Striking miners to be pardoned of some offences under new plans

Miners convicted of some offences during the strikes of the 1980s could be pardoned under new legislation.

The Miners Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill was published on Wednesday following recommendations from a review undertaken by John Scott QC.

Under the plans, those convicted of breach of the peace, breach of bail conditions or obstructing police – which is described in documents published alongside the Bill as “assault of, or resisting, molesting, obstructing or hindering a constable, or a person assisting a constable, in the execution of the constable’s duty” – would be pardoned.

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Justice Secretary Keith Brown said he is keen to move quickly, given how much time has passed since the strikes in 1984 and 1985.

Miners convicted of some offences during the strikes of the 1980s could be pardoned under new legislation.

“The miners’ strike was one of the most bitter and divisive industrial disputes in living memory,” he said.

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“This new draft legislation will go some way to aid reconciliation – and to help heal wounds within Scotland’s mining communities.

“A collective pardon will restore dignity to those convicted, provide comfort to their families and, I hope, will bring closure to the sense of injustice members of mining communities may feel.

“I am determined to make swift progress on this matter, given the passage of time since 1984-85, which is why we have acted quickly to bring forward and publish this landmark new Bill.”

Striking miners will not be asked to apply for a pardon, but instead an automatic pardon will be applied to those who meet the criteria.

It is estimated 500 Scots were arrested in the 1984 strikes.