Michael Matheson could have been saved his embarrassing about-turn over corroboration (Your report, 22 April) if his predecessor (and the Scottish Government) had actually paid attention to any of the responses during the so-called consultation.
It would also have helped if the justice committee had had the guts to say no to the proposal, but of course with the chairman of the committee being a member of the governing party that was never likely to happen.
It all really exposes consultations on such matters to be a complete farce.
In an embarrassing U-turn the SNP have conceded that their plans to abolish the law of corroboration have to be abandoned in the light of Lord Bonomy’s review that to do so would be neither appropriate nor feasible.
This move will keep prosecutions more secure in Scotland and avoid the risk of increasing unsafe prosecutions based only on the evidence of confession without corroboration…
Dennis Forbes Grattan
The SNP’s abandonment of the abolition of corroboration still leaves it with plenty of opportunity to disturb the comfortable complacency of Scotland’s legal fraternity.
An investigation into immunity for lawyers regarding their negligent performance in court … would make the SNP a serious player, regarding any aspirations for a place in the firmament of modernity.
Imposing a register of judges’ interests would take Scotland much closer to the modern world, in that it would enhance the avoidance of conflicts of interests between the judges’ interests and the interests reflected in the cases before them.
By abolishing self-regulation, thereby exposing lawyers to the invigorating benefits of an impartial investigation when their conduct merits it, the Scottish Government would be in line for an order of merit. And a fully funded mechanism for facilitating impartial investigations of misconduct by lawyers would more than compensate for the loss of the corroboration argument.
A determined effort to reform Scotland’s legal landscape would confirm that, despite its quaint nationalistic philosophy, the SNP government is not necessarily averse to embracing key aspects of modernity.