SNP's juryless rape trials compared to Russia as legal expert warns of Andrew Malkinson scandals

Article here. Excerpt:

'The Scottish Government have been accused of launching one of the "most dangerous attacks" on Scots law through their attempt to introduce juryless rape trials. And legal expert Professor Alistair Bonnington warned that wrongful convictions like that of Andrew Malkinson may frequently occur due to this.

He was jailed for rape in 2003 and only released in 2020 before it was revealed that he had been a victim of miscarriage of justice after another suspect was arrested. He received £1m in compensation from the state.

Prof Bonnington compared the potential changes in criminal trials in Scotland to something which might be seen in a dictator state like Russia, where "the case starts with the judge asking the accused: 'Why did you commit this crime?'" The plans for just one judge to be utilised in rape and serious sexual crime trials instead of a jury has been roundly criticised by lawyers and advocates.

However, the Scottish Government are pushing ahead with a pilot anyway despite all these concerns and the threats of boycott from the sector. They claim that this would be fairer for victims of sexual assaults, and could improve the conviction rate.'

Like0 Dislike0