Home » Scotland lawyers to boycott plans to conduct rape trials without juries

Scotland lawyers to boycott plans to conduct rape trials without juries

by Derek Andrews
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Legal professionals in Aberdeen, Scotland Monday said they’ll be a part of a boycott of plans to pilot rape trials with out juries in Scotland. The Aberdeen Bar Affiliation branded the proposal, contained within the Victims, Witnesses and Justice Reform (Scotland) Bill, “a hazard” and accused the Scottish authorities of “political meddling.” Aberdeen is predicted to be joined by attorneys from no less than “seven or eight” different Scottish bar associations, based on an interview with Vice-President on the Scottish Solicitors Bar Affiliation Stuart Murray.

The invoice consists of proposals to develop and conduct a pilot of single-judge rape and tried rape trials. The invoice requires that judges in trials that are carried out as a part of the pilot, should give written causes for his or her verdicts. In accordance with the invoice, this enhances the rights of an accused by giving them a chance to problem these causes in any attraction in opposition to conviction. This course of doesn’t at the moment exist inside Scottish legislation concerning jury verdicts, that are delivered with out offered reasoning. On the finish of the pilot, the invoice requires that Scottish ministers perform a evaluate course of and publish a report. The report should then be offered in Parliament.

The Victims, Witnesses and Justice Reform (Scotland) Invoice additionally proposes to cut back the dimensions of prison juries from 15 jurors to 12.

Talking on The BBC Radio 4 Today Program Tuesday morning, Vice-President on the Scottish Solicitors Bar Affiliation Stuart Murray mentioned:

[T]right here’s a priority as to the devolution of the Scottish nationwide justice system, however specifically, to the suggestion that duties be faraway from sure severe offences like rape. There’s a priority {that a} obligation of 1’s friends has been eliminated and so take an awesome diploma removes the variety, the scene inside the judicial system and leaves the system open to bias by single judges.

Scottish Justice Secretary Angela Constance stated she believes the plan will work and that it’s a good plan for Scotland. Not too long ago, in Parliament, Constance mentioned the invoice “is likely one of the most vital items of laws to be launched within the historical past of this Parliament, and can characterize transformational change that’s knowledgeable by the very strongest of proof and debate.”

Whereas all accused individuals in Scotland have the best to a good trial underneath present legislation, there is no such thing as a proper to trial by jury. This place has been confirmed by the European Courtroom of Human Rights, which expressly dominated that the best to a good trial doesn’t require that the result be decided by a jury.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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