The Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) have both published responses to the Carloway Review, with a large focus on the Scots law requirement of corroboration, through which at least two individual pieces of evidence are required for a criminal conviction to be secured.
The corroboration requirement is one element of Scots law being reviewed as part of the Government-commissioned Carloway Review, led by Lord Carloway following the Cadder v HMA criminal appeal decision by the UK Supreme Court last year and the passing of the Criminal Procedure (Legal Assistance, Detention and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 2010.
The Scottish Human Rights Commission has recommended that the Carloway Review should carefully consider whether the Scottish Law Commission or a Royal Commission should review the issue of corroboration, rather than the Review itself.
President of the Law Society of Scotland, Cameron Ritchie said: “We feel the requirement for corroboration should remain. It is a vital safeguard of Scots law that ensures that people cannot be convicted on the word of just one person. It is, of course, a different case in England & Wales where the evidence from a single witness does not require to be corroborated, but a judge can, at his or her discretion, decide if a jury should be warned on relying on this evidence.”
Lord Carloway is to consider all consultation responses and will publish a report later this year.
Further analysis of the issues can be found at the following sites:-
The Journal Online on the SHRC’s response
The Herald on the Carloway Review responses
McSporrans on the Law Society’s & SHRC’s responses
Law Society Press Release
Alistair Sloan on Corroboration and Rape