Commissioner joins justice reference group

Commissioner Shelagh McCall is to join a reference group to look at additional safeguards in Scotland's criminal justice system.

The group has been set up to consider additional safeguards and changes in practice that might be needed in Scotland’s criminal justice system when the corroboration requirement is abolished.

  • The Right Hon Lord Bonomy will lead the group, which will give consideration of the following areas:
    Whether a formal statutory test for sufficiency based upon supporting evidence and/or on the overall quality of evidence is necessary
  • Whether any proposed prosecutorial test or a requirement for publication of any such test should be prescribed in legislation
  • The admissibility and the use of confession evidence
  • The circumstances in which evidence ought to be excluded
  • The practice of dock identification
  • Jury majority and size
  • The future basis and operation for a submission that there is no case to answer at the end of the prosecution case
  • Whether a judge should be able to remove a case from a jury on the basis that no reasonable jury could be expected to convict on the evidence before it
  • Whether any change is needed in the directions that a judge might give a jury, including a requirement for special directions in particular circumstances
  • Whether any additional changes are required in summary proceedings.

Commissioner McCall joins the wide ranging membership of the group, which includes:

  • Rt Hon Lady Dorrian
  • Sheriff Michael O'Grady QC
  • Sheriff Norman McFadyen
  • Ian Cruickshank
  • David McKenna, Victim Support Scotland
  • Joe Moyes, Scottish Court Service
  • DCC Iain Livingstone, Police Scotland
  • J D Murray Macara QC

• Murdo MacLeod QC

• Jane Farquharson, Advocate

• Frances McMenamin, SCCRC

• Sir Gerald Gordon

• Charles Stoddart

• Professor James Chalmers

• Professor Pamela Ferguson

Further changes to the future composition of the group may be made in light of the development of its work.

For further details on the remit and terms of reference for the group please see the information page here on the Scottish Government website.