Wednesday 15 October 2008

Did the SCCRC give 5 or 6 reasons?

The High Court in today's Opinion refers to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission's having given five reasons for deciding that Abdelbaset Megrahi's conviction may have been a miscarriage of justice. The SCCRC itself said that there were six reasons (para 2.8 of the SCCRC press release) though it itemised only four. What is the explanation for the discrepancy? I believe it to be the following.

The SCCRC counted (a) the failure of the Crown before the Zeist trial to hand over to the defence the mysterious document(s) in respect of which public interest immunity has now been claimed by the UK Foreign Secretary and (b) the evidence contained within that document as two separate reasons. It looks as if the High Court is lumping these two aspects together and counting them as amounting to only one single reason.

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