Response from Scottish Government

Earlier this month I wrote a letter to Kenny MacAskill primarily on Corroboration in Scots law.  That letter was an open letter and can be read here.  Today, I received a response from the Scottish Government and in the name of openness and transparency here is the response:

Dear Mr Sloan

Thank you for your email of 1 November to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. I have been asked to reply.

The Scottish Ministers are aware of the concerns that have been raised by members of the legal profession regarding the potential removal of the requirement for corroboration. An analysis is currently being undertaken of all responses received. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice believes that it is important to consider all views expressed as part of this consultation process. This not only includes the views of the judiciary and legal professionals but also academics, individuals and the views of the Third Sector including those who support the victims of crimes.

Changing something so synonymous with Scots law has, quite rightly, led to a considerable debate on this topic. This debate has ranged from whether the rule should be abolished to identifying possible safeguards that may need to be considered if it is removed The Cabinet Secretary has made clear that he is fully committed to listening and reflecting upon these responses and considering how the reforms recommended by Lord Carloway can best be achieved.

The responses received are currently being analysed and we hope to be in a position to issue a report on the consultation exercise before the end of 2012.

Your comments with regard the role of the Lord Advocate have been noted.

Your sincerely

PATRICK DOWN

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