[This is the subject of a motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Robert Brown MSP, a member of the Justice Committee and a solicitor. So far it has been signed by four more Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs and one Scottish Green Party MSP. The motion reads as follows:]
S3M-07333 Robert Brown (Glasgow) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): No Consultation with Scottish Human Rights Commission on Emergency Legislation— That the Parliament notes the views of Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, that there are serious concerns about both the human rights implications and the detailed terms of the Criminal Procedure (Legal Assistance, Detention and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 2010, which was drafted specifically to address a human rights issue; believes that the legislation may well leave Scottish criminal procedure relating to the detention and interrogation of suspects open to further challenge under the European Convention on Human Rights; feels that the speed with which the legislation was rushed through the Parliament was unnecessary and represented a constitutional outrage, and is appalled that the Scottish Government did not consult the Scottish Human Rights Commission, a body set up for advice on precisely this type of case, on what is considered the biggest human rights issue since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.
[A related Press Association news agency report on the Driffield Times website reads in part:]
A Holyrood committee has been urged to scrutinise the impact of emergency legislation rushed through Parliament.
MSPs voted last month to amend Scots law by granting criminal suspects immediate access to a lawyer.
The Scottish Government said it was necessary because the Supreme Court had ruled that the law was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ruling was prompted after an appeal brought by Peter Cadder, who was convicted at Glasgow Sheriff Court of two assaults and breach of the peace on interview evidence.
Liberal Democrats opposed the changes, which also allow extensions to the time suspects can be held without charge.
MSP Robert Brown criticised the Government for not consulting the Scottish Human Rights Commission and demanded that the Justice Committee should investigate.
He said: "This, after all, is one of the most significant civil liberties issues in Scotland since the establishment of the Parliament. The law is almost certainly going to be challenged as soon as a suspect is interviewed without a solicitor. This will throw the whole process back in the air again."
Mr Brown, who is the party's justice spokesman, lodged a motion at Parliament outlining his concerns and said the speed of the legislation was a "constitutional outrage". (...)
Mr Brown said there are "major issues" over the interpretation of the legislation, adding: "My own substantial amendments to the emergency legislation only really scratched the surface of the problems that are likely to emerge.
"Professional bodies are right to warn about the impact on legal aid. I am worried that this could really damage the public's ability to access the legal system. This is just one of several unintended consequences of the rushed and problematic legislation."