Caselaw: Overturning the Jury’s Verdict.

The recent appeal decision in MacKinnon v HM Advocate [2015] HCJAC 6 serves as a reminder that the statutory ground of appeal contained in Section 106(3)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 will succeed only in exceptional cases. Delivering the opinion of the court, Lady Dorrian re-states the matters essential to the consideration of Read more about Caselaw: Overturning the Jury’s Verdict.[…]

Swearing Blind – In the Firm Online

In the week between Christmas and New Year advocate Sean Templeton wrote to the Herald newspaper suggesting that the current witness and jury oath is outdated and ripe for reform. The Firm Magazine online carried my response, published on 30th December 2011. In it, I argue that it is inaccurate to suggest that the current Read more about Swearing Blind – In the Firm Online[…]

We Don’t Need No Corroboration – But is it Just Another Brick in the Wall?

So the Carloway Review recommends the abolition of corroboration. Prominent lawyers have questioned the case for abolition, raising concerns that a vital safeguard against miscarriages of justice would be removed. Victims groups have broadly supported the move. They consider the requirement for crimes in Scotland to be proved by corroborated evidence as an unnecessary barrier Read more about We Don’t Need No Corroboration – But is it Just Another Brick in the Wall?[…]

Unnatural Selection – Should Our Juries Be IQ Tested?

It’s not just Paul McBride QC who has raised the the question whether our jury system is fit for purpose recently.  The acquittal of John Wilson of the charge of assaulting Neil Lennon prompted many to query whether our system of trial by jury was inept, or even worse, corrupt.  Many trial lawyers will have Read more about Unnatural Selection – Should Our Juries Be IQ Tested?[…]

Lord Advocate: The Decision to Prosecute in Neil Lennon Case Was Right.

The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said: “The Crown takes all forms of hate crime very seriously. Our decision to prosecute John Wilson for alleged sectarian remarks was the right one. We respect the decision of the Jury but will continue to prosecute as a hate crime any offence where there is a sufficiency of Read more about Lord Advocate: The Decision to Prosecute in Neil Lennon Case Was Right.[…]

Neil Lennon Verdict – Why Bother Having a Trial?

The thought of it makes me cringe.  That moment when I’m asked the question.  Normally it’s by someone who I’ve just met.  “Oh! You defend criminals?” Then I see that same glint in their eyes as they pause then say, “Well, what do you think of…?” as they rattle of a question about some pertinent Read more about Neil Lennon Verdict – Why Bother Having a Trial?[…]