Liars’ charter

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Lord McCluskey’s assertion that policemen are not saints has set the cat among the pigeons (Perspective, 15 January), but he is right. After 18 years on the shrieval bench and a few stints as a temporary High Court judge, I have a great deal of respect for the police in Scotland. They are, however, human beings who discover the bodies, confront the mad and the bad and see the suffering of victims. It is hardly surprising that from time to time they become over-zealous in their attempts to bring those they believe to be responsible to justice, and that can lead to lying in court. Very occasionally they tell lies for less noble reasons. The law may change but human nature does not.

Some people are better at lying than others and it was usually during the evidence of the corroborating witness that such mendacity came to light. Corroboration should be kept in order to make miscarriages of justice significantly less likely to happen. Looking beyond the police, the removal of the requirement of corroboration would be an invitation to every brazen liar in Scotland to concoct an accusation against someone they disliked.

Ian Simpson

Cluny Drive

Edinburgh

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