Sunday, 28 April 2013

Limits on justice and the Crown Office

[On this date five years ago an item appeared on this blog headed Limits on justice. It ran as follows:]

This is the heading over a letter in today's issue of The Scotsman from Iain McKie (father of Shirley). In it he criticises the decision of the Lord Advocate to seek a hearing before a bench of five judges in an attempt to limit Abdelbaset Megrahi's grounds of appeal to those approved by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. A bench of three judges in an earlier case held that if the SCCRC referred a case back to the Appeal Court, the grounds of appeal submitted by the appellant need not be confined to the grounds upheld by the Commission. It is this precedent that the Lord Advocate is now seeking to have overruled.

[In 2008 the Lord Advocate’s arguments for limiting the scope of the appeal were comprehensively and decisively rejected.  But the Crown never accepts defeat with good grace. The law, at the instigation of the Crown Office, was in 2010 altered by statute to provide that in future SCCRC appeals will, prima facie, be limited to the grounds upheld by the Commission.]

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