out.

Commentators have spoken out and some say that the Crime Bill is being used to boost the women’s vote in the referendum.

In trying to force through bad law, the SNP have cottoned onto using rape cases to justify their plans.

Inept and incompetent Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says he had accepted a proposal from opposition parties to delay Stage 2 of the Criminal Justice Bill.

A review will be done by a group led by Lord Bonomy who will report its recommendations possibly during the spring next year.

After the independence referendum is held.

Apparently the SNP under Alex Salmond and unpopular Nicola Sturgeon want to destroy the right of Scots to have access to a fair trial.

MacAskill is the point man running with this at Justice.

The Crime Bill is a mess; the most controversial part is the proposal to remove the principle of corroboration, which requires two independent pieces of evidence to bring a case to trial.

Not unsurprising the flagship SNP policy has won the backing of the Lord Advocate who is seen as being in the pocket of the SNP Government wholesale.

However, it isn ’t all sweet sailing as it has been criticised by many in the legal establishment, including former solicitor general and High Court judge Lord McCluskey.

MacAskill said:

“The Scottish Government remains firmly committed to all aspects of the Criminal Justice Bill, including our proposals to abolish the requirement for corroboration – which as I have said time and again, is a barrier to justice for too many victims of crimes which are committed behind closed doors, such as rape and domestic abuse. When we announced the creation of Lord Bonomy’s review group in February, there were calls – including from the Law Society and Faculty of Advocates – for us to remove the corroboration reform from the Bill and to bring forward a separate Bill later in the session once Lord Bonomy had reported. That was not acceptable as it is one of the key reforms in the Bill and is vital to improving the criminal justice system for vulnerable victims. However, we have also made clear our willingness to listen to constructive proposals in relation to this key legislation. That is why we gave careful consideration to - and in the spirit of cooperation have accepted - the suggestion from opposition members that Stage 2 should commence after Lord Bonomy’s review has been completed. As the majority of the Bill’s provisions were already due for implementation in 2015-2016, today’s move will have minimal impact on the overall timetable for this legislation, while allowing detailed and full scrutiny of the bill in its entirety and enabling any changes agreed in light of Lord Bonomy’s recommendations to be included. Most importantly, I now hope it will enable the whole Parliament to get behind the progressive reforms in the Bill including the modernising of police powers, enhancement of the rights of people in police custody and removal of the corroboration requirement.”

What do I take from this?

I take that MacAskill isn’t going to change anything of note, the SNP still intend to scrap corroboration and they don’t want a running fight in the run in to the independence vote, hence it is has been kicked into the long grass.

This SNP Government don’t appoint panels unless they already decide the outcome in advance.

Kenny MacAskill is the worst Justice Minister in the history of the Holyrood Parliament.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

No comments: