Sunday, 11 September 2011

Criminal Cases (Punishment & Review) (Scotland) Bill: summary notes

[Official Bill summary notes appear on the Scottish Government's website in respect of all the proposed legislation contained in its Programme for Scotland 2011-2012. The summary notes in respect of the Criminal Cases (Punishment & Review) (Scotland) Bill read as follows:]

The Scottish Government will introduce legislation which will give statutory authority to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission ("the Commission") to decide whether it is appropriate to publish a Statement of Reasons in cases they have investigated where an appeal has subsequently been abandoned. Under the current law the Commission is prohibited from disclosing information it holds relating to cases other than in very limited and restricted circumstances.

The Bill will:
*Put in place an appropriate legislative framework to facilitate, as far as possible, the release of a statement of reasons by the Commission in circumstances where an appeal has been abandoned
*Require the Commission, in determining whether it is appropriate to publish information, to consult with those affected by, or who otherwise have an interest in, the information
*Maintain appropriate provision for such matters as international obligations attaching to information provided by foreign authorities so that where information is obtained under international assistance arrangements from a foreign authority, the consent of that foreign authority is required before the Commission can publish their information.

[The only significant respect in which the proposed new primary legislation differs from the currently operative secondary legislation is that the Commission will in future have to "consult with those affected by, or who otherwise have an interest in, the information" rather than obtain the consent of those who supplied the information. I take leave to doubt whether the Commission will regard this as solving the problems which it encountered when seeking to effect disclosure under the existing provisions. But I hope to be proved wrong.]

1 comment:

  1. [It is alway interesting to see what papers tend to 'turn up' after a frenemy of the West flees subsequent to us dissing them.]
    This story regarding Trefgarne's expenses, by way of churnalism (source, The Times), is now on the Telegraph site. Pity they've turned off commenting though, since it is always interesting to get the temperature of a given story.