Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Public confidence paramount

In his reaction to the report of the judicial inquiry by Sir Anthony Campbell into the Shirley McKie fingerprint case, the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, said this:

"Scotland's Criminal Justice system is a cornerstone of our society, and it is paramount that there is total public confidence in it."

Does Mr MacAskill believe that there is "total public confidence" in the operation of the Scottish criminal justice system in relation to the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi? Certainly, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had no such confidence. How therefore can the Cabinet Secretary and the Scottish public?  An independent inquiry is essential if confidence is ever to be restored.

1 comment:

  1. Some might hope Mr MacAskill did not mean what he said.

    In effect, he stated that it was most important that

    a) "the public have confidence in the system"

    (they think it is good)

    rather than

    b) "the system deserves the public's confidence"

    (it is good).

    A public official could further aim (a) by, for example, keeping a report on a fingerprint inquiry quiet while the system's largest criminal prosecution is being tested in court.