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Further Scottish criminal appeals may be heard by the UK Supreme Court

New clauses have been added to the latest draft of the Scotland Bill which may permit Scottish criminal appeals to be heard in the UK Supreme Court.

As reported in the Herald on 28 February 2011, the terms of the clauses have been proposed “secretly” by the Advocate General and have now been sent to the Scottish Government and the Holyrood committee concerned with the Scotland Bill.

A Scottish Government source noted that “These proposals threaten to undermine the role of the Lord Advocate as the head of the criminal prosecution service in Scotland and increase the involvement of the UK Advocate General and Supreme Court in criminal matters in Scotland, when they should not have any role in matters of Scots criminal law”.

The role of the Supreme Court in determining matters of Scots criminal law has recently come into greater focus as a result of the Cadder v HMA ruling in October 2010. We reported in our last blog post that around 900 criminal cases in Scotland appear to have been dropped by the Crown as a direct result of the Cadder case and that 6 criminal cases have been sent to the UK Supreme Court for further interpretation and clarification.

As Lord Wallace has noted, he is “still considering the final text of an amendment, which will, of course, be subject to scrutiny in both the Commons and the Lords.” In the meantime, the debate continues...

Lord Advocate to refer Five Cadder Cases to Suprem...
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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

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