[The following is an excerpt from a letter by Neil McPherson published in today's edition of The Herald:]
The Scottish legal system, which I was brought up to believe was something to be proud of and the envy of the world, is being dismantled. The cornerstone of that system is corroboration, a concept which virtually all the leading authorities, and the judiciary considered a crucial element within our (now loosely termed) common law system.
With the disgrace that is the Lockerbie prosecution already secured for history, our First Minister was furious that the Cadder decision (by the Supreme Court, to rule that suspects be offered legal advice prior to and during interview become part of Scots law). His reaction was to secure the opinion of one of the few members of the judiciary who did not believe that corroboration was a necessary safeguard to minimise miscarriages of justice and to ensure fairness, and the Lord Justice Clerk provided the First Minister with the findings he hoped for.
Scotland today is being told that a vote for independence will lead to a fairer society. The evidence so far is that those advocating this change have produced and continue to produce a legal system where fairness plays no part and where right-wing ideology rules supreme.
[It should be pointed out that “the disgrace that is the Lockerbie prosecution” was perpetrated under a Labour-Liberal Democrat Scottish administration, both of which parties are campaigning against independence for Scotland.]