Friday, May 08, 2009

Law & Order : Lord Advocate & Attorney General agree cross border terrorism prosecutions

The Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini QC and Attorney General Baroness Scotland QC have agreed protocols for prosecution of cross border terrorism offences, where Scotland & England share jurisdiction.

Scottish Government release :

Cross-border terrorism offences


The prosecution of cross-border terrorism offences will be strengthened by a new protocol agreed today by the Lord Advocate, the Right Honourable Elish Angiolini QC, and the Attorney General, the Right Honorable Baroness Scotland QC.

The protocol sets out the broad principles and considerations relevant in deciding who should lead criminal investigations and prosecutions in cases where jurisdiction is shared between Scotland and England and Wales.

The protocol underscores the commitment from investigators and prosecutors across the UK to work together to bring offenders to justice.

Baroness Scotland said:

"It is imperative to detect, investigate and prosecute terrorist offences swiftly and effectively, to protect the public and bring offenders to justice. Police and prosecutors have a long record of cooperating effectively across UK jurisdictions, as was demonstrated in the operation involving the investigation and prosecution that followed the Glasgow/London Haymarket bombing attempts.

"This statement is a public commitment by prosecutors and Law Officers in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to effective co-operation between us, to provide assurance to the public about the basis on which operational decisions are approached in cases with cross border elements."

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini QC said:

"The evolving nature of crime, particularly serious and organised crime including terrorism, requires a far greater degree of flexibility and cross-border co-operation. Where criminal conduct is linked, there may be substantial benefit to the public interest if accused are tried in one place. Operational decisions as to how to pursue an investigation with a view to prosecution have to be taken objectively, based on the available evidence and circumstances in each individual case."

The protocol was agreed as the Lord Advocate and Attorney General delivered the keynote addresses at the Law Society of Scotland's 60th anniversary conference in Edinburgh today.

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