Thursday, 1 May 2008

Justice and the SNP Government

In today's issue of The Herald, the paper's Scottish political editor, Douglas Fraser, has an article entitled "Honeymoon seems far from over". It is effectively a report card on the SNP Government's first year in office in Scotland. Under the heading "Justice" he writes: "While the Lockerbie bomber provided a platform on which to mount a defence of Scots law's distinctiveness, a successful appeal by Abdelbaset al Magrahi [sic] could spark a crisis of confidence."

This is certainly, in some respects, true. If Megrahi's appeal succeeds (as it manifestly should) and particularly if it is decided that, on the evidence at the trial, he should never have been convicted, then serious questions about Scotland's criminal justice system will need to be urgently addressed. There are those who will say that this is not before time. On the other hand, if the appeal is allowed, it will also show that high-profile miscarriages of justice can be rectified within the system.

The full article can be read here.

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