Corroboration, Eggs and Omelettes

Time is throttling past me.  Was it really November last year that I first blogged about corroboration?  I suggested then that although Scots Law should not be afraid to take a radical approach to reform and that many of the observations of the Carloway Report appeared sound, there was a danger inherent in considering corroboration Read more about Corroboration, Eggs and Omelettes[…]

Caselaw – Discounts For Guilty Pleas – A Practical Guide

The practice of discounting sentences for guilty pleas is a day-to-day occurrence in the criminal courts in Scotland.  Parliament expressly provided for such discounts, designed to reward savings on court time and resources, by enacting Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.  That Section provides: – (1) In determining what sentence to pass Read more about Caselaw – Discounts For Guilty Pleas – A Practical Guide[…]

News – Standard Bail Conditions Not ECHR Compatible.

Three Appeal Court judges have decided that amendments made to Section 24 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 are not compatible with an accused person’s Convention Rights under Article 5 ECHR.  The provision in question was amended by Section 58 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.  That Section amended Section 24 Read more about News – Standard Bail Conditions Not ECHR Compatible.[…]

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and New Year advocate Sean Templeton wrote to the Herald newspaper suggesting that the current witness and jury oath is outdated and ripe for reform.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[…]

Caselaw – Knife Crime and Young Offenders

The following link relates to a press report of the sentence appeal concerning a 16 year-old first offender. (Tay FM News, 24th November 2011.) The case illustrates the Appeal Court’s attitude to the sentencing of young offenders involved in knife crime within the statutory framework of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Section 207(3) provides Read more about Caselaw – Knife Crime and Young Offenders[…]

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?[…]

Caselaw – Racially Aggravated Harrassment

Section 50A of the Criminal Law Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1995 makes it an offence to: – (a) pursue a racially-aggravated course of conduct which amounts to harassment of a person and- (i) is intended to amount to harassment of that person; or (ii) occurs in circumstances where it would appear to a reasonable person that Read more about Caselaw – Racially Aggravated Harrassment[…]

More Thoughts on the Football Offences Bill.

1. The Bill creates two new offences. There are two “new” offences in the Bill.  The first relates to offensive or threatening behaviour which is likely to cause a public disturbance.  In other words the behaviour has to be so threatening or offensive that there is a likelihood of public disturbance.  The use of the Read more about More Thoughts on the Football Offences Bill.[…]

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?[…]

A Few Thoughts on Devolution Issues and the Supreme Court

This week saw the publication of Lord McCluskey’s review of the role of the Supreme Court in deciding Devolution Issues arising from Scottish Criminal cases.  Much of the furore created after the Nat Fraser decision has now died down.  Messrs Salmond and MacAskill have turned there attentions away from the “ambulance chasers” occupying the Supreme Read more about A Few Thoughts on Devolution Issues and the Supreme Court[…]