THE Law Society of Scotland have voiced their ‘grave concerns’ over the Scottish Government’s plans announced earlier today to remove corroboration from Scots Law, as ordered by Scotland’s institutionally inept & incompetent prosecutors who require a significant law change to boost their flagging conviction rates.
The Law Society said in a statement :
The Law Society of Scotland has reiterated concerns about plans to remove corroboration in Scots Law, without proposals for additional safeguards to ensure justice.
The Society welcomed today's publication of the Scottish Government's public consultation on Lord Carloway's review of criminal law and practice published in November 2011, but has maintained that corroboration should not be considered in isolation.
Bill McVicar, convener of the Society's criminal law committee said: "We all want a criminal justice system that is modern, fair, effective and which remains distinctly Scottish and there has been much to commend in the extent and scope of Lord Carloway's work. However, as we stated in November following publication of the Carloway Report, we have grave concerns about the proposal to abolish the requirement for corroboration when there have been no corresponding proposals for safeguards to prevent potential miscarriages of justice.
"Corroboration has been a cornerstone of the Scottish criminal justice system since time immemorial and before such a radical step is taken, there would have to be an overwhelming case for change. In our opinion such a case for change has not been made. Any change to the law in Scotland with regard to corroboration should form part of a full scale review of Scottish criminal procedure. It is a concern to note at paragraph 1.9 of the report, that the Scottish Government does not intend to commission any such further independent review.”
McVicar continued: "There are however a number of other proposals within the consultation which we are pleased to see, such as the introduction of police bail and the reduction of the maximum detention period without charge to 12 hours, with a review after 6 hours. The introduction of greater support for vulnerable suspects is also good to see and we are very supportive of a 'letter of rights' being introduced. The Society agreed with Lord Carloway's recommendation that a child suspect under 16 should not be able to waive his or her right to legal representation and is pleased to see that this forms part of the consultation at question 26. l look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee and to consider and respond in detail to the proposals."