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Calls for a full review of criminal law in Scotland

The Law Society of Scotland has called for a full review of the compatibility of criminal law in Scotland with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), to try to prevent issues such as those arising from the Cadder v HMA case recurring.

The Society called for this measure in its recently published Manifesto for 2011. As part of the research for its manifesto, the Society held a number of discussion evenings with local stakeholders including: charities, universities, businesses and voluntary organisations to identify the needs of the wider civic community in relation to the legal system.

Jamie Millar, President of the Society said: "Our legal system has a long and proud tradition in ensuring the human rights of victims, suspects, the accused and prisoners. However, we must always strive for improvement and should ensure that human rights are taken into account in every case.

"The emergency legislation passed as a result of the Cadder case last year shows a clear need for a full review of the compatibility of Scots criminal law and ECHR and that is why we have called for this in our manifesto.

“In failing to uphold the right of access to a solicitor from the outset of any police station interview, Scotland found itself out on a limb relative to other countries in Europe, all of whom had this right or who were working towards its implementation. It is important for a vibrant and distinctive legal system in Scotland that it learns from and shares with the jurisprudence of other nations, all of whom are grappling with the same issues.”

“A proactive approach in reviewing the law and its ECHR compliance would also be cost-effective, reducing the number of challenges made to Scots law on human rights grounds.”

For further information, see CaseCheck's article on the proposed review of Scots criminal law.


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Friday, 19 July 2024

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